Our Expertise

Research – either academic or research for business – can only be valuable when shared. That’s why we translate our research into easy-to-read management articles focusing on the key insights that are relevant for you as a manager. You can select articles according to your personal interest via the knowledge domains in the menu. Enjoy your read!

New Articles

  1. Half of CEOs of listed companies saw bonus shrink in past year

    The number of CEOs of listed companies in Belgium and the Netherlands who received zero bonus for their performance last year rose from 1% (in 2019) to 16% (in 2020). One in five of all CEOs even found themselves forced to accept a lower fixed salary. All because of the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. These are the main conclusions of a new study by the Executive Remuneration Research Centre with 41 Belgian and 54 Dutch publicly traded companies, all of which had published their annual report by the time of the study and employed the same CEO. The study focused on the evolution of fixed and variable executive remuneration from 2019 to 2020.

  2. Responsible Leadership: how to reimage leadership in a world full of grand challenges

    Virtually every organisation is in the sustainability business today – which has become a new minimum in attracting and retaining customers. To make transformation happen, businesses will need to reinvent themselves. This white paper focusses on the transformation that is needed within organisations to make change happen and how organisations can increase their maturity level when it comes to sustainability themes. Based on our interviews with sustainability officers from a wide variety of companies, we zoom in on the importance of leadership – and, more specifically, of responsible leadership.

  3. How to maximise the potential of Total Reward Statements

    Previous research by the Centre for Excellence in Strategic Rewards has proven that reward professionals consider reward communication to be increasingly important. Moreover, employee satisfaction with the communication on rewards has a positive impact on her/his perception of organisational support. A good Total Reward Statement offers an individualised and comprehensive overview of the financial and non-financial rewards offered by the employer. This white paper which is based on research and examples from practice shows that there are 7 characteristics of a great Total Reward Statement.

  4. Price transparency for innovative medicines does not result in lower prices for everyone

    Although it seems counterintuitive, a new simulation model shows that, without confidential price agreements, lower income countries will pay up to 12% higher prices and gain access to innovative medicines far later than richer countries. This conclusion goes against the assumption that total transparency about price agreements for new and innovative medicines for diseases with high unmet need would lead to more competition, lower prices for all, and greater availability of these medicines for more patients in more countries.

  5. What is the DNA of a digital finance leader?

    New and digital technologies are undeniably changing the role of the finance function. CFOs can act as a catalyst for reshaping the business strategy and deploying AI technologies. The digital journey, however, encompasses more than the mere adoption of several technologies. In this white paper the Centre for Financial Leadership and Digital Transformation offers insights on how to formulate a digital transformation strategy. Along with an overview of 9 must-have characteristics of a true digital finance leader, this knowledge can equip leaders to successfully tackle the upcoming challenges of digitalisation.

  6. Is the Single Digital Gateway the next big step in e-government?

    E-government is an important priority of the European Commission. A 2016 study shows that some members of the EU have made significant progress in the recent past, whilst other countries are still struggling to move past the initial stages. To address this disparate progress and advance e-government implementation more uniformly, the EC introduced Single Digital Gateway (SDG) regulation in 2018. This white paper by doctoral researcher Hamza Aurangzeb provides an overview of the current state of e-government and SDG implementation in Belgium, and it highlights the challenges and barriers that are hindering the advancement of e-government.

  7. Four different strategies of workforce flexibility

    The trend towards flexible work is not new, but the Covid-19 pandemic has definitely accelerated these efforts. Investing in workforce flexibility is no longer a luxury, but a key strategic priority that can yield important benefits. In addition to improving employee engagement, flexibility can improve productivity and profitability. Moreover, organisations that offer greater flexibility can tap into a broader talent pool of workers that were previously harder to reach, which fosters diversity and inclusion. The white paper ‘Flexing your workforce’ takes a closer look at four ways in which organisations can flex their workforce.

  8. What is the role of renewable gases in the energy transition?

    The European Green Deal aims to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. Quite understandably, the gas sector is concerned about its future, as natural gas is a carbon-based energy source, which contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. In this white paper, the Vlerick Energy Centre, together with Chair Partner Fluxys, takes a closer look at some of the future challenges. How can the existing natural gas infrastructure be repurposed for the transport of decarbonised gases? How can we harness the full potential and opportunities of renewable gases? And what context is needed to decarbonise the gas sector so that it can play a role in the future integrated energy system?

  9. Vested Digital Leadership against the odds – lessons learned in the public sector

    Public sector organisations have achieved mixed results when it comes to digital transformation. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled public sector organisations to quickly adopt new digital practices to cater to emergency needs. Amidst all this turmoil, some organisations seem to be able to cope better with the circumstances, or even to thrive in them. An explanation for this can be found in this white paper with results from research carried out together with Prime Foundation Partner AXI.

  10. Why the delay in Covid-19 vaccine production did not come as a surprise

    The exit from this pandemic we are all hoping for depends on the rapid availability of sufficient vaccines. However, the initial optimism has turned into frustration, as the production of the vaccines is apparently taking longer than announced and hoped for.
    In this Business Watcher video, Professor Robert Boute explains why that delay did not really come as a surprise – and why it was even to be expected.

  11. Founders are more cautious in their financial forecasts for investors than non-founders

    In the forecasts they have to report to their investors, entrepreneurs overestimate their revenues for the following year by an average of 22%. Founders are consciously more cautious than non-founders. Investors who apply a standard discount to revenue forecasts therefore run the risk of being quite inaccurate themselves. Finally, over-optimism is penalised. Those who truly exaggerate find themselves being labelled as risky businesses. These are the most important conclusions of a new study on the use of entrepreneurs’ revenue forecasts as a tactic to impress investors.

  12. Addressable ads are shaping the future of TV marketing

    New technological capabilities make it possible to use targeted advertising on television. This new form of advertising is referred to as addressable advertising. This white paper provides an overview of how this technology works, how it impacts the current TV advertising ecosystem, and which players benefit from it.

  13. Millennials still have high expectations of employment market, but Covid-19 dampens optimism

    The expectations final-year students have of their first job are still high. Good communication with their colleagues, a sociable atmosphere and plenty of opportunities for training are at the top of the list. What is more, these millennials prioritise career security over job security. They consider their relationship with their first employer to be temporary, expecting to work for a whole range of different companies during their working life. However, the Covid-19 outbreak has toned down their optimism about the future. Now afraid that fewer jobs will be available to suit their skills and qualifications, they are once again attaching greater importance to job security.

  14. Fast-growing companies serve as a beacon of employment during the coronavirus storm

    Fast-growing businesses are known as the engine of job creation. The 2020 Belgian High Growth Monitor shows that 920 fast-growing companies were responsible for 52,779 new jobs. Although these figures reveal that Belgium is doing less well than the European average, this group of healthy Belgian ‘gazelles’ does show stability. Over the years they have created around 50,000 jobs during each growth period. A hopeful sign, especially now that many companies are having trouble keeping their heads above water.

  15. Strategy in turbulent times - how to survive a crisis and bounce back

    For some sectors, it is difficult to see the COVID-19 crisis as anything other than a threat. However, some companies have also made some very bold moves. In this white paper, Vlerick strategy experts have joined forces to reflect on the implications of the pandemic for businesses, to share best practices on how to deal with the current situation in the short term, and to offer methods and advice on how to build a strategy for the new normal.

  16. Variable remuneration for top managers may have negative impact on profit

    If companies want to boost their short-term profitability, the best way to do it is to grant a high remuneration level and commit strongly to incentives such as bonuses and share-related reward schemes. It is striking, however, that this has a boomerang effect on the company’s longer-term financial performance. As it turns out, high variable pay and a strong emphasis on profitability criteria have a negative impact on company profits. This is a remarkable finding in the annual survey of top salaries by the Executive Remuneration Research Centre.

  17. European emergency health fund is needed to limit the impact of future crises

    The unprecedented public health crisis caused by COVID-19 overstretched the structures and mechanisms of the European Union, in particular those that deal with emergencies. There is a need for deeper union and collaboration across the European health care sector, as well as a need for a significant financial cushion for rapid and predictably increasing funding. In their new policy paper, Professor David Veredas, Professor Simon Ashby and doctoral researcher Dimitrios Kolokas propose the creation of an Emergency Health Financing Facility (EHFF), which would limit the impact of a future crisis on the EU and its member States.

  18. Only 38% of entrepreneurs starting high potential ventures also have high growth ambitions

    The 2020 Rising Star Monitor reveals that about one in two high-growth ventures are entirely internally funded. Over 90 percent of young, high-potential ventures which had not used external funding did not even apply for it. About three in four ventures do not do so because they believe they do not need it. Beyond that, entrepreneurs don’t apply for bank financing because they don’t think they have enough financial history, they see the application process for subsidies as too cumbersome, fear losing control with venture capitalists and angels, and they consider crowdfunding as too time consuming.

  19. Europe's electricity markets: why they are the way they are

    The title of Professor Leonardo Meeus’ new book speaks for itself. ‘The Evolution of Electricity Markets in Europe’ describes the evolution of the electricity market since liberalisation began in the late 1990s. What have the most significant challenges been? What solutions were found and how have these solutions led to new problems that needed new solutions of their own?

  20. What is... your reflected best self?

    We often get the advice to just be ourselves. However, it requires a large amount of self-knowledge to know who you are authentically. Your reflected best self is your individual mental picture of the qualities and characteristics that are on display when you are at your best. But how do you construct this mental picture? And what are the trigger events that contain new pieces of information to add to the picture? Professor and Dean Marion Debruyne explains.