Stéphanie Dameron


Meet Stéphanie Dameron, Professor of Strategic Management, and Chair of the Organizational and Strategic Intelligence department at Paris Dauphine University since 2011.


“I see multiple benefits for both sides from my relationship with Total. First of all, we can share ‘real life’ insights, particularly regarding the evolution of energy –  we created a benchmark that shows how companies may organize the flow of sensitive information. Also, my students are able to work on a specific challenge set by Total for a 6 month period. They get great access to Total people, engage and interact across the business and finally present back their findings. That can help shape Total’s strategy and potentially help create better energy for all society too!”


Professor Dameron’s research students certainly agree with this. Phd student Sea Matilda who is studying at Paris Dauphine University, says that “A good PhD candidate in Strategy and Innovation needs to be able to understand current challenges for Total and to anticipate what will be crucial for the future of energy. Having industry-academic collaboration like this helps us to go deeper.”


Fellow Paris Dauphine student Laura, said that “I think it’s a really productive way to engage with industry. It’s exciting to work on ‘real life’ Total issues and have senior management really pay attention to our conclusions – we can actually have an impact! And it’s a good way to prepare for the workplace and life after university.”


Getting access to experienced Total energy experts and representatives from across the business is another plus for both sides. Professor Dameron and her students meet with Total every 2 months to share insights on best practice and present possible solutions. She also actively shares and promotes her work with Total via teaching, and in academic and industry books and journals, where peers can validate and share their work. “Because we also work with other companies, and are researching energy issues at an international scale, we are in a position to identify important trends and challenges. As one example, we analyze the digital transition as a global phenomenon and share this with Total.”


What about future projects together? “Now we are looking at how we can help Total to effect change, by convincing decisions makers within the business to work entrepreneurially or disruptive solutions, even if that goes against current strategy or ways of thinking. Also, Total is working in a mature industry, so we’re helping the company think about how they can differentiate themselves within this market.”


Looking ahead, Professor Dameron wants to take the collaboration to the next level, taking a deeper look at the challenges faced by the energy industry, developing case studies and building on the trust and mutual respect that continues to grow as the Dauphine and Total teams work together. She adds, “We look forward to seeing how our research is put into practice and what innovations might result. I would love to change Total’s point of view as a result of our work – that would be a real success!”


Sea Matilda says that, “As a young woman researcher, I look at Professor Dameron and say, ‘I can do that, being a woman in not a barrier. It’s exciting and impressive to see that we could actually change our country and made a difference, and use our academic rigor to produce robust empirical evidence that can have a real impact. One day I’d like to create my own Chair!”


Laura says of her mentor, “She has offered me great professional advice, and her involvement with the Total Chair really convinced me of the importance of a strong partnership with academic and the public sector.” She sees Professor Dameron as an inspirational role model. “As someone interested in a research career, it’s shown me that academics need to pursue research that is both intellectually stimulating, as well of real use to industry and energy practitioners like Total.”


Working in a sector where women have been traditionally underrepresented, does Professor Dameron see herself as a trailblazer for others? “To change the game, you need to BE in the game! Only 10 years ago, less than 20% of French University Professors were women but that has already changed significantly. My advice is to take risks.”