Eliane Bacha is an Associate Professor in Organisational Behaviour and Leadership at SKEMA Business School. She is a Researcher at the SKEMA Centre for Sustainability Studies. Her research interests lie in the areas of Organisations and Leadership.

Could you tell us more about your field of research?

In my research, I tackle issues related to organisations and leadership. More precisely, I study the styles of leaders, how they react in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment (what we call VUCA), how they take sustainable actions and decisions, the processes used by companies to become agile, women in organisations and specifically their career development.

What results surprised you the most?

With my colleague Eva Niesten, we conducted a study to analyse the cognitive capabilities of moral leaders in turbulent environments. Among the results found, we saw that even though the cognitive capabilities of ethical, authentic, and servant leaders share a common characteristic which is “the moral component”, each one is going to express it differently when analysing the environment.

What is the research you are currently carrying out?

Currently, I am carrying out several projects with colleagues to examine issues related to moral leaders, sustainability in turbulent environments, the learning mechanisms, and the diffusion of agility in companies, and finally, how role models can play a role in the development of women’s career. In the Chair “Women and Business”, we conducted some years ago an action called “Vis-ma-Vie” with my colleagues Stéphanie Chasserio, Corinne Poroli, and Philippe Pailot where students (the majority were women) spent one day with a “female leader” to share their experiences. Among the results found, we saw that having “a role model” can influence the career perspectives and leader identity development of young women.

How does this study impact society at large?

The purposes of the different studies are to highlight the role of companies to help and support leaders to take ethical and sustainable decisions, and to provide women means to progress in the hierarchy. Being aware about this, companies will become more responsible and will encourage diversity and inclusion.

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