News > 2019 > Susana Esper wins the award for the best doctoral dissertation

Susana Esper wins the award for the best doctoral dissertation

May 21, 2019

The 2018 award for the best PhD dissertation was presented to Susana Esper (PhD in Administration, specializing in Management), for her research entitled Controversies around CSR and sustainable development: The role of stakeholders in the spiral of hypocrisy. 

Her dissertation, directed by Professor Luciano Barin Cruz, was praised for the quality of its analysis and data collection, its originality, the particularly successful integration of its cross-disciplinary approach and its exceptional contributions to the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR). 

Environmental conflicts and the spiral of hypocrisy

Through her extensive field work, Ms. Esper collected an impressive quantity of data in a highly complex environment (some 50 interviews with various stakeholders, hundreds of media articles and secondary data). 

Based on institutional theory and political CSR, her dissertation analyzes the conditions in which stakeholders (industries, civil society organizations and governments) adopt hypocritical public positions to defend their interests during controversies that emerge around industries that may be harmful for the environment. 

She considers that this hypocrisy creates a vicious circle, building into a spiral that feeds the controversy. The process undermines consensus-making processes and obscures opportunities to find a common solution to avoid environmental degradation. 

“In recent decades, we have seen a persistent and lasting increase in environmental conflicts,” she explains. “The goal of my dissertation is to explain why multistakeholder dialogue is likely to fail in these cases, but its conclusions could also be applied in examining the evolution of other political conflicts.” . » 

Impressive and transferable benefits

The highly significant conclusions of Susana Esper’s dissertation in the CSR field are readily transferable to other management realms. 

“Her contributions even extend to social development,” notes her thesis director. “Relations between businesses, governments and local communities have become more fraught in recent years, in response to calls for greater corporate social responsibility. Although some countries have managed to create a more stable and reliable institutional framework, in many others, hypocrisy still abounds. By revealing the conditions and mechanisms underlying such hypocrisy during controversies related to sustainable development, Susana has shed light on the benefits and shortcomings of CSR and its long-term consequences.” 

Given the quality of her research and the current importance of her subject, she will build on her dissertation in writing papers for various high-level international journals. She has already published one article, in Organization

Congratulations to Susana Esper, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at the IÉSEG School of Management, and to the other finalists for the 2018 best dissertation award:



Vicky Adam

Affaires internationales

Nolywé Delannon

Management, stratégie et organisations

Céleste Fournier

Gestion des ressources humaines

Pierre-Luc Fournier

Gestion des opérations et de la logistique

Ksenia Kordonsky

Affaires internationales

Wenxi Yan

Sciences comptables