Excellence in research is one of the key tenets of ISM’s mission. Firmly rooted in its international character, ISM offers an ideal context for the production of comparative, thought-provoking, and cutting-edge research in all areas of business, management, and the social sciences.

Research at universities consists of the organization of societal and epistemic activities involving communities of scholars who share their expertise with the purpose of improving the practical and theoretical understanding of our societies. However, the importance of academic research is going far beyond the mere formulation of an academic analysis.

From a macro-economic perspective, existing works demonstrated that university research can be positively related to faster economic growth (Valero and Van Reenen, 2019) as well as an improvement of the economic output with stronger effects for geographically closer regions (Gennaioli et al. 2013). Research is more than a driver for macro-economic growth. Precisely, at an individual and educational level, it also embodies one of the best learning experiences – indeed, through the development of a methodological inquiry, research helps learners to develop a reflexive evidence-based, and critical mode of thinking which is essential for all leaders today as detailed by Sanscartier (2013) and explained by Dunleavey hereafter:

“Evidence […] suggested that leaders who have, or attain good critical thinking skills will be able to evaluate, judge, better understand and resolve issues more efficiently. We need more critical thinkers in this world! Using critical thinking within leadership approaches is an important component and probably should not be overlooked. A leader should have good critical thinking skills”. Dunleavy (2020).

ISM engages in research as part of its missions around learning and critical thinking with the purpose of helping its students to nurture their potential and achieve their goals as scholars–but also as leaders. In this context, research can be seen as an essential component of knowledge creation. Scholars deal with research to test the validity/reliability of their claims to generate new forms of knowledge and contribute to society. This intellectual journey also brings them to question their own abilities (and limitations) as learners. The majority of ISM students and ISM colleagues engaged in a research journey can testify that doing research is not only about academic knowledge but also a form of learning about themselves. A long time ago, Aristotle wrote “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” – the research environment at ISM helps all students and colleagues to embrace this ancient wisdom by questioning the following aspects:

  • the ability to go out of everyday life and the common thought;
  • the willingness to go beyond the epistemic comfort zone (i.e., mental/intellectual habits);
  • the commitment to re-articulate previous knowledge in a more structured/justified framework;
  • the motivation to create new forms of knowledge.

ISM aims to conduct research activities of the highest quality that have the potential to be world-changing by acknowledging the importance of the ‘human touch’ in the research process. With this purpose, the research initiatives need to be cohesively articulated through a specific strategy that will help to strengthen our framework of excellence.



Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, in The Basic Works of Aristotle, Richard McKeon, New York: Random House, 1941, pp. 935–1112.

Dunleavy L. (2020). “Critical Thinking in leadership: Is it necessary?” Retrieved from: https://sites.psu.edu/leadership/2020/10/23/criti-cal-thinking-in-leadership-is-it-necessary/

Gennaioli, N, R La Porta, F Lopez de Silanes and A Shleifer (2013)“ Human Capital and Regional Development,” Quarterly Journal of Eco- nomics 128(1), 105-164

Sanscartier M. (2013). “Leadership – The Importance of Critical Thinking” Retrieved from: https://www.marchfifteen.ca/leadership-the-im-portance-of-critical-thinking/

Valero A. and Van Reenen J. (2019). “The economic impact of universities: evidence from across the globe”. Economics of Education Review, 68(2), 53-67.


This article originally appeared in ISM's Annual Newsletter 2022 (Page 9).

More articles

The Silent Struggle: Mental Health as the Invisible Dimension of Diversity

by Tabea Dahn

It is widely said that “diversity is about more than race.” But people often think about social class, generational differences,…

Read More

Women Speed Up: Advancing Tech Education for Women in Bolivia

by Tatiana Claudia Rengel Tarquino
Years ago, I had the pleasure of studying at the International School of Management (ISM). It was a great experience with…

Read More

Developing Servant Leadership Dexterity

by Maria Pressentin, PhD Alumnus

In my past decade of interactions with leaders, and in my research on the manifestation of leadership styles, I have noticed that…

Read More

Our Accreditation

  • ATHEA Accreditation

Our Recognition

  • US State Authority to
    Confer Diplomas
  • Status with the French
    Ministry of Education
  • Établissement d'enseignement
    supérieur privé technique

Our Membership