emlyon business school’s lifestyle research centre strengthens its formal partnership with global hospitality and holiday resort company, Club Med. The partnership will have a specific focus on research activities, pedagogy and executive education.

Research and Pedagogy

Professors and researchers from the emlyon lifestyle research center will undertake ethnographic research to address key issues for Club Med. This will mainly center on understanding the customer experience at Club Med resorts, giving the organization concrete explanations and applications to tackle issues in HR, marketing, operations and other departments.

The partnership will also give emlyon professors access to field research, through which insights about the creation and consumption of customer experience can be developed and disseminated for a wider audience.

Brigitte Auriacombe, professor of marketing and initiator of this partnership, says,

“These ethnographic studies will also benefit students from the International Hospitality Management Program who will be able to take part and experience a quite unique course in a management program. Students will be trained in how to use ethnographic methods, which are powerful eye and mind openers; we believe that this experience will enable them to develop new skills which will constitute a valuable asset for their future career.”

Executive Education

emlyon will offer a G.Os® (Great Organizers) managers module certification, which will look to improve the Club Med customer experience and implement research findings from the Lifestyle Research Center into Club Med’s activities.

Joonas Rokka, Director of the lifestyle research center at emlyon, says,

“The partnership will allow Club Med to explore some of the issues around customer experience that they are facing – from the customers’ point of view –, by having strong academic research into why these are occurring and practical applications as how to approach them. Whilst for emlyon, Club Med as a pioneering and globally recognized brand offers the research center an important and unique access to do field research on ongoing customer experiences and associated service work, across Asia, Europe and Africa, and thus develop specific research topics that would otherwise be hard or nearly impossible to do.”

Madeleine Clow, Director Product and Services at Club Med, says,

“The ethnographic research, carried out by emlyon, allows us a moment to simply stop our busy days and observe how our customers are living their holiday experience. The nature of the research and adaptability of the students allows us to measure a range of topics, such as atmosphere, family, product communication and many more. Client observation is essential today in a multigenerational, international and highly connected market. We must always be questioning our direction and client needs”.


This partnership has already enabled research from emlyon professors, including “Club Med: Find the real you" a “study into employer branding and marketing” by Fabienne Autier, professor in Strategic Management of Human Resources, and Brigitte Auriacombe, professor of Services Marketing.

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