Insper’s Center for Business Studies has Carlos Caldeira appointed as its new coordinator
The Insper Center for Business Studies (CENeg, for its acronym in Portuguese) has as its central purpose developing research that contributes to the understanding and transformation of organizations and Brazil’s business environment. In 2021, the Center will have Insper professor Carlos Caldeira as its new coordinator.
Among other activities, CENeg’s is a space seeking to promote interaction between researchers and the productive sector. It happens through events, publication of research, and formulation of indicators and guides. Thus, the Center encourages and participates in the debate on the business environment, business practices, and policies towards the Brazilian economy’s competitiveness and increasing productivity.
Currently, the Center is divided into eight working hubs: Data Sciences and Decision, Entrepreneurship, Design, and Strategy, Organizational Behavior and People Management Studies, Gender and Diversity Studies, Operations and Supply Chain Management, Analytical Marketing, Family Business, and Sustainability and Business.
Insper professor David Kallás was the coordinator responsible for CENeg from 2018 to 2021. Now, pass the baton to Prof. Carlos Caldeira. For Prof. David, the Center is of enormous importance in bringing academia closer to organizations. “We do that through applied research that generates knowledge beneficial to society. Organizations with more knowledge and tools make better decisions, are more competitive and sustainable. With that, the whole country wins.”
The new coordinator, Carlos Caldeira, sees the Center’s work as an opportunity to transform the Brazilian reality. “One of the things that we actually need to improve in Brazil, and that has been bothering me for a long time, is the integration of organizations with academia. And this is precisely one of CENeg’s missions.”
Expansion of activities
In recent years, CENeg has undergone several changes in its structure, always aiming to improve the production of research and knowledge. Two of the Center’s hubs migrated within our school’s research structure. Insper Metricis is now part of the Center for Public Policy and Administration. The Business Institutions and Environments Hub had expanded its scope to become the new Center for Regulation and Democracy. The internal redistribution made it possible to focus efforts on maintaining research volume in the other hubs.
The Center’s research production is also closely overseen so that it is always possible to invest in improvements and the greater impact of the knowledge obtained. That can be seen in the annual reports CENeg produces. “We had invested a lot in improving the Center’s governance, as well as supported the structuring of good governance practices in the other Centers. In fact, the search for transversal integration had been one of our priorities over these years,” says David Kallás.
Regarding the activities carried out in the period he served as Coordinator of the Center, David Kallás emphasizes the focus on research in the management of businesses and organizations. He cites some standouts. “In partnership with the Center for Teaching and Learning Development (DEA, for its acronym in Portuguese), we had worked on generating Brazilian case studies and training Insper professors on how to write case studies. We had released a series of surveys on the profile of Brazilian executives. We had started with the Chief Security Officer (CSO) in partnership with Brightline Initiative – PMI. Then, we had analyzed the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in partnership with Assetz Expert Recruitment. Another highlight was the strengthening and growth of the Operations and Supply Chain Management Hub. Besides its relevant technical and bibliographic production, it actively attended events inside and outside the school and celebrated two significant partnerships. The first was with The British Academy. We partnered with the London School of Economics (LSE) for a research project on the topic of Urban Infrastructures of Well-Being. The second was for the MISTI Global Seed Funds in partnership with MIT. Its title was Combating Obesity in Low-Income population segments in Brazil and in the U.S. by reducing food waste. Finally, I cannot fail to mention the long-standing partnership between the Center for Gender Studies with [consulting firm] Talenses for the Panorama Mulher (Women’s Panorama) survey”.
Impact on the business environment
For David, the current scenario — in which public debate is increasingly polarized, with the meager search for scientific and rigorous arguments — also affects the Brazilian business environment. “We just have to look at social media and family discussions [to see it]. And unfortunately, that effect happens in organizations as well.” That harmful effect to the business environment and production field is one of the aspects CENeg seeks to combat through serious and independent studies.
“The contribution from Centers like this is to foster research and knowledge generation based on rigorous methods, evidence, data, and facts. And this leadership is by example. We only commit to conducting a research project if we can guarantee that the results will be published regardless of what they are, among other criteria, and that researchers have independence in choosing their research methods,” David points out.
Also, 2020 brought unprecedented challenges for everyone. The impact [initially] felt by the organizations is still felt and will be studied by the Center. On the other hand, by moving the events to a remote format, CENeg has been able to expand, very significantly, the impact of the dissemination of its research.
Change in coordination
In 2021, the CENeg will see a novelty in its structure and operation with Carlos Caldeira’s arrival as its new coordinator. Caldeira has already contributed directly to the Center for some years by participating in it and coordinating research projects.
For David Kallás, the transition with Carlos’s arrival will be very natural due to the new coordinator’s knowledge and practices. Also, it brings in the prospect of consolidating the achievements the Center obtained in recent years. “I believe the Center can further expand its production in applied research in management even more. Besides, it can involve increasingly more actors from Insper’s internal and external environment. I believe it will be able to contribute to creating theme hubs, which are an old dream of the school, and also with the active search for research opportunities on topics of interest in line with our strategic planning and the demands from Brazilian organizations and society”.
Check out the full interview with the new Coordinator of CENeg, Prof. Carlos Caldeira:
— What does it mean for you to take on the coordination of CENeg?
One of the things that we actually need to improve in Brazil, which has been bothering me for a long time, is integrating organizations with academia. And this is precisely one of CENeg’s missions. Therefore, taking on the coordination of CENeg is a great opportunity.
— What are your expectations regarding your role as Coordinator of CENeg for the next three years?
I am still in the diagnosis stage, but I arrive with the mission of improving what was done by Professor David Kallás, who now works in the Coordination of our Lato Sensu Graduate Programs. However, preliminarily, I imagine we can improve the attraction of organizational problem cases to be worked on by the school, besides expanding the Center’s role in proposing discussions and searching for funding for our research projects.
— How do you see the importance of a Center like CENeg for understanding the transformation of organizations and Brazil’s business environment?
There are several ways better to integrate organizations, the business environment, and academia. On the one hand, taking part in debates on the most important challenges organizations are going through is essential. A second way is to bring academic rigor into research done in partnership with businesses and institutions. Another way is to bring organizations closer to our school — not only to the critical debates but also to participate in case studies presented and discussed in the classroom.
— How do you analyze the business environment in Brazil today? What are the main challenges for organizations to perform better in this scenario?
On the structural side, the literature points out that development comes mainly from institutions — the rules of the game, formal and informal. It also comes from issues that prevent capital from being allocated to the most productive industries and organizations — for example, poorly designed subsidies.
On the organizations’ side, recent literature shows that there is still a vast difference between the business practices of organizations from developed countries to the practices used in developing countries. The Center can assist in those discussions aimed at competitiveness and increased productivity.