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Placing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability at the core of corporate strategy

by Filipe Santos

The days when corporations focused narrowly on shareholder value or practiced social responsibility as ad-hoc support to a few community organizations are largely over.

Nowadays, corporations need to respond to expectations of a broad set of stakeholders, need to motivate a generation of employees focused on purpose, and need to continuously develop avenues for growth and innovation aligned with long-term societal needs. Indeed, corporations are among the few institutions, alongside governments and large international foundations/NGOs, with the scale, resources, and capabilities to be able to make a difference in addressing the societal issues we face today, as encapsulated by the sustainable development goals (SDGs) from the UN.

Corporate Leaders are also becoming aware that their corporation’s impact is much deeper than their own direct actions - large corporations may be the shaper or driver of a supply chain or business ecosystem that is multiple times bigger economically than their own size, with significant impacts on human conditions and/or the environment.

The societal expectations are high, the opportunity for value creation is strong, but the challenge is execution: How can established companies become engines for social innovation?

One path is to not re-invent the wheel but instead partner with the wheel innovators - these are the social entrepreneurs who are developing novel solutions to societal problems aligned with corporate long-term interests. Companies can thus identify compelling social innovations proposed by social entrepreneurs and sponsor them. For example, a tech company sponsoring a new service to teach school children about computer programming.  A second path is to develop a thematic competition or accelerator to crowdsource new solutions and support their development. An example is an insurance company developing an acceleration program for Health and Well-Being start-ups and building in them capacity to validate and scale. A third path is to develop an internal corporate impact initiative in a focused area that allows engaging the employees in what they are best at. One example is a consulting company creating a business unit to serve social economy organizations with at-cost consulting services.

While some companies do these initiatives within their organizations, usually within an innovation unit or the CSR/Sustainability department, others build new institutions, such as a corporate foundation or a corporate impact investing fund. This helps them build a focused and dedicated team with the degree of autonomy necessary to promote innovation and fresh thinking.

Whatever the path chosen, it is important to start by identifying the areas of strategic alignment between relevant societal issues and the long-term interests of the company or sector. A way to do this is to ask: “Other than market competition, what factors or events could significantly hurt or constrain my business in 5-10 years?”. In some cases, it could be stronger regulation due to negative spillovers from the sector. In other cases, it could be negative customer reaction due to health consequences of the product. Or it could be the shortage of talent to support the growth of the company. Or it could be the low financial literacy of customers, or the adoption of dangerous behaviours.

For each of these issues, corporations should look at their causes – what’s at the source of the problem or constraint? Afterwards they should decide if the issue is better addressed by their company in isolation or by a coalition of companies from the industry, working together to solve a systemic issue.

Then they should benchmark existing solutions proposed by social entrepreneurs or public policy agents. In the gap between the causes of the societal issues and the existing solutions there will be an opportunity for corporate action. Corporate action that helps address the societal issue, engages and motivates employees, and brings innovative thinking to the company.

In synthesis, there is increasingly both a societal case and a business case for corporate action. Those that do not heed this call to action and do business as usual will miss a strong opportunity for value creation.

Note: CATÓLICA-LISBON hosted late last year the meeting “Connect4Change” gathering 50 European corporate leaders in Sustainability and Social Responsibility. The meeting was organized by EVPA (European Venture Philanthropy Association) with the goal of exchanging best practices and building a shared vision of how corporations can better place societal impact at the core of their business and strategy. At CATÓLICA-LISBON, alongside our Chair for Social Entrepreneurship that supports social entrepreneurship and social innovation practices, we are building a Centre for Responsible Business & Leadership to help companies place CSR and Sustainability at the core of corporate strategy. For more information on these initiatives contact:

How to make the relationship with external designers work?
Drivers and pathways of New Product Development success in the marketing-external design relationship

By Céline Abecassis-Moedas

In the innovation and new product development context, marketing and external design often have to cooperate. While this relationship is crucial for NPD (New Product Development) success and is a typical case of interorganizational collaboration between a business-oriented function (marketing) and a creative partner (external design), little is known about how this is done. The aim of this research is to better understand the relationship between marketing and external design when developing new products, and particularly to identify key success drivers. 

The relationship between firms and external design and designers is growing: for instance, Heineken worked with the famous designer Ora Ito to design its new aluminium beer bottle, and Tide worked with the Studio Davis agency for its Excel gel. In cosmetics and perfume, Kenzo hired the designer Karim Rashid to design its new fragrance bottles, and Nina Ricci contracted Philippe Starck for the product packaging. Experts in cosmetics recognize that the packaging in cosmetics and fragrances is key, particularly at the product launch. 

This research is based on the study of nine dyadic (marketing and external design) case studies from the luxury fragrance and cosmetics industry. Our analysis suggests three new drivers of new product development success: designer brand commitment, number of NPD stages involving external designers, and source of design expertise (process, customer or star-based). 

First, branding, a major asset for marketing, has to be carefully managed, and designer brand commitment is a key element that the marketing department should follow closely. 

Second, it is important to involve external design in many NPD stages and/or to choose a design partner with whom the brand has previously worked. 

Third, marketing should adapt the relationship process to the source of external design expertise. Particularly when resorting to star-based external designers, marketers should create mechanisms to ensure consistency with brand identity.  This results underlines that difficulty to work with star-designers that might not fit to the client brand. 

From a managerial perspective, this study provides recommendations to managers to select the right design partner. 

To read the full research paper by Aurélie Hemonnet-Goujot, Delphine Manceau and Celine Abecassis-Moedas published at the Journal of Product Innovation Management, click here.

Price-Matching Guarantees as a Direct Signal of Low Prices

By Samir Mamadehussene

A Price-Matching Guarantee (PMG) is a firm's promise to reimburse its consumers if they find a lower price elsewhere. Most PMG promises are advertised together with a statement that the firm offers low prices, such as “we are so confident that our prices are the best in the industry we are willing to back them with a price-match guarantee”.

Experimental evidence finds that consumers perceive stores that offer a PMG to have low prices. Hence, a PMG may act as a signal of low prices which attracts consumers to the store.

However, once the consumer enters the store, it seems that there is no incentive for the firm to actually charge a low price. The firm could offer a PMG to attract consumers and then charge a high price knowing that, once the consumer is in the store, he will still purchase the product, even at such high price, because consumers are usually time constrained at the moment of purchase.

It appears that the consumer belief that PMG stores charge low prices paradoxically leads those stores to charge high prices. This prediction is not consistent with empirical evidence that finds that, in many markets, PMG stores do offer lower prices than the remaining stores.

The economics and marketing literature have solved this apparent paradox by finding that if firms are sufficiently asymmetric, PMGs can be a credible signal of low prices. For example, if two retailers face different costs for the product they sell, only the retailer with low cost offers a PMG and it optimally charges the lowest price. The retailer with high cost refrains from offering a PMG because, if it did, it would sell to its consumers at a suboptimal price.

The previous literature finds that, if firms are differentiated (e.g. different costs or service quality), a PMG may serve to communicate such differentiation to consumers. In the above example, consumers would infer that a PMG store has lower costs and, for that reason, it also charges a lower price. However, PMGs exist in many markets where firms are almost identical.

An interesting question, from a managerial standpoint, is whether it is possible for otherwise identical firms to differentiate themselves by their PMG strategies. This paper finds that a PMG can be a credible signal of low prices even if firms are identical. In this case, a PMG acts as a direct signal of low prices: consumers perceive PMG stores to have low prices not because they expect them to have low costs or low service, but simply because they offer a PMG.

A critical aspect behind this result is that a PMG allows consumers a grace period in which they can search after purchase (usually between one week to one month). If a consumer visits a PMG store and finds that it charges a high price, the consumer may still buy the product because he may be time constrained at the moment of purchase. However, the consumer may have some free time later to search for a lower price. In that case, he will return to the store to collect a refund.

A PMG store anticipates that if it charges a high price many of its consumers will return to collect refunds. For this reason, it is optimal for the PMG store to actually charge a low price.

Mamadehussene, S. (2018). Price-Matching Guarantees as a Direct Signal of Low Prices. Journal of Marketing Research.

Better or Different?

By Daniel Fernandes

How political ideology shapes preferences for differentiation in the social hierarchy.


Are you Woman enough to change the World?

When I finished my degree in Management almost 28 years ago at this University, I confess I did not dream about the above issue. I dreamt of multiplying everything I had learned and experienced in the wonderful five years I spent at University. Knowledge, friendship, networks, values, growth in faith... and even the basis of my future family. I am a “people person” and marketing was the area where I started.

My first difficult option was to choose between working in marketing in a top multinational or working in a Portuguese company to build their brand with a top person in charge of the marketing division. I chose the Grupo Entreposto where I spent four years as product manager of "cars", like Alice in Wonderland, organizing 4x4 expeditions in Latin America. An important nuance: work at Entreposto allowed me to be an Assistant professor at MY University as well.

My next seven years were in the retail sector, in a fascinating company called Jerónimo Martins Retail. I worked hard, I learned a lot. I left in 2001, at the time as a Commercial Director, with a great pity for what I was leaving behind, but also willing to embrace the unknown and leave my comfort zone.

The next two years were spent in telecommunications – Oniway – a third generation mobile phone startup. The company never got to see the light of day, but left me the greatest lessons in humility, resilience and how to exceed my limits. Then came 10 years as Nike Country Manager. Sports – my favourite sector – a team and a project just starting, the pride of representing our Country. It could have been more years, but reaching the point in life where we all look back at the world we created and conquered, and where we begin to plan the next stage, a thought troubled me:

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Nelson Mandela

The question I asked myself was:
- “Are you a leader?” Well, I think so. I’ve been doing a few things...

- “What type of leader are you? What transformation do you generate? What impact do you have in other peoples’ lives?”

This is how the Girl MOVE Academy started, with two people and their great desire to multiply change. Luís Amaral, also a former student of this University, that 1st top boss I had, my friend and inspirer, is now partner in this adventure together with the rest of our team.

We dream of a world where being a girl or a woman does not mean losing the right to education. Today, 15 million girls on many continents are still forced to stop studying, victims of a marriage and maternity for which they are not ready.

In Mozambique, a sister country that speaks Portuguese, 50% of women get married or have a first child before the age of 18, and only 10% of girls complete high-school education. These are the figures that every day make us have the will to contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty in Mozambique generated by the absence of women in school, companies and decision-making.

The path we have walked shows us that the solution implies new points of reference. It is about empowering a new generation of young women who are finishing university studies and who want to be part of this change.

We challenge all potential change makers as they finish university degrees in Mozambique to strengthen their skills at the Girl MOVE Academy through a one-year programme called CHANGE. The CHANGE methodology is based on leadership by service. Girl Movers, CHANGE participants, are mentors to younger Mozambican girls, the Mwarusis. We are preparing the leaders of tomorrow, the Girl Movers, who accept the challenge of transforming themselves by transforming the lives of so many other Mozambican girls.


And I do it because I'm not alone. Because MY University is with me, as well as the network of companies that constitute our Movement of life and so many connections that started here, that inspire us.



Anything can be accomplished if you work smart

1. How is the day-to-day of a student that is also an athlete?

It depends on how serious and how good you want to be at both things. To give you my example, I set a standard for myself that would make my parents proud and that would inspire younger generations to pursue an athlete as well as an academic life. My day-to-day life ended up being demanding and required prioritization of my tasks because being a student-athlete in Portugal is like handling two full-time jobs. It took me a while to adjust and find the balance that worked for me.
During the national team’s competition period, I usually had 3 practices per day.
I woke up at 6:30/7am to go to the National Team gymnasium, after training I went to the university. If we had training at lunch time, I would let the lecturer know that I had to leave a little bit earlier from class and headed straight to Estádio Nacional, where the Portuguese Team usually practices. After that, I had lunch and rushed to campus for classes or to get some study done. At 8 pm we normally had another practice, so I arrived home at 10 pm.
It was demanding, of course, but when the day was done, I felt fulfilled and relaxed.

2. Do you have any restrictions (weight, food, etc.)?

Unfortunately, I do (laughs). At the National Team, we were advised and followed by the nutritional department. Along with the coaching staff and the nutritionist, we set our goals regarding weight, body mass and fat percentage.  
We were given a food plan and we had monthly meetings to see how we were doing in each of those indicators. If everything was heading in the right direction, we stuck to the plan. If something was not going as expected, we adapted and changed the plan according to our needs.
Personally, I still try not to eat fried food, processed carbohydrates and instead focus my diet on fruit, vegetables, white meat (chicken, turkey) and good fats (avocado, olive oil and dried fruits).
Oh, and one more thing, water, we had to drink a lot of water (at least 3L per day).

3. As the former captain of the Portuguese Senior National Rugby team, you naturally had more responsibilities than your colleagues. Does this make it difficult to manage with your academic life?  

To be the captain of a National Team is a very special responsibility for any rugby player. For me, it was one of the proudest accomplishments so far in my life. As one of my favorite players (Owen Frank) says “Leave no stone unturned”.
Despite the fact that being captain adds more responsibility, the fundamentals to prepare for a game are the same. I always tried to be honest with myself while reviewing my last match and my performance during the week's practices to see if I had done everything within my reach to prepare in the best way for the game. As captain, obviously, I had extra roles within the team, but I always tried to empower everyone to contribute by promoting a good environment within the team. It was my focus to lead by example, setting high standards. When communicating with the team, I worked hard to be positive, accurate and encouraging. It requires extra time because you need to plan and prepare for the different scenarios that you might face during the game.

4. What is your main goal as an athlete? 

It took me a while to figure it out, to be honest. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to have had great coaches and team members from whom I learned a lot.

Obviously, victory is always an athlete’s main goal, but I learned to value the process as much as the outcome. My main goal as an athlete is to improve in every single practice. To do this, you have to be willing and able to get out of your comfort zone. Look for things to improve, find someone that can challenge you. Competition (with myself and with others) is an athlete’s best driver.

5. What is your main goal as a student?   

In life, there are phases for everything, now I want to focus on my professional career. I’m fully dedicated to obtaining my Master’s degree in Business Analytics that’s why I decided to come to the best city to live if you want to be involved in this field of study. I’m investing as much intellectual (sometimes physical effort) as when I was playing for the Portuguese National team. This decision implied being away from my family and friends, away from the possibility of playing for the National Team again but I’m confident that it will be worth the effort. My main goal is to improve in every lecture, every group assignment, while taking advantage of the opportunity to study in such a diverse student environment. I use my own time to read and learn from experts in fields that I feel curious about.

6. Are these goals compatible?

Like everything in life, it’s all about decisions.

As athletes, we can only play until a certain age. If you want to be good, no matter where, you'll eventually need to make choices. Those decisions need to go towards what you value and what your ambitions are, and every person will define his or her own priorities. The goals are compatible if you set priorities and manage your time according to those. Every player from the Portuguese National team needs to make sacrifices but I can ensure you that every single one of them is worthy, once you enter the locker room with your team and put on the jersey to sing the anthem and play. As any business student know “There is no such thing as a free lunch".

7. The status of student-athlete helps you in your academic life?

I think Portugal still has a long road to go if it wants to foster a culture that supports athletes, in particular, student-athletes. Unfortunately, being a student-athlete in Portugal is very different from being a student-athlete in countries like the USA. We don’t have the same advantages (tutoring, access to academic advisors, etc.) as foreign athletes do. For Portuguese athlete’s, the status only enables us to get admitted into university with a lower GPA.

8. Do you consider that the universities should give more support to students with athlete status? If so, how?

I feel like there could be a better connection between universities and the sports federations, using direct channels. This would make student-athletes life easier, so we can actually focus on what matters: be the best student-athlete that we can be. From my experience, I had difficulty to adjust my training, games and travels with my academic calendar. Actually, the finals were in the same months of the most intense period of competitions. So, my time was very limited, and I had to focus on two extremely important jobs at the same time. If universities could manage and try to integrate, academic and competition calendars together, directly with the sports federation it would take some of the pressure and give us more time to study.

9. Studying at CATÓLICA-LISBON could be advantageous in Sports?

I’m confident that it can be. Studying at CATÓLICA-LISBON is demanding and challenging. When you’re 18, 19 or 20 years old you need to be intellectually stimulated and challenged and I think that CATÓLICA-LISBON does it very well. The way that the academic curriculum is structured and because it is challenging, you develop skills (problem-solving, critical thinking) that are very useful not only for your professional career but also for sports. I have to say that the other way around it’s also true. Regular aerobic exercise appears to improve the brain area involving verbal memory and learning.

10. Do you recommend your lifestyle to other colleagues? Why?

Actually, I do. During my work experience, I realized that the high standards/pressure environment in which a student-athlete is involved, can be very beneficial. You learn to allocate your resources (especially time) more efficiently. Some habits and exercises have a greater impact on my performance than others, so I focus my time on those that have the biggest impact. This lifestyle contributed a lot to make me resilient, committed and to become a true team player.

11. What is the secret to finding the perfect balance between these "two lives”?

If there’s a secret, it has to be work-ethics. Realizing that anything can be accomplished if you work smart, is the single most important thing to achieve a good balance. I also want to add that having a no excuses policy is very helpful. If for instance, you have a very intense period of competition and you don’t do as well as you wanted in an exam, you shouldn’t find any excuse. Look back, assess what you could have done better, and get on with it.


Professor Filipe Santos took office recently as Dean of the School. To get to know him better, we interviewed him.

Professor Filipe Santos - February 2019

With a degree in Economics and a Masters in Management & Strategy, he holds a Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford. He ran the Studies and Planning Office at Instituto Superior (1995-1997) before pursuing his PhD at Stanford in 1998 and beginning his academic career at INSEAD in 2003. In 2007, he launched the area of Social Entrepreneurship at INSEAD, a school where he taught entrepreneurship until 2014. In January 2015, he returned to Portugal , "as per request of the Government, to launch the Portugal Social Innovation initiative, with the purpose of investing 150 million euros of European funds in financing and supporting social innovation." After assuring the success and continuity of the initiative, he resumed his academic career in December 2016 at CATÓLICA-LISBON, where he launched the Chair in Social Entrepreneurship. In September 2017, he joined the School Management team as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty. He took over the leadership of CATÓLICA-LISBON in February 2019.

Who is Professor Santos? How do you describe yourself? 

I describe myself as an academic and social entrepreneur who wants to change the world. I believe that the search, codification and sharing of knowledge is the basis for the prosperity of our societies. Thus, I chose to pursue my academic career in the area of management and innovation. I also believe that we need to act as entrepreneurs by building and reinforcing new projects if we want to have an impact on society. Hence, the focus of my work on social innovation and all the projects I have been launching to create an ecosystem of support for social entrepreneurs in Portugal and Europe.

In December 2016, and after more than 10 years at INSEAD where he launched the area of ​​Social Entrepreneurship, Filipe Santos returned to Portugal and resumed his academic career at CATÓLICA-LISBON, as Full Professor holding the Chair in Social Entrepreneurship, where, not long after, he is invited to join the Management Team as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty. What is the balance of your experience in the School so far?

CATÓLICA-LISBON is a fantastic school with world-class Faculty and a staff with a level of dedication and commitment that I have not found in any other organization I have ever worked with. It is already one of the best business schools in Europe, a national pioneer in several areas, from the launch of the degree in management, to the focus on international accreditation processes, to the internationalization of Faculty and students. I think we can go even further in terms of the impact we want to have on our students, business customers and society.

Recently, in January 2019, you are invited to assume the position of Dean of CATÓLICA-LISBON. How do you face this new challenge?

With great humility and enthusiasm. Humility, because leading a School is above all to serve an academic community and fulfill an institutional project, with ethics and daring. Enthusiasm, for CATÓLICA-LISBON has an enormous potential for development and has a mission to fulfill - to generate impact on students and society through research and education of rigor, relevance and excellence.

Do you consider that your experience linked to social entrepreneurship will be an added value to lead the destinies of a School like CATÓLICA-LISBON?

Yes, in the sense that social entrepreneurs excel at anticipating the challenges of the future and designing innovative solutions to these challenges. These solutions involve multiple partners and require a collective effort.
Leading a School of excellence such as CATÓLICA-LISBON compels us to think about the challenges of our society in the areas of Business & Economics, and how the CATÓLICA-LISBON community can respond to them.

What do you think are the main forces of CATÓLICA-LISBON?

The world-class Faculty in research and teaching. The dedication and competence of our staff. The largest, most influential and most successful Alumni network in management in Portugal.

And what do you think are the main challenges you will encounter?

We already have the necessary knowledge infrastructures for the future, but we are growing beyond our physical infrastructures. We need, in articulation with the entire Universidade Católica Portuguesa, to mobilize a strong set of partners for the construction of the university's Innovation Campus. I believe that this will be a mobilizing project for the entire University and for the Portuguese society.

You are invited to take the lead of a School that was considered by the Financial Times this year, once again, the best Business School in Portugal. What are the main goals you intend to achieve in order to further improve the School's position in this prestigious ranking?

For me the rankings are an instrument for success and not the ultimate goal. We will do what is necessary to have an academic project of excellence and impact. And, the rankings will reflect our success in constantly creating value for our students and our business and institutional partners. Our reference market will increasingly be the European market in everything we do. And, we will focus on international partnerships outside Europe.

I think that Portugal has the possibility and the opportunity to position itself as a leading country in teaching and business research. CATÓLICA-LISBON will be at the forefront of this positioning.

The world is becoming more demanding and competitive, what should be the main characteristics and skills that managers must have to be true leaders?

I believe that leading is serving others. With the exercise of authority comes enormous responsibility. A leader must delegate the easy decisions and take on the difficult choices, always with respect for others and transparency in processes. You must create an organization and add a collective strategy with which everyone identifies themselves. Design an organizational model where people are autonomous and not dependent on the leader. For me the hallmark of a leader is to strengthen his organization in capacity and autonomy, to the point where his exit does not make a difference.

What advice would you like to leave to the current students of the School?

Your generation is the most informed, connected, and responsible ever. It is your responsibility to lead the destinies of our society. Do not be conformists, but bold and enterprising. Do not focus on what you can get for yourself, but what you can create for everyone. Your professional success and personal fulfillment will depend on your commitment to creating value in everything you do, in your family, community, business, country and planet.

How would you like to be known as Dean of CATÓLICA-LISBON?

As the Dean who united the entire CATÓLICA-LISBON community around an ambitious and aggregating project, strengthening the School and its impact on students and society.

The man behind the Dean

"I am passionate about entrepreneurship, but I have come to realize that market capitalism will only bring prosperity if we create, combined with the growing movement of commercial entrepreneurship, a strong movement of citizens to undertake and innovate, with the aim of improving society," explains Filipe Santos.

His success is due in part to his ability to "perceive the key ideas most relevant to the practice and to organize and convey them in an inspiring way," he says. As a teacher, what motivates him is "to inspire students to the potential of being agents of change." "I have always been passionate about knowledge, I love creating models and tools that systematize it and are useful to practice." It was this trait that led to the publication of the first guide in Portuguese for social entrepreneurs, the "Manual to Transform the World", developed by IES in partnership with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Born in Lisbon, he grew up in Cascais, the "dreamland", as he says, being an inveterate beach lover. Another of his passions is table tennis, which he practices weekly and that gives shape to one of the dreams yet to be realized: to be a professional player. The other, we almost guess: "Contribute in a striking way to build a strong and united Europe."

Born in Lisbon, he is married and has a 12 year old son and a 10 year old daughter.

Free Times
"I love the beach, I practice table tennis, I read 'The Economist' regularly. I really like strategy and society games "

One movie
"The Lord of the Rings," the story of the eternal struggle between good and evil in which true heroes are the smallest and most humble beings - the hobbits.

My childrens’ birth; To meet Pope Francisco in 2014; The "somewhat radical" strategy of focusing my academic career in 2007 on the new theme of Social Entrepreneurship.


By definition LEARNING is:

  • knowledge acquired by systematic study in any field of scholarly application;
  • the act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill; 
  • the modification of behavior through practice, training or experience.

In a School ranked among the TOP Business Schools in the World, #28 in Europe and #1 in Portugal, LEARNING is an unforgettable experience by itself. Teaching excellence, practical relevance of our programs, generation of original research, service to the community and promotion of ethical behavior are all part of our mission and we strive at improving every day the experience our students have.

Better yet is when the independent external Accreditation Agencies vote to confer the AACSB and the EQUIS Accreditation label upon Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics for a further period of five years.

It is worth reading one of their comments: “The Accreditation Board was impressed with the significant progress made since the School was last accredited and the seriousness with which it has addressed its “Development Objectives”. The Accreditation Board took particular note of the quality of the School as reflected in the recent growth of students, faculty and revenue, the rising international reputation and rankings, the leading position in the Portuguese market, the strength in Executive Education and the extensive corporate and alumni connections.” We feel so proud!

Here are the most recent news:

We have a new Dean!! Prof. Filipe Santos and his team took office on February 6th and are bringing a breath of fresh air to the School. You can Get to Know him better in this issue – the academic and social entrepreneur who wants to change the world.

The second semester started with lots of new initiatives filled with ever lasting memories for all those who joined them.

We had two groups of Master students going on study trips to Madrid and to Dublin. Looks like they had lots of fun and managed to really impress some of the companies they visited. The feedback from both students and companies, could hardly be better!

And we had our first ever Career Accelerator Bootcamp, a week fully dedicated to the 1st year Master students careers with unique workshops, simulation of recruitment processes with business partners, visits to multinational companies and insights into new sectors. All topped by a very animated Happy Hour cocktail at the end of the week mingling students with corporate partners. Take a sneak peak!

At UNDERGRADUATE level, we are proud to have reached the highest average grade (16,4 for the 1st phase of applications) among all Schools of Business & Economics in Portugal.

For the International Undergraduate Programs, we were pioneers in introducing a profile evaluation component, besides grades, in the candidate assessment process.

In this intake, we already have 18 different nationalities represented. Wow!

Applications for the international Undergraduate Programs are already open.

In the MASTER programs, we set the record of receiving way over 400 new students from more than 35 different countries. 50% of our full-time students are now international. Lots of diversity with the best quality ever!

Our Programs were never ranked this high by the Financial Times rankings – 23rd position worldwide for the Global Master in Finance, and in the Top 20 in Europe; 30th  best Master in Management in the world and Top 25 in Europe. How about this?

After a successful 2018 Intake, applications are now open for the 2019 Intake.

If our students want to go on an EXCHANGE program, they have more than 130 destinations to choose from, within our partner universities. Applications will start soon!

And to increase the diversity on Campus this year we received 33 different nationalities on the Undergraduate level and 25 on the Masters level, just on EXCHANGE programs. Talk about interculturalization!

The EXECUTIVE MASTERS are booming. In average, we had 20% more applications in 2018 comparing with the previous years. Don’t miss it if this is an area that you want to explore:

In terms of EXECUTIVE EDUCATION, CATÓLICA-LISBON is dealing the cards – we are the only Portuguese School in the Worldwide Top 40 and amongst the 10 most international. With more than 120 different high quality programs, you will not want to miss the opportunity to continue your learning experience. This is what’s coming next:

The CAREERS & TALENT Office is working hard on preparing our students from day one for a career-ready future.

Every day the School is booming with activities to facilitate the self-discovery, to unveil the available career choices, to help prepare the future leaders of the world. Next 19 and 20 of February, we will host the 15th edition of the Career Forum with new corporate presences on campus, such as Google, Bose, CACEIS Bank Luxembourg, Coca-Cola European Partners, Ferrero, Pestana Hotel Group, Worten and El Corte Inglês.

Our careerNETwork is now available for students and Alumni until 5 years after graduation, and we also welcome all our Alumni to be an active part or our Corporate Network to help develop students, like they once were. To know more, please contact

Bringing the Corporate world closer to the School is also now a reality with the new Executives in ResidenceEntrepreneurs and Social Entrepreneurs in Residence and even Investors in Residence.


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We see research as a central part of our academic life. This means that the school devotes substantial attention and effort to the establishment of excellent research conditions for our community.

And the research activity and effort at CUBE (CATÓLICA-LISBON’s Research Unit) is in great shape!

We have a growing number of researchers, an ever more international group and set of activities, as well as growing funding from a variety of domestic and international sources. Moreover, recent years saw growing scientific output and excellent impact. This impact is significant in terms of the quality of the journal outlets where our researchers are publishing, as well as the creation of new labs and initiatives, the establishment of external partnerships, as well as participation in important international events. These developments have helped us further develop our key strategic areas.

Here are some more recent highlights:

Latest accepted publications in peer review journals

  • Oliveira, P., Zejnilovic, L., Azevedo, S., Rodrigues, A., Canhão, H. (2019). Peer-adoption and development of health innovations by patients – a national representative study of 6204 citizens. Journal of Medical Internet Research.
  • Correia, I., De Fiore, F., Teles, P., Tristiani, O. (2018). Credit subsidies. Journal of Monetary Economics.
  • Albuquerque, R., Cabral, L. & Guedes, J. (2018). Incentive Pay and Systemic Risk. Review of Financial Studies.
  • Peukert, C. (2018) Determinants and Heterogeneity of Switching Costs in IT Outsourcing: Estimates from Firm-Level Data. European Journal of Information Systems.
  • Hemonnet-Goujot, A., Manceau, D. & Abecassis-Moedas, C. (2018). Drivers and Pathways of NPD Success in the Marketing-External Design Relationship. Journal of Product Innovation Management.
  • Everett, M., Bonfim, D., Barbosa, L. & Costa, S. (2018). Cross-border spillovers of monetary policy: what changes during a financial crisis? Journal of International Money and Finance.
  • Conti, R., Gambardella, A. & Novelli, E. (2018). Specializing in generality: firm strategies when intermediate markets work. Organization Science.
  • Costa, A.I.A. (2018). PRIMEMEAL - Using consumer psychology to promote healthier meal choices. Impact, 2018(4), 30-32(3).
  • Albuquerque, R. Cabral, L. & Guedes, J. (2018). Incentive Pay and Systemic Risk. Review of Financial Studies. 
  • Mamadehussene, S. (2018). Price-Matching Guarantees as a Direct Signal of Low Prices. Journal of Marketing Research.
  • Martins, A. P. (2018). Concentration and Other Wage Determinants. Journal of Economics and Econometrics, 61(3), 75-109.
  • DeMonaco, H. J., Oliveira, P., Torrance, A. W., von Hippel, C. & von Hippel, Eric A. (2018). Free Medical Innovation by Patients – No Producers Required. Sloan Management Review.
  • Claussen, J., Essling, C. & Peukert, C. (2018). Demand Variation, Strategic Flexibility and Market Entry: Evidence from the U.S. Airline Industry. Strategic Management Journal, 1-22.
  • Peukert, C. (2018). Determinants and Heterogeneity of Switching Costs in IT Outsourcing: Estimates from Firm-Level Data. European Journal of Information Systems.
  • Mata, A., Simão, C., Farias, A. R., & Steimer, A. (2018). Forecasting the Duration of Emotions: A Motivational Account and Self-Other Differences. Emotion.

If you want to know more about these or previous publications click here.

Awards & Recognitions

  • Andrew Hafenbrack was distinguished by Poets&Quants as 40 Best Business Professors under 40 2018. Click here to read the full article. He has also been interviewed for the Harvard Business Review, available here.
  • NECEP, a unit of the Center for Applied Studies of CATÓLICA-LISBON, was awarded the “#1 GDP Forecaster award” for Portugal by the forecasting panel of “Focus Economics" because it presented the most accurate macroeconomic forecasts for the 2017 Portuguese GDP!
  • Daniel Fernandes - After having his paper (“Better or Different? How Political Ideology Shapes Preferences for Differentiation in the Social Hierarchy”) accepted this year on Journal of Consumer Research, another recognition has come to professor Daniel Fernandes, when seeing the same paper to be chosen as a lead article for the August edition of that same Journal. This is the case for double congratulations!
  • The Smart Business Modeler, a platform developed by the Smart City Innovation Lab, was the recipient of the Gold Award in the Reimagine Education competition, in San Francisco, for being the most innovative, impactful and scalable technology, selected from over 1150 in the competition. The Lab was awarded 5.000 dollars by Amazon Web Services.
  • Raffaele Conti, along with his co-authors Olenka Kacperczyk and Giovanni Valentini, received the Best Entrepreneurship Paper Award for their work “Antidiscrimination institutions and entrepreneurship: Evidence from the LGDT right laws”, awarded by the Academy of Management’s Organization and Management Theory Division.

We like to say that “once CATÓLICA, always CATÓLICA”! Our Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni, are all “shareholders” of the CATÓLICA-LISBON brand, hence Ambassadors of our School, 24/7, and for life.

Have you any idea of the size and geographic spread of our community?

  • 11.000 Alumni with Degree Programs
  • 1.200 working around the world, outside Portugal
  • Alumni Clubs in 6 Countries and 3 Continents
  • More than 145 Partnerships with the most prestigious Schools worldwide
  • 45.000 Alumni from Executive Education
  • 1.300 national & international Corporate Partnerships
  • 13 Student Clubs within the School


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