Details for HEC-Management School, Liege

Participant Status


Type of Organization


Type of Education

Undergraduate, Post Graduate, Doctoral

Institution is part of

University of Liege


LIEGE, Belgium


Sign Up Date to PRME

23 Apr 2013

Current Sharing Information on Progress Report Submission

01 Aug 2019

Sharing Information on Progress (2019)

HEC Liège Sustain'LABility - Accelerating Transition - View Report

Period Covered: Jun 2017 to Jun 2019

HEC Liège integrated ERS through its mission and vision years ago and joining the PRME community has been inspiring. In 2019, our management has positioned the societal transformation challenge as a transversal axis of our strategy. The HEC Liège Sustain’LABility - under construction - will act as a driver of change to federate approaches and synergies, strengthen ERS education and better integrate the approach at all levels of the School.

Achievements Curriculum Integration in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

For several years, ethics, responsibility and sustainability issues have been central in the School’s programs. Our concern for this societal stake has been translated into the mission statement, the School’s values, the strategic planning and the capacities targeted by all our programs. Within the capacity “Adaptability”, the following component is targeted: “being conscious of its societal, economic, political and environmental issues”. One of the objectives of all the programs is thus to enhance an ethical and socially responsible behavior that contributes to orienting the company’s activities towards achieving societal benefits, minimizing negative externalities, and complying with the principles of good governance.
At the bachelor’s level, these issues are integrated within broader courses outlining the societal context in which companies evolve, typically during the first year of the Bachelor’s in Economics and Management (e.g. Introduction to Enterprise, Political Science and Globalization, Human and Social Science, and Organization Analysis.). More specialized courses are also specifically devoted to these issues, for example in the third year of the bachelor’s degree (e.g. Diversity management, Social enterprise and sustainable development, and Business Game).
Challenges in addressing ethics, responsibility and sustainability within economic activities are even more explicitly addressed at the Master’s level. Such challenges are the focus of important compulsory courses such as Sustainable Strategy and Business Ethics, of elective courses, and of courses offered in each area of specialization (ethical and sustainability dimensions are explored in Marketing, Supply Chain Management, Financial Analysis and Audit, Banking and Asset Management, Social Enterprise Management, etc.).
Throughout the Bachelor and Master programs, all our students also develop their soft skills in the framework of the Skills Portfolio. Several workshops specifically address ERS issues, for example:
¥ Designing a greener business,
¥ Holding a position of responsibility in a student association,
¥ Developing a sustainable world for entrepreneurship,
¥ Designing an efficient and sustainable economic development: North/South workshop,
¥ Better understanding the social regulation,
¥ Addressing economic systems in an alternative way,
¥ Bridging the gender gap,
¥ Act in full awareness of one’s values and those of one’s environment,
¥ Mastering crisis communication in Business.
Finally, in the PhD program, ethics, responsibility and sustainability are addressed in the contents of several advanced classes (e.g. microfinance, credit risk, nonprofit management, social entrepreneurship and philanthropy) and through some of our research fields.

Achievements Research Development in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

Ethics and sustainability are central in both the process of research and its contents. In terms of process, researchers at HEC Liège need to comply with the ethical charter of the University of Liège, which has been labeled HRS4R. The University of Liège is also at the forefront of promoting ethical publishing and diffusion practices through the open access platform ORBI.
Ethics and sustainability also constitute a growing research area per se at HEC Liège.

In economics, a growing research topic concerns local sustainable development, led by several professors (including Axel Gautier and Lionel Artige) and PhD students. Related to these dynamics, the Smart City Institute (led by Nathalie Crutzen and supported by Accenture, Belfius and the city of Liège) works on new technologies, practices and collaborations to lead cities towards more sustainable development.
In marketing, several professors (e.g. Cécile Delcourt and Zelal Ates) and PhD students (e.g. Simon Hazée) examine sustainable consumption and cause-related marketing. Researchers also work to improve the sustainability of supply chains (Maud Bay) and the ethics and diversity within HRM/organizational change practices (François Pichault, Annie Cornet, Jocelyne Robert and Olivier Lisein).
Finally, the Centre for Social Economy works on new sustainable business models in the area of social enterprise and the social economy with four professors (Jacques Defourny, Sybille Mertens, Virginie Xhauflair and Benjamin Huybrechts), three chairs (Cera, SRIW-Sowcsom and Baillet Latour) and ten PhD students.
Taken together, the work in ethics and sustainability constitutes an important part of the research at HEC Liège. This research is published in journals such as the ACRN Journal of Entrepreneurship Perspectives, the Journal of Business Ethics, Studies in Managerial and Financial Accounting, the International Journal of Business and Social Science, the Social Enterprise Journal or Ecological Economics.
HEC Liège researchers have also presented their research in ethics and sustainability in major international conferences such as EGOS, EURAM, EMES, British Academy of Management, and the International Conference on Sustainable Development (with Sybille Mertens and Benjamin Huybrechts being members of the scientific committee).

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