News & Highlights

  • OCTOBER 2023

10 Year Anniversary of the MENA Research Center

To mark its 10 year anniversary milestone, the MENA Research Center unveils a video series aimed at shining a spotlight on the significant diversity of enterprises in our region and the important role played by family businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit shaping local economies. The Center has had the honor of turning some of the powerful stories into HBS case studies, and the videos feature a distinguished lineup of speakers, including faculty members, subject matter experts, and the case protagonists. In addition to those themes, the Research & More segment introduces perspectives from leaders representing key departments at HBS with which the MENA Research Center collaborates: Executive Education, External Relations, Global Initiative, Global Experience Office, and MBA Admissions. Watch the videos here.
  • SEPTEMBER 2023

Creating Emerging Markets Interviews: Middle East & North Africa Region

The Creating Emerging Markets project provides a unique research and teaching resource on business leadership in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East over recent decades. At its core are over 170 interviews by Harvard faculty with high impact leaders in business and social enterprise. There are three recent CEM interviews focused on leaders in the MENA region: Adib AlZamil (Saudi Arabia), Amina Laraki Slaoui (Morocco), and Badreddine Ouali (Tunisia). The Creating Emerging Markets project is led by Professors Geoffrey Jones and Tarun Khanna.
  • SEPTEMBER 2023

Can Remote Surgeries Digitally Transform Operating Rooms?

Launched in 2016, Proximie was a platform that enabled clinicians, proctors, and medical device company personnel to be virtually present in operating rooms, where they would use mixed reality and digital audio and visual tools to communicate with, mentor, assist, and observe those performing medical procedures. The goal was to improve patient outcomes. Nadine Hachach-Haram, founder and CEO of Proximie, aspired for Proximie to become a platform that powered every operating room in the world, but she had to carefully consider the company’s partnership and data strategies in order to scale. What approach would position the company best for the next stage of growth? Harvard Business School associate professor Ariel Stern discusses creating value in health care through a digital transformation of operating rooms in her case, “Proximie: Using XR Technology to Create Borderless Operating Rooms.”
  • MAY 2023

Alumni Event in Egypt

On May 31st, the Center partnered with the HBS Club of Egypt to host an intimate gathering in Cairo featuring Professors Michael Chu, a Senior Lecturer in the General Management Unit, and Alvaro Rodriguez-Arregui, a Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit. The Professors focused their discussion on the rationale behind using business as a tool to respond to some of society’s most pressing problems, drawing examples from the cases they have taught in MBA courses. The event was attended by 20 alumni and friends of HBS.

New Research on the Region

  • April 2024
  • Article
  • Personality and Individual Differences

Loneliness and Emotion Regulation in Daily Life

By: Lameese Eldesouky, Amit Goldenberg and Kate Ellis

There is a growing understanding that emotion regulation (ER) abilities can be an important buffer for loneliness. However, most of this research is cross-sectional. Thus, it is unknown whether loneliness is associated with ER in momentary evaluations and can predict within-person changes in ER. We addressed these questions through ecological momentary assessment, where 169 Egyptian adults reported their loneliness and ER (social sharing, suppression, reappraisal, positive reframing, rumination) five times daily for 14 days. Loneliness negatively predicted social sharing at the within-person level and positively predicted rumination at the between-person level. However, loneliness was not linked to reappraisal, positive reframing, or suppression at the between or within-person levels. The results indicate that the global associations between loneliness and ER replicate previously established results for social sharing and rumination, but not suppression, reappraisal, or positive reframing in daily life. At the same time, the effects of loneliness on different strategies in daily life depend on whether they are at the within-person or between-person level.

  • March 2024
  • Case

From “BIG” Ideas to Sustainable Impact at ICL Group (A)

By: Linda A. Hill and Lydia Begag

In the summer of 2023, Eduard (“Eddie”) Croitoru, Vice President (VP) of ICL Group (“ICL”) Corporate Initiatives, was reflecting on ICL’s internal ideation program, the Business Innovation for Growth (BIG) Accelerator. When Raviv Zoller become the CEO of ICL in 2018, he recruited Croitoru, then his Chief of Staff, to help embed a culture of innovation throughout the company. He tasked Croitoru with addressing employee engagement and innovation challenges, which led to the creation of BIG. BIG enhanced ideation of employees (called “BIG Agents”), accelerated execution of ideas, and improved collaboration within the organization. Under Croitoru’s leadership, BIG had evolved into a process where ICL employees from around the world contributed ideas, many of which would go on to be realized and funded as projects by senior management. Croitoru spent three years refining the program, expanding its reach from 3,500 to all 12,500 ICL employees in four new languages. To push the program forward, he anticipated two challenges ahead – continuing to scale BIG company-wide while combining technology with the human infrastructure needed to optimize the program’s success, and fostering more breakthrough, "extra-corerestrial" (beyond the core business) ideas within BIG.

  • March 2024
  • Case

From "BIG" Ideas to Sustainable Impact at ICL Group (B)

By: Linda A. Hill and Lydia Begag

In August 2023, Raviv Zoller, CEO of ICL Group, discussed his upcoming business trip to St. Louis with Eduard Croitoru, VP of ICL Corporate Initiatives, to commemorate the construction of ICL's new $400 million advanced manufacturing facility. In preparation for the facility’s launch, Zoller reflected on the transformation of an employee idea into a new and exciting business line for ICL—lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery manufacturing. When he first became CEO of ICL in 2018, he initiated a cultural transformation and tasked Croitoru, his then-Chief of Staff, with launching a company-wide innovation program, the "Business Innovation for Growth" (BIG) Accelerator. BIG became a crucial part of ICL's internal innovation foundation. Simultaneously, Zoller focused on cultivating external innovation partnerships by building an ICL ecosystem, launching the company’s agri-food tech startup hub (ICL Planet Startup Hub), collaborating with Israeli and non-Israeli startups, and exploring possibilities in emerging innovation domains. Zoller hoped that the corporate theme for 2023, “Year of Partnerships,” would continue to inspire his colleagues to do the hard work of ecosystem-building for the “art of the possible,” in years to come, even in the face of tough economic times.

See more research

Dubai Staff

Alpana Thapar
Executive Director
Sadika El Hariri
Research Associate
Fares Khrais
Senior Researcher

Cairo Staff

Ahmed Dahawy
Research Associate

Istanbul Staff

Yasemin Çağlar
Associate Director, Educational Programs
Gizem Cihan Dinçsoy
Senior Researcher
Zeynep Mağgönül
Assistant Director, Administration

Tel Aviv Staff

Orna Dan
Senior Researcher