Details for ESDES (Ecole Superieure de Developpement Economique et Social)

Participant Status


Type of Organization

Business School

Type of Education

Undergraduate, Post Graduate

Institution is part of

Lyon Catholic University


Lyon, France


Sign Up Date to PRME

10 Apr 2017

Current Sharing Information on Progress Report Submission

Not Available

Letter of ​Commitment (2017)

View Letter

Achievements Curriculum Integration in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

As reflected in ESDES mission statement: “ESDES School of Management prepares students and professionals, through research and education, to create sustainable value and to promote the emergence of a responsible economy in a digital and globalized world.” our school clearly encourages and supports general awareness of ethical behavior, social responsibility in business units, and sustainable development. The school’s vision, “By 2020, ESDES aims to become one of the top twenty French schools of management. Furthermore, it aims to be the school known for its leadership in the field of sustainable performance which supports a responsible economy”, relies on three important core human values:
- collective performance,
- exemplary behavior,
- citizenship.
Indeed, it is only through collective performance that an organization will succeed applying its strategy (for ESDES this is to bring about a responsible economy). By working together all members of the organization will be able to share the tasks and participate in the strategy to bring about benefits for all.
It is through professionalism or exemplary behavior that all stakeholders of any organization will all be able to contribute to this collective performance and thus bring about our notion of being a good citizen who respects not only our various relationships with others but also respects the environment and eco-system. It also implies intellectual honesty.
ESDES has integrated several learning vehicles in its programs to integrate corporate responsibility and sustainability, both in the academic curriculum and extra-curricular activities. The following table provides an overview of how corporate responsibility, sustainability and ethical training are woven into the curriculum of the Master in Management program. Similar activities and modules are included in the newly launched Bachelor program.
Year Action Schedule
All students Associations and project on experimental management Thursday afternoons
All students Blood Drive Oct., Dec., March
Year 1 Be Adventurers, Be Responsible, Be United* 3½ Days
Year 1 Social and Solidarity Economy November
Year 1 Solidarity Day Last Friday in November
Year 1 Social and Ethical Economics course Semester 1
Year 1 Individuals Society and Culture course Semester 2
Year 1 Social and Ethical Economic course Semester 2
Year 2 Business Ethics course Semester 3
Year 2 Economic and Social Policy course Semester 3
Year 3 Solidarity for All ½ day Mid October
Year 3 “Beyond Prejudices: a Journey to Human Wealth” conference Semester 6
Year 3 Management and Organizational Behavior course Semester 5
Year 3 Social and Economic Responsibility course Semester 6
Year 4 Disabilities – as a source of diversity in companies 4½ days in October
Year 4 Project Management linked to Physical Disabilities for the Human Resources specialty 15 days in companies over year
Year 4 Project Management course Semester 7 and 8
Year 4 Project Management 2 course Semester 7 and 8
Year 5 International Marketing and Ethics course Semester 9 and 10
Year 5 Cross-cultural Management course Semester 9 and 10
Year 5 Ethics and Management course Semester 9
Year 5 Management and Responsible Strategy course Semester 9
Year 5 Strategic and Ethical Management of Performance course Semester 9
Year 5 Mission HR Consulting Semester 9
*3 thematic days during which students are exposed to issues linked to Corporate Social Responsibility and ethics such as: solidarity through sporting activities, raising awareness of addictive behaviors (Drugs, Alcohol, Cigarettes), developing community involvement through a food drive for the Rhône food bank.

Student involvement in students associations is heavily supported and promoted by ESDES to develop managerial skills through community involvement projects, thus reinforcing the impact that each graduating class has on ESDES ecosystem. As a result, participation in associations is a compulsory part of the program. Credit is given to these activities and counts towards the degree. At least one half day per week on average is freed for students to participate in these activities and a member of the faculty is designated to co-ordinate and advice students on these actions.
ESDES is part of the Social Study group of the Federation for French Grandes Écoles whose aim is to share best practices on how to integrate students from deprived backgrounds into higher education. It is also a member of the group on handicaps which looks at examining best practices for all national competitive entrance examinations. ESDES commitment to societal issues is demonstrated by the actions mentioned previously, but also through various initiatives exposing students to diversity and handicap process (conferences, internships, role playing…).
Two initiatives, integrated in the learning process through conferences, student projects and community involvement missions, demonstrate ESDES commitment to CSR and its collaboration with various stakeholders:
- A 7-year partnership with the Rhône Food Bank, which implies students’ involvement in food drives (4 tons of food collected in 2016), but also pedagogical exchanges with solidarity-based economy specialists.
- The ESDES-Intergeneration association, which, since 2004, serves as an intermediary between seniors and young people, thus allow seniors to stay at home, while providing a solution for young people with a housing problem and promoting intergenerational proximity. In 2015, a partner university discovered this activity and a delegation from the University of Worcester visited to find out more about the project.
ESDES requires within its Bachelor of Business curriculum opening in September 2017, a mandatory social and civic mission for all students, for a minimum duration of 8 weeks, in France or abroad. It is also planning to include a mandatory civic or humanitarian mission in its 5-year integrated Master in Management. An extra-curricular CSR pathway will be also developed to identify and highlight all the different corporate social responsibility and sustainability activities (mandatory or not) undertaken by each student over the course of the 5-year program.

ESDES has engaged in the AACSB accreditation process (Eligibility application to be reviewed in April 2017) which recognizes dedication to Corporate Social Responsibility through its 3 pillars: Engagement, Innovation and Impact.

Achievements Research Development in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

ESDES’s mission is “through Education and Research”, to stimulate students to innovate and become a manager or an entrepreneur “in order to create a responsible economy in a globalized and digital world”. It relies on a strong alignment between the two key activities of the institution: research and pedagogy. Indeed, research is at the heart of the positioning of the school in the ecosystem. It guides and structures all that is implemented in the academic programs of the institution.
The 3 research areas at ESDES are:
1) Corporate social responsibility, ethics and social entrepreneurship.
At the heart of the ESDES education model since its creation in 1987, this research axis is tied to the ESDES curriculum by way of various subjects such as Social and Environmental Responsibility of Business, Social Entrepreneurship, Introduction to Sustainable Development, CSR and Governance of Global Firms. As evidence of the endorsement of ESDES pedagogy and research programs by national and international companies, two large French companies fund research chairs at ESDES. Veolia has commissioned ESDES to develop a CSR index to help assess the sustainability of its development.
The fundamental aim is somewhat varied, but ESDES looks at how CSR can become part of a corporate leader’s daily life by examining such questions as how CSR is applied in companies in human resource management, what CSR brings to the management of resources, and the role of ethics in company management. As a result, several papers on CSR have been published by ESDES researchers, including 3 articles published in the prestigious Journal of Business Ethics over the last 6 years. Contributions have also been made to the governance of inter-firm networks, and the design of management compensation. It is integrated in the ESDES curriculum through classes such as Social and Environmental Responsibility of Business, Social Entrepreneurship, Introduction to Sustainable Development, CSR and Governance of Global Firms.
2) Finance, government and theory of the firm, With SOCIETE GENERALE, partner in the academic chair "Governance and Sustainable Performance of Family Businesses"
This second axis supports seminars in financial valuation, social communication and CSR reporting, but also course subjects such as: Economy and Strategy of the Firm, Contemporary Industrial Economics, and Management of Multinational Firms. Through a chair sponsored by a major international bank, Société Générale, ESDES has been commissioned to investigate the conditions for the sustainable development of family firms.
ESDES faculty members have made specific contributions to the analysis of inter-firm organizational forms, the coordination of global supply chains, and the impact of cooperation on firm performance.
3) Economics and management of environmental innovation,
This third axis has led to the development of specific courses in: Big data, Management of the marketing information systems, Innovation management and eco-design. ESDES faculty members have contributed to a better understanding of technological diffusion and appropriation, the condition of innovation persistence, the emergence of green energy and the essential role of some organizational forms.
ESDES has laid emphasis on research in corporate and social responsibility for many years and has developed some important research in the field of Social Responsibility Ethics and Social Entrepreneurship. Four ESDES research faculty (Sandra Fagbohoun, Patrick Gilormini, Didier Prince Agbodjan and Nathalie Tessier) are involved in a European Union-financed research project, Part’Innov, with UCLy Research Center on Social Entrepreneurship (CRESO) and the Workshops on Humanist Entrepreneurship (AEH). The research project objectives are:
- To observe and analyze how partnerships between companies belonging to the social and solidarity economy and companies outside of the social and solidarity economy can bring social innovations in terms of human resources management and job creation;
- To develop and optimize the functioning of such partnerships;
- Ultimately, to organize a European academic workshop and several professional conferences, publish several academic and professional articles and develop 2 training programs for academic institutions such as: IAE de Lyon, EM Lyon and the Catholic Universities of Angers, Lille, Lyon, Paris and Toulouse.
This field has been historically at the heart of ESDES’s philosophy for over 20 years. Its fundamental aim is somewhat varied but looks at how CSR is and can become part of the corporate leaders day to day life by examining such areas as how CSR is applied in companies in human resource management what CSR brings to the management of resources and the place of ethics in company management. As a result, several research papers on CSR have been published by ESDES researchers, including 3 articles published in the prestigious Journal of Business Ethics in the last 6 years.

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