2021 Best 40-Under-40 Professors: Alfredo Jiménez, KEDGE Business School

Alfredo Jimenez is a 40 Under 40 Business School Professor. Courtesy photo

Alfredo Jiménez

Associate Professor (promoted to Full Professor starting October 1st!)

KEDGE Business School

With more than three-dozen nominations, Alfredo Jiménez, who teaches International Business and Finance was one of our most highly nominated professors on this year’s 40 Under 40 B-school professors recognition. And with just over 1,500 Google Scholar citations, he was also one of most prolific researchers to make this year’s list. Jiménez clearly struck the balance of classroom and research impact we set out to measure and recognize each year when we make this list of talented young MBA professors.

“I am investigating how different types of diversity (for example in language, in religion, etc.) impact team, project, and firm-level outcomes,” Jiménez says of his research. “Diversity is not something that can be simply categorized as good or bad. It can certainly bring many benefits, but it is not automatic, it also involves challenges that need to be addressed.”

Current age: 37

At current institution since what year? 2015

Education: Ph.D. in Business Administration (University of Burgos, Spain).

List of MBA courses you currently teach: International Business and Finance (ESPAE Graduate School of Management, Ecuador)


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I realized how much I enjoy helping others to learn new things and reach their goals. I also knew I wanted to organize and made decisions by myself in my job.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I am investigating how different types of diversity (for example in language, in religion, etc.) impact team, project, and firm-level outcomes. Diversity is not something that can be simply categorized as good or bad. It can certainly bring many benefits, but it is not automatic, it also involves challenges that need to be addressed.

If I weren’t a business school professor… I would probably work in something related to the stock market, it is something that interests me… although maybe also something related to languages/translation. I learned 3 other languages besides my native one and I like using them very much.

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? I always try to understand the perspective and situation of the students. I have taught not only in many different countries, but also to students with very different profile in terms of backgrounds, age, etc and even in life-long learning programs or to students with intellectual disabilities. You have to see things from their perspective if you really want to make an impact.

One word that describes my first time teaching: Sharing

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: On the positive side of being a business school professor, I wish they had told me how many incredible places I could visit both as visiting professor or for conferences and how many different types of inspiring people I would interact with. On the “not so positive” side, I wish they had told me how important is to be resilient and persistent at some times when things don´t work out well (rejections, initiatives that do not develop, etc).

Professor I most admire and why: I cannot point one only. I admire several people and for various reasons. I admire many people for their pioneering studies in different field. I also admire very much those who care and engage with their students, and those who create innovative activities/projects trying to improve the learning process. For example, my colleague and friend Dr. Vas Taras who founded and manages the X-Culture Project, a project in which students participate in Global Virtual Teams with people from other countries, so they can experience “first-hand” the challenges and also benefits of cross-cultural collaboration. In some Universities it is very common to have international students, but not everywhere in the world. For some students in certain parts of the world this is a unique experience. And even for those students in Universities where having foreign students is common, it is also very useful because interacting with international students in your home country is not the same as doing it with students from other nationalities who are in their own country. This kind of experiential learning is very aligned with the famous proverb: Tell me, I’ll forget; Show me, I’ll remember; Involve me, I’ll understand.


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? I enjoy very much sharing with them but also learning from them. Since I teach International Business, it is quite common to have classes with a large diversity of students in terms of their profiles, nationalities, etc and this brings an incredible richness in the discussions in class.

What is most challenging? One challenge I find sometimes is being able to find the right balance when the students in class have different levels of knowledge. Sometimes there are people in the class who already took some classes related to the subject, whereas for others is completely new. Identifying the content, activities, projects etc that will be interesting and useful for everybody can be challenging and requires some creative thinking!

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Open-minded

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Mean to the rest of the students (luckily I didn´t find any extreme case)

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… somebody who rewards efforts, but also understanding


What are your hobbies? I of course love traveling! I like both playing and watching sports (football, basketball, and chess). I also dance salsa and bachata.

How will you spend your summer? If traveling is possible, I will visit family. My niece and goddaughter Diana is going to be born and I am looking forward to meeting her!

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Spain, Turkey, and Boracay (in the Philippines).

Favorite book(s): I like very much the books of a Spanish writer called Arturo Pérez-Reverte. I also enjoyed very much “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón who unfortunately passed away last year.

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? The show Brain Games was really good! I learned so many things. Then for entertainment I liked very much shows like Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, or the classic Friends.

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? Like in my classes or in my research I like diversity, you can find me listening to international rock (Linkin Park, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Audioslave, U2,…), Spanish rock (Marea) and hip-hop (Nach), salsa/bachata (Mark Anthony, Leoni Torres, Juan Luis Guerra, etc) or mixed styles (Manu Chao).


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… They would have more activities in which students are involved (remember? “Involve me, I’ll understand”) in an active way, notably with external actors such as firms, investors, suppliers, authorities, NGOs, and other representatives of the society. They would also have much more exposure to international issues and towards developing a compromised, inclusive, ethical, and open-minded perspective.

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… reducing inequalities and increasing inclusiveness and empathy towards the disadvantages (of course some organizations work on it, but I want to believe that much more can be done)

I’m grateful for… all the support that my family has always provided me.

Faculty, students, alumni, and/or administrators say: 

“Alfredo is a very dedicated professor, who is always trying to help students. He gives students great advice, not just about the class contents, but also about career options. He really cares about students. He also goes to important conferences to present his research.”

“Dr. Jimenez has significantly contributed to the field of International Business both through his teaching and research. His teaching has a broad and international reach as he teaches in different parts of the world and across different audiences ranging from handicapped students to lifelong learning program senior students. He is a dedicated professor who tries to extend education to multiple segments of the population with a particular emphasis on the underprivileged groups. His academic record of publications also show his dedication and contribution to the field.”

“I would like to nominate my colleague Dr. Alfredo Jimenez. Alfredo is among the world’s leading and most respected International Business scholars. Alfredo has been one of the key figures in the X-Culture admin team. He participated in the project with his students from France, Ecuador, and Spain, provided valuable insights, and often took on a leading role as the program has been going through its many evolutions. He has received the Best Professor award several times, which is extremely impressive given how many professors from some of the world’s best universities competed for it. His research has been published and run Special Issues as Guest Editor in such most prestigious research outlets (JIBS, JWB, AOMLE, JIM; etc). I have written many recommendations and nomination letters in my career. However, at no time was I as confident that that the person deserves the award as I am for Alfredo Jimenez.”

“I was the head of a program where Alfredo taught. He was a very appreciated professor by students. He was always reliable and willing to participate in new initiatives. He prepared new subjects and materials.”

“Associate Professor at KEDGE Business School and many times visiting professor worldwide, teaching undergraduate, graduate, MBA, PhD. Instructor of X-Culture Project (very appreciated by students, some were on the news, others got internships and jobs) Published at Journal of International Business Studies, Academy of Management Learning & Education, Business and Society, Journal of World Business, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Journal of International Management, International Business Review, etc. Guest Editor of Special Issues (Journal of International Management, Management International Review, etc). Recipient of Copenhagen Business School Prize at EIBA 2015.”


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