Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School
Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Julie Battilana is the Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School and the Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School, where she is also the founder and academic co-director of the Social Innovation and Change Initiative. She currently teaches the second-year Power and Influence course and previously taught the first-year Leadership and Organizational Behavior (LEAD) course in the MBA program. She also teaches in the doctoral program and in executive education offerings.
Professor Battilana's research examines the processes by which organizations and individuals initiate and implement changes that diverge from the taken-for-granted norms in a field of activity. Such divergent changes are particularly challenging to implement because they require not only breaking with existing norms, but also convincing others to rally behind the change. Professor Battilana’s research aims to elucidate what it takes to initiate divergent change, and how to succeed in its implementation. To do so, she has developed two streams of research that address divergent change at different levels of analysis. The first focuses on understanding the conditions that enable individuals to initiate and implement divergent change within their organizations. The second examines how organizations themselves can diverge from deeply-seated organizational forms, which, as they become taken-for-granted over time, prescribe the structures and management systems that organizations in a given sector ought to adopt. Studies in this stream reveal the role of hybrid organizing in this process—defined as the activities, structures, processes and meanings by which organizations make sense of and combine multiple organizational forms. Professor Battilana's research focuses on a specific instance of hybrid organizing—social enterprises—that diverge from the established organizational forms of both typical corporations and typical not-for-profits by combining aspects of both at their core. Her work aims to understand how these hybrids can sustainably combine aspects of corporations and not-for-profits at their core and how they can achieve high levels of both social and commercial performance.
She has articles published in the Academy of Management Annals, Academy of Management Journal, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Business Ethics, Leadership Quarterly, Management Science, Organization, Organization Science, Organization Studies, Research in Organizational Behavior, and Strategic Organization. Her research has been featured in publications like Businessweek, Forbes, Huffington Post, and Stanford Social Innovation Review. She was also previously a regular contributor to the French newspaper Le Monde.
A native of France, Professor Battilana earned a B.A. in sociology and economics, an M.A. in political sociology and an M.Sc. in organizational sociology and public policy from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan. She also holds a degree from HEC Business School, and a joint Ph.D. in organizational behavior from INSEAD and in management and economics from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan.