Cyrille Sardais


Cyrille Sardais is Associate Professor at HEC Montréal, which he joined in 2006, soon after completing his PhD. He holds the Pierre Péladeau Chair of Leadership since September 2013.

He studied in business administration at HEC Paris and in history at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences) and wrote his thesis on Pierre Lefaucheux, the CEO of car manufacturer Renault, just after the Second World War (1944-1955). Instead of writing a biography, he strived to reconstruct leader’s intentions, actions and perceptions, building on the extraordinary archives that were available—over 50,000 pages of documents, including complete reports from management committees and correspondence with ministers. His thesis and the book that followed received the 2006 Award for Best Thesis from HEC Paris and the 2010 Roger Charbonneau Award from HEC Montréal.

Since then, Cyrille Sardais has pursued his research both in history and in management, focusing more specifically on senior executives. He is mainly interested in leadership and decision-making issues. Those interests have lead him to look into poker players, entrepreneurs (when faced with a failure) and, more recently, conductors. His latest work was published in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Organization Studies and Academy of Management Perspectives.

In addition, he makes a significant contribution to teaching, both through his innovative approaches and the production of cases or manuals—for which he received the Best Case Award from the Revue internationale de cas en gestion in 2008 as well as the HEC Montréal Teaching Innovation Award and Alma Lepage Award, both in 2009.

From 2012 to 2014, he headed the HEC Montréal’s Department of Management (more than 60 people).