The School is launching a new Institute led by David Courpasson, Professor of Sociology at emlyon. The Ethnographic Institute, composed of a dozen faculty members, will be a forum for reflection on the social transformations of the world. It will be based on three pillars, namely research, education and public debate.


The creation of the Ethnographic Institute will consolidate development of the "ethnographic science" practiced since the early 1990s within emlyon research. Surveys conducted by emlyon faculty members have led to numerous results being published in top international journals, such as Organization Science, Organization Studies, Journal of Management Studies and Entrepreneurship: theory and practice. These surveys have in particular enabled the OCE (Organizations, Critical & Ethnographic Perspectives Research Center), one of emlyon's research centers, to forge ties with other renowned European humanities and social sciences institutions.


By creating this new Institute, emlyon is seeking to promote knowledge of ethnography among the School's students in order to provide them with 3 key skills:

  • awareness of individuals' own experiences,
  • the ability to recount these experiences through specific stories,
  • the ability to question what seems obvious.

Public debate

The Ethnographic Institute will also provide a platform for debating the results of research carried out by emlyon's research teams, students, and the Institute's academic partners (Cardiff Business School, ESADE, the University of Louvain, the University of Paris Dauphine-PSL, and the Free University of Amsterdam). This forum will consist of a series of lectures, ethnographic documentaries and exhibitions of photographic works... all events designed to engage in dialog with the public.

David Courpasson explained: “The goal of the Ethnographic Institute is to take a new look at organizations and society, to go beyond appearances in order to analyze social relationships in depth and better understand the interactions that shape the human experience in organizations on a daily basis, and more globally, the very functioning of societies.”

Isabelle Huault, President of the Executive Board and CEO of emlyon business school added: “As expressed in emlyon's mission statement, the School's role is to “provide lifelong training and support to enlightened people who effectively change organizations”. The Ethnographic Institute and its research will contribute to the development of reflexivity, critical thinking, and creativity of emlyon students ʺto build a society that is fairer, shows solidarity for others and respects the planetʺ. We are thrilled to see the Ethnographic Institute open, almost a year to the day after the launch of the “Confluences 2025” plan.”

About emlyon business school:

Founded in 1872 by the Lyon CCI, emlyon business school has an enrollment of 8,900 students of 121 nationalities over 7 campuses worldwide (Lyon-Ecully, Shanghai, Saint-Etienne, Casablanca, Paris, Bhubaneswar and Mumbai). emlyon draws on a Faculty of 170 international professors and researchers, and a network of 190 global academic partners, to provide learning tracks of excellence and open to the world. emlyon runs a community of 38,600 alumni spread out in 130 countries. As a Société à Mission since July 2021, emlyon's raison d'être consists in: “providing life-long training and support to meaningful individuals able to transform organizations, for a fairer society, with more solidarity and respect for the planet.” In its early makers pedagogy, action and reflection are closely intertwined. Skill hybridization and social responsibility are at the heart of its training programs, where the best of both socio-economic and academic worlds meet.

Press contacts:

emlyon business school: Julie Guillot - - +33 (0)6 45 23 23 04
Bluesky PR for emlyon: Peter Remon - - +44 (0)1582 797 956