Frédéric Dalsace

Professor of Marketing and Strategy

Frédéric Dalsace is Professor of Marketing and Strategy and Co-Director of IMD’s Leading Customer-Centric Strategies (LCCS) program. He focuses on two distinct areas – B2B issues such as customer centricity, buyer-seller relationships, and value management, and sustainability, inclusive business models, and alleviating poverty.

He believes that companies need to rethink their approach to customer centricity. He says many organizations only consider customer centricity when they are defining their offers, but that they also need to incorporate it into the value delivery and value capture dimensions of their business models. One way of doing this is through risk-sharing business models including fully service-based offerings, such as Rolls Royce’s Power by the Hour model, or performance-based and outcome-based contracts in which payments depend on the value created, with the result that the interests of suppliers and customers are aligned.

Risk-sharing business models are also relevant in Dalsace’s work on sustainability because they lead to more circular and more efficient solutions. He previously worked with 2006 Nobel prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus on inclusive business models and is currently helping firms to integrate sustainability into their broader strategy by making the business case for sustainability, for example. Many companies have been naive about sustainability and have made the mistake of decoupling it from their overall strategy, he says.

Firms have to fundamentally redefine the way they think about customer centricity; developing products and services that customers desire is only the beginning.

Dalsace is also collaborating with IMD’s Professor of Strategy Arnaud Chevallier on a project to identify and evaluate the types of questions that leaders should be asking of those around them. As this is not something that is formally taught, leaders tend to learn by doing, which can lead to blind spots. Using a database of more than 600 executives, the pair have therefore developed a template for the types of questions that leaders need to ask – and how to ask them.

He has worked with a range of firms including Atlas Copco, UCB, Valmet, VAT Group, Grundfos, MANE, Porsche, and STADA, and he has been published in academic journals such as Harvard Business Review, Business Horizons, Strategic Management Journal, and Revue Française de Gestion.

Before joining IMD in 2019 he was a Professor at HEC Paris for 16 years, holding the Social Business/Enterprise and Poverty Chair, and he has won numerous awards for his teaching, research, and publications.

Prior to his academic career, he held a series of senior positions in the business world, including marketing roles at Michelin and CarnaudMetalbox and as a strategy consultant with McKinsey.

Academic publications
Insight for Executives
Réformer le capitalisme: la chance de la Suisse

Switzerland hosted the League of Nations a hundred years ago, the first COP forty years ago and the WBCSD (corporate alliances to promote sustainability) twenty-five years ago. By organizing, hosti...

Alliance Sustainability
9 November 2019
Why should firms be concerned about the fight against poverty

The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not a new one. It has certainly acquired a very high profile in the last ten years or so, but for many businesses CSR is still simply a way o...

31 July 2012
The poverty penalty in France: How the market makes low-income populations poorer

What has come to be known as the poverty penalty – the additional cost paid for goods and services by the poor relative to the more affluent – is a familiar mechanism in emerging countries. For pro...

Strategy Implementation
31 May 2012
En France, une "double peine"

L'économie de la pauvreté est à refonder. La conférence intitulée "La lutte contre la pauvreté entre don et marché", organisée le 6 mars à la Cité de l'architecture à Paris par la revue Facts et "L...

5 March 2012
Les deux voies de l'économie sociale

David Menascé et Frédéric Dalsace, professeurs associés à HEC, explorent les différents contours de ce modèle économique qui connaît un regain d'intérêt à la faveur de la crise.

16 April 2010