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Meeting with Yann Arnaud, PhD student and R&D engineer at the Innovation and Research Center at Talan

Discover the testimony of Yann Arnaud, PhD student and R&D engineer at Talan.

As part of its “raison d'être”, Talan has made people and well-being in the workplace priorities in its CSR approach. In addition to its operational commitment, the group relies on research. As a doctoral student at the University of Bordeaux and an R&D engineer at the research and innovation center, Yann talks about his thesis on Benevolent Management and managerial practices, adapted to the era of CSR and the post COVID-19 digital transformation.


Can you introduce us your background?

I obtained a Master's degree in sustainable development economics at the School of Economics - CERDI (Center for Study and Research on International Development) of the University of Clermont-Auvergne. During my internships, I was a research assistant at CIRANO (Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche en Analyse des Organisations) in Montreal, Canada in public health and experimental economics. On the associative level, I am involved in climate change through the 50JEC group of INGSA (International Network for Governement Science Advice) and I am editor of a small journal within a twinning economic commission between France and Ecuador (SAM Riobamba). Today, I am starting my PhD at both Talan and the University of Bordeaux, as part of a CIFRE agreement.


What does your thesis consist of?

My thesis is at the crossroads of different themes such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), managerial practices, benevolent management, digitalization and business ethics. The objective is to operationalize, update and measure the concept of benevolent management. I am interested in managerial practices with a particular focus on the manager-managed relationship, while taking into account the pandemic situation.

Another objective is also to contextualize this analysis according to the type of job and the profile of the individuals, and then to integrate the polycultural aspect of a benevolent management by opening the research to the international (Canada, United States, Tunisia, Singapore, Switzerland etc.).

This thesis will contribute to the improvement of Talan's CSR systems through the construction of quantitative indicators, and will broaden the academic knowledge of Talan Consulting's People & Culture teams.  I would like to specify that this thesis is under the direction of Laïla Benraïss-Noailles and Julien Cusin, professors at the University of Bordeaux and researchers at the IRGO (Institute for Research in Organization Management) and also Laurent Cervoni, Talan's Director of Research and Innovation.  


In parallel, what are your other missions as an R&D engineer at Talan's research center?

The research center currently has about 20 projects. The subjects are quite diverse since they cover areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, digital transformation, carbon footprint, climate change, metavers or fintechs.

For my part, I am responsible for the Next research project on the digitalization of Talan in the context of the implementation of Success Factor. I am also working on a project on sustainable employee engagement with the People & Culture teams. I'm also involved in the TEFO project concerning Talan's "My Carbon Footprint" application, and finally we are thinking about building another project on digital AI (machine learning) and turnover.


Would you have three words to present Talan's Research and Innovation Center?

- Eclectic: our projects are often at the border of several fields. For example, the TEFO project on the carbon footprint mobilizes concepts in sociology, the environment and computer science. We come from different backgrounds (artificial intelligence, mathematics, physics, economics, management), which brings significant added value to our thinking.

- Dynamic: the diversity of the themes allows us to encompass a wide spectrum of research. These are exciting subjects that fascinate those around us. Today, we are expanding our center to include Talan's various international entities, and we are recruiting new PhD students or doctors!

- Pragmatic: in addition to academic collaboration through publications (with the University of La Rochelle and Bordeaux in particular), our research is also built on practical cases of customer missions such as the AiiTense project based on artificial intelligence for resuscitation in neurological pathologies.


Recently integrated at Talan, what do you hope to bring from your experience?

I hope to bring new thoughts on research projects, especially in economics and management, or in environment and climate change. But above all I hope to learn a lot of new things!