Dr. Marcelo Leporati: “Research has to generate value for society”
17 de June de 2020
17 de June de 2020
In view of its capacity to generate knowledge and set guidelines towards a better society, research has become one of the key pillars of EAE Business School. One demonstration of the School’s commitment in this respect is the fact that the acclaimed university Babson College has given the Champion of the Year Award to our lecturer, Dr. Marcelo Leporati, for his contributions in relation to entrepreneurship and his participation in Babson Collaborative, a research comprising experts from 29 universities around the world, including EAE Business School.
To find out more about Professor Leporati’s research and the Babson Collaborative group, check out the following interview and download the EAE Research Report 2019.
Dr. Marcelo Leporati
Lecturer and researcher at EAE Business School
Professor, first of all, we would like to find out a bit more about you. How did you start your research endeavours? Tell us a little about your career.
In recent years, I have focused on publishing research articles related to the fields of Supply Chain and Entrepreneurship. I come from the corporate world, where I have held positions of responsibility in various multinationals for over 20 years. As a result, my research perspective focuses on practical current issues that can be applied to the world of business. In other words, in my opinion, research has to generate value for society and has to be applicable in increasingly changeable and uncertain contexts.
At the start of the year, Babson College gave you the Champions of the Year Award. What does this accolade mean to you? How did you react when you were told?
As the Director of the Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation at EAE Business School, I am responsible for managing our School’s relationship with the US university Babson College. Babson is the world leader in education on entrepreneurship and ranks as the top university in the most important rankings of institutions at which you can study entrepreneurship. The university has created a group known as Babson Collaborative, which includes 29 of the world’s most prestigious universities and business schools in this field with the aim of creating a platform for sharing knowledge in relation to entrepreneurship. I am honoured to be awarded this accolade from the university.
When I heard the news, I was extremely pleased, as it is a great acknowledgement of the work that we began a few months ago to create an interdisciplinary, intercultural research with the participation of the best universities in the world in this field of knowledge
Tell us about the group. When and how was the Collaborative Research Group formed?
The Collaborative Research Group was founded in September 2019 with the aim of exploiting generating synergies between the researchers that form part of Babson Collaborative. This group is made up of a growing number of researchers from the universities and business schools that are members of Babson Collaborative. We are now working on six lines of research and, as a result, generating output that is published in respected journals.
How would you sum up the group’s goals and main lines of research?
The group has two main objectives. Firstly, to take full advantage of all the knowledge and best practices on entrepreneurship generated in other universities and business schools to be able to share information, trends and innovations in this field of knowledge. Secondly, we aim to generate research synergies and publish articles in high-impact journals.
The lines of research that we currently have open are open innovation, entrepreneurial ecosystems, gender entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, financing entrepreneurship and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). While these line define the different topics on which we are conducting research, we also work on cross-disciplinary issues that affect more than one of these areas. Each line of research is headed by a specialist who coordinates all the research projects in their area.
Why is the emphasis on entrepreneurship? What role do entrepreneurship and innovation play in this age?
The entrepreneurship area is one of EAE Business School’s key strengths and the aim of my department is to help develop this field of knowledge even further from an academic and research perspective, generating new knowledge. When we think on innovation, we are not just thinking about the current state of technology, but rather innovation from the perspective of new business models. We have to create new ways to generated value for our societies using all the tools that we have available to us.
Is entrepreneurship a key tool for developing the so-called ‘new normal’ that will exist in the post-pandemic world? What about research in general?
The new normal scenario will be an opportunity for potential entrepreneurs to take the initiative and develop their idea or project. It is a time in the history of humankind when it is important that we pay close attention to what things are really necessary and which is the pain or problem that our community has, so we can innovate potential solutions to resolve this problem. I am sure that we are witnessing a unique period that will generate huge advances for humankind.
In the research department, we focus on seeing how Covid-19 is affecting entrepreneurs depending on their demographic or special sectors. We know that the impact is uneven and our research in this area can help to provide useful, valuable information for people making policy decisions, not only in terms of correct these imbalances, but also to foster those that can generate the most value for society.
As a lecturer at EAE Business School, how so you rate the School’s research activity?
The School has just published its annual Research Report, which clearly shows the enormous efforts lead by Dr. Eduardo Dittmar, the Vice-Dean of Research. Year after year, there has been a significant increase in the number of articles published in acclaimed journals indexed on the WoS (Web of Science) and Scopus. This consolidates the School’s status as an increasingly important generator of knowledge.
Why is it important to keep developing and strengthening this field at the institution?
Research is a way to generate real knowledge that adds value to society. Any respected academic institution is underpinned by research as one of its most fundamental pillars, through which it develops new ideas and business models that can later be transferred to industry or society through the established mechanisms, generating a really positive impact in our communities.
How and through which activities is the research ethic instilled in students?
Many of the conclusions that we researchers reach are later shared, analysed and discussed with students in class, where we debate the main findings. The main objective is to be able to transmit the results of the research conducted, but also to stimulate curiosity and get the students involved so that they want to participate as assistants on research projects and join our efforts.
The biggest challenge will be finding efficient research transfer mechanisms in the corporate world to ensure that they have a tangible benefit in society.