Julie Battilana

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Unit: Organizational Behavior

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Julie Battilana is an Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School. She currently teaches the second-year Power and Influence course and in previous years has taught the first-year Leadership and Organizational Behavior (LEAD) course in the MBA program.  She also teaches in executive education offerings.

Professor Battilana's research examines the process by which organizations or individuals initiate and implement changes that diverge from the taken-for-granted norms in a field of activity. In today's world, when the question of how to reform deeply rooted systems such as healthcare and financial systems has taken on great urgency, understanding how actors can break with the status quo is crucial. Aiming to do so, Professor Battilana first studied the implementation of healthcare reforms in the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. Her work examines (1) the conditions that enable actors to initiate organizational change that diverges from the institutional status quo, and (2) the key factors of success in implementing such change.

Continuing to explore how actors can break with taken-for-granted norms, Professor Battilana's most recent research focuses on hybrid organizations that combine aspects of both business and charity. These hybrids, which pursue a social mission while engaging in commercial activities in order to generate revenues that sustain their operations, diverge from the model of both the typical corporation and the typical charity. Commercial microfinance organizations are an example of such organizations. Professor Battilana's research aims to understand how hybrids can sustainably combine business and charity at their core and how they can achieve high levels of both social and commercial performance. 

She has articles published or forthcoming in Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Management Science, Strategic Organization, Leadership Quarterly, Organization, Research in Organizational Behavior and The Academy of Management Annals, as well as in handbooks of organizational behavior and strategy. Her research has been featured in publications like BusinessWeek, the Huffington Post, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. She is also 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.

Featured Work

Publications

Journal Articles

  1. The Network Secrets of Great Change Agents

    Change is hard, especially in a large organization. Yet some leaders succeed—often spectacularly—at transforming their workplaces. What makes them able to exert this sort of influence when the vast majority can't? The authors tracked 68 change initiatives in the UK's National Health Service, an organization whose size, complexity, and tradition can make reform difficult. They discovered several predictors of change agents' success—all of which emphasize the importance of networks of personal relationships: 1) Change agents who were central in the organization's informal network had a clear advantage, regardless of their position in the formal hierarchy. 2) People who bridged disconnected groups or individuals were more effective at implementing dramatic reforms. The resisters in their networks did not necessarily know one another and so were unlikely to form a coalition. Change agents with cohesive networks, in which all individuals were connected, were better at instituting minor changes. Their contacts rallied around the initiative and helped convince others of its importance. 3) Being close to people who were ambivalent about a change was always beneficial. In the end, fence-sitters were reluctant to disappoint a friend. But close relationships with resisters were a double-edged sword: such ties helped push through minor initiatives but were a hindrance when attempting major change.

    Keywords: Networks; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Leading Change; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, and Tiziana Casciaro. "The Network Secrets of Great Change Agents." Harvard Business Review 91, nos. 7/8 (July–August 2013): 62–68. View Details
  2. Overcoming Resistance to Organizational Change: Strong Ties and Affective Cooptation

    We propose a relational theory of how change agents in organizations use the strength of ties in their network to overcome resistance to change. We argue that strong ties to potentially influential organization members who are ambivalent about a change (fence-sitters) provide the change agent with an affective basis to coopt them. This cooptation increases the probability that the organization will adopt the change. By contrast, strong ties to potentially influential organization members who disapprove of a change outright (resistors) are an effective means of affective cooptation only when a change diverges little from institutionalized practices. With more divergent changes, the advantages of strong ties to resistors accruing to the change agent are weaker, and may turn into liabilities that reduce the likelihood of change adoption. Analyses of longitudinal data from 68 multi-method case studies of organizational change initiatives conducted at the National Health Service in the United Kingdom support these predictions and advance a relational view of organizational change in which social networks operate as tools of political influence through affective mechanisms.

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Social and Collaborative Networks; Power and Influence; Health Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, and Tiziana Casciaro. "Overcoming Resistance to Organizational Change: Strong Ties and Affective Cooptation." Management Science 59, no. 4 (April, 2013): 819–836. View Details
  3. Organizing for Society: A Typology of Social Entrepreneuring Models

    In this article, we use content and cluster analysis on a global sample of 200 social entrepreneurial organizations to develop a typology of social entrepreneuring models. This typology is based on four possible forms of capital that can be leveraged: social, economic, human, and political. Furthermore, our findings reveal that these four social entrepreneuring models are associated with distinct logics of justification that may explain different ways of organizing across organizations. This study contributes to understanding social entrepreneurship as a field of practice and it describes avenues for theorizing about the different organizational approaches adopted by social entrepreneurs.

    Keywords: Social Entrepreneurship; Organizational Structure;

    Citation:

    Mair, Johanna, Julie Battilana, and Julian Cardenas. "Organizing for Society: A Typology of Social Entrepreneuring Models ." Special Issue on Social Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. Journal of Business Ethics 111, no. 3 (December 2012): 353–373. View Details
  4. In Search of the Hybrid Ideal

    In the first large-scale, quantitative study of nascent social entrepreneurs, researchers from Harvard Business School and Echoing Green examine the rise of hybrid organizations that combine aspects of nonprofits and for-profits and the challenges hybrids face as they attempt to integrate traditionally separate organizational models.

    Keywords: Social Entrepreneurship;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, Matthew Lee, John Walker, and Cheryl Dorsey. "In Search of the Hybrid Ideal." Stanford Social Innovation Review (Summer 2012). View Details
  5. Change Agents, Networks, and Institutions: A Contingency Theory of Organizational Change

    We develop a contingency theory for how structural closure in a network, defined as the extent to which an actor's network contacts are connected to one another, affects the initiation and adoption of change in organizations. Using longitudinal survey data supplemented with eight in-depth case studies, we analyze 68 organizational change initiatives undertaken in the United Kingdom's National Health Service. We show that low levels of structural closure (i.e., structural holes) in a change agent's network aid the initiation and adoption of changes that diverge from the institutional status quo but hinder the adoption of less divergent changes.

    Keywords: Networks; Theory; Organizations; Change;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, and Tiziana Casciaro. "Change Agents, Networks, and Institutions: A Contingency Theory of Organizational Change." Academy of Management Journal 55, no. 2 (April 2012). View Details
  6. The Enabling Role of Social Position in Diverging from the Institutional Status Quo: Evidence from the U.K. National Health Service

    This study examines the relationship between social position, both within the field and within the organization, and the likelihood of individual actors initiating organizational changes that diverge from the institutional status quo. I explore this relationship using data from 93 change projects conducted by clinical managers at the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. The results show social position, both within the field and within the organization, influences actors' likelihood to initiate two types of organizational change that diverge from the institutional status quo, namely, (1) changes that diverge from the institutionalized template of role division among organizations and (2) changes that diverge from the institutionalized template of role division among professional groups in a field. The findings indicate that these two types of divergent organizational change are likely to be undertaken by individual actors with different profiles in terms of social position within the field and the organization.

    Keywords: Status and Position; Transformation; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Projects; Leading Change; Managerial Roles; Relationships; Power and Influence; Health Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie. "The Enabling Role of Social Position in Diverging from the Institutional Status Quo: Evidence from the U.K. National Health Service." Organization Science 22, no. 4 (July–August 2011): 817–834. View Details
  7. Building Sustainable Hybrid Organizations: The Case of Commercial Microfinance Organizations

    We explore how new types of hybrid organizations (organizations that combine institutional logics in unprecedented ways) can develop and maintain their hybrid nature in the absence of a "ready-to-wear" model for handling the tensions between the logics they combine. The results of our comparative study of two pioneering commercial microfinance organizations suggest that to be sustainable, new types of hybrid organizations need to create a common organizational identity that strikes a balance between the logics they combine. Our evidence further suggests that the crucial early levers for developing such an organizational identity among organizational members are hiring and socialization policies.

    Keywords: Organizational Structure; Microfinance; Growth and Development Strategy; Identity; Commercialization; Balance and Stability; Policy; Recruitment; Business Model;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, and Silvia Dorado. "Building Sustainable Hybrid Organizations: The Case of Commercial Microfinance Organizations." Academy of Management Journal 53, no. 6 (December 2010). View Details
  8. Leadership Competencies for Implementing Planned Organizational Change

    This paper bridges the leadership and organizational change literatures by exploring the relationship between managers' leadership competencies (namely, their effectiveness at person-oriented and task-oriented behaviors) and the likelihood that they will emphasize the different activities involved in planned organizational change implementation (namely, communicating the need for change, mobilizing others to support the change, and evaluating the change implementation). We examine this relationship using data from 89 clinical managers at the United Kingdom National Health Service who implemented change projects between 2003 and 2004. Our results lend overall support to the proposed theory. This finding suggests that treating planned organizational change as a generic phenomenon might mask important idiosyncrasies associated both with the different activities involved in the change implementation process and with the unique functions that leadership competencies might play in the execution of these activities.

    Keywords: Leadership; Competency and Skills; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Planning; Relationships; Business Processes; Projects; Theory; Change; Behavior; Health Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, M.J. Gilmartin, A.-C., Pache, M. Sengul, and J. Alexander. "Leadership Competencies for Implementing Planned Organizational Change." Leadership Quarterly 21, no. 3 (June 2010). View Details
  9. The Circulation of Ideas across Academic Communities: When Locals Re-import Exported Ideas

    The circulation of ideas across academic communities is central to academic pursuits and has attracted much past scholarly attention. As North American-based scholars with European ties, we decided to examine the impact of Organization Studies in North American academia with the objective of understanding what, if anything, makes some Organization Studies articles more likely to have impact in North America than others. To set the stage for better understanding the role of Organization Studies in this academic community, we first present the key characteristics of North American academia. Second, relying on archival data spanning the first 29 years of Organization Studies (1980 to 2008, inclusive), we identify an apparent dynamic of select reimportation of exported ideas. Put otherwise, top North American journals tend to reimport ideas authored (and exported) by select North American scholars in Organizations Studies. Third, we discuss the implications of this process on the field of organization studies and on the circulation of ideas across academic communities.

    Keywords: Knowledge Dissemination; Organizational Structure; Learning; Archives; Civil Society or Community; North and Central America; Europe;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, Michel Anteby, and M. Sengul. "The Circulation of Ideas across Academic Communities: When Locals Re-import Exported Ideas." Organization Studies 31, no. 6 (June 2010): 695–713. View Details
  10. Acting Globally but Thinking Locally? The Enduring Influence of Local Communities on Organizations

    We develop an institutionally oriented theory of how and why local communities continue to matter for organizations in a global age. Since globalization has taken center stage in both practitioner and academic circles, research has shifted away from understanding effects of local factors. Our approach runs counter to the idea that globalization is a homogeneity-producing process, and to the view that society is moving from particularism to universalism. We argue that with globalization, not only has the local remained important, but in many ways local particularities have become more visible and salient. We unpack the market, regulative, social, and cultural mechanisms that result in this enduring community influence while reviewing classic and contemporary research from organizational theory, sociology, and economics that have focused on geographic influences on organizations. In this paper, our aim is to redirect theoretical and empirical attention back to understanding the determinants and importance of local influences. We suggest that because organizations are simultaneously embedded in geographic communities and organizational fields, by accounting for both of these areas, researchers will better understand isomorphism and change dynamics.

    Keywords: Globalized Firms and Management; Business and Community Relations; Local Range; Civil Society or Community; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Marquis, Christopher, and Julie Battilana. "Acting Globally but Thinking Locally? The Enduring Influence of Local Communities on Organizations." Research in Organizational Behavior 29 (2009): 283–302. View Details
  11. How Actors Change Institutions: Towards a Theory of Institutional Entrepreneurship

    As well as review the literature on the notion of institutional entrepreneurship introduced by Paul DiMaggio in 1988, we propose a model of the process of institutional entrepreneurship. We first present theoretical and definitional issues associated with the concept and propose a conceptual account of institutional entrepreneurship that helps to accommodate them. We then present the different phases of the process of institutional entrepreneurship from the emergence of institutional entrepreneurs to their implementation of change. Finally, we highlight future directions for research on institutional entrepreneurship and conclude with a discussion of its role in strengthening institutional theory as well as, more broadly, the field of organization studies.

    Keywords: Change; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Framework; Research; Theory; Organizations; Management Practices and Processes;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, Bernard Leca, and Eva Boxenbaum. "How Actors Change Institutions: Towards a Theory of Institutional Entrepreneurship." Academy of Management Annals (2009): 65–107. View Details

Book Chapters

  1. Social Entrepreneurs as Institutional Entrepreneurs: The Case of Sekem

    How can application of a positive lens to understanding social change and organizations enrich and elaborate theory and practice? This is the core question that inspired this book. It is a question that brought together a diverse and talented group of researchers interested in change and organizations in different problem domains (sustainability, healthcare, poverty alleviation, and education). The contributors to this book bring different theoretical lenses to the question of social change and organizations. Some are anchored in more macro accounts of how and why social change processes occur, while others approach the question from a more psychological or social psychological perspective. Many of the chapters in the book travel across levels of analyses, making their accounts of social change good examples of multi-level theorizing. Some scholars are practiced and immersed in thinking about organizational phenomena through a positive lens; for others it was a total adventure in trying on a new set of glasses. However, connecting all contributing authors was an excitement and willingness to explore new insights and new angles on how to explain and cultivate social change within or across organizations. This edited volume will be of interest to an international community that seek to understand how organizations and people can generate positive outcomes for society. Students and researchers in organizational behavior, management, positive psychology, leadership, and corporate responsibility will find this book of interest.

    Keywords: Social Entrepreneurship; Social Psychology; Social Issues; Organizations; Business and Community Relations;

    Citation:

    Rimac, Tomislav, Johanna Mair, and Julie Battilana. "Social Entrepreneurs as Institutional Entrepreneurs: The Case of Sekem." In Using a Positive Lens to Explore Social Change and Organizations: Building a Theoretical and Research Foundation, edited by Karen Golden-Biddle and Jane E. Dutton. Organization and Management Series. New York: Psychology Press, 2012. View Details
  2. The Embeddedness of Social Entrepreneurship: Understanding Variation across Local Communities

    Social enterprise organizations (SEOs) arise from entrepreneurial activities with the aim to achieve social goals. SEOs have been identified as alternative and/or complementary to the actions of governments and international organizations to address poverty and poverty-related social needs. Using a number of illustrative cases, we explore how variation of local institutional mechanisms shapes the local "face of poverty" in different communities and how this relates to variations in the emergence and strategic orientations of SEOs. We develop a model of the productive opportunity space for SEOs as a basis and an inspiration for further scholarly inquiry.

    Keywords: Social Entrepreneurship; Civil Society or Community; Local Range;

    Citation:

    Seelos, Christian, Johanna Mair, Julie Battilana, and M. Tina Dacin. "The Embeddedness of Social Entrepreneurship: Understanding Variation across Local Communities." In Communities and Organizations. Vol. 33, edited by Christopher Marquis, Michael Lounsbury, and Royston Greenwood, 333–363. Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Emerald Group Publishing, 2011. View Details
  3. Institutional Work and the Paradox of Embedded Agency

    Keywords: Working Conditions; Agency Theory; Organizations;

    Citation:

    Battilana, J., and T. D'Aunno. "Institutional Work and the Paradox of Embedded Agency." In Institutional Work: Actors and Agency in Institutional Studies of Organizations, edited by T. Lawrence, R. Suddaby, and B. Leca, 31–58. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2009. View Details
  4. The Role of Resources in Institutional Entrepreneurship: Insights for an Approach to Strategic Management That Combines Agency and Institution

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Resource Allocation; Corporate Strategy; Management Style;

    Citation:

    Battilana, J., and B. Leca. "The Role of Resources in Institutional Entrepreneurship: Insights for an Approach to Strategic Management That Combines Agency and Institution." In Handbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight, edited by L.A. Costanzo and R.B. MacKay, 260–274. Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009. View Details
  5. Interorganizational Cooperation between Not-for-profit Organizations: A Relational Analysis

    Keywords: Nonprofit Organizations; Cooperation; Mathematical Methods;

    Citation:

    Battilana, J., and M. Sengul. "Interorganizational Cooperation between Not-for-profit Organizations: A Relational Analysis." In Relational Perspectives in Organization Studies: A Research Companion, edited by Olympia Kyriakidou and Mustafa F. Özbilgin, 197–220. Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2006. View Details

Working Papers

  1. How the Zebra Got Its Stripes: Imprinting of Individuals and Hybrid Social Ventures

    Hybrid organizations that combine multiple, existing organizational forms are frequently proposed as a source of organizational innovation, yet little is known about the origins of such organizations. We propose that individual founders of hybrid organizations acquire imprints from past exposure to work environments, thus predisposing them to incorporate the associated logics in their subsequent ventures, even when doing so requires deviation from established organizational templates. We test our theory on a novel dataset of over 700 founders of social ventures, all guided by a social welfare logic. Some of them also incorporate a commercial logic along with the social welfare logic, thereby creating a hybrid social venture. We find evidence of three sources of commercial imprints: the founder's own, direct work experience, as well as the indirect influence of parental work experiences and professional education. Our findings further suggest that the effects of direct imprinting are strongest from the early tenure of for-profit experience, but diminish with longer tenure. In supplementary analyses, we parse out differences between the sources of imprints and discuss implications for how imprinting functions as an antecedent to the creation of new, hybrid forms.

    Keywords: hybrid organizations; imprinting; institutional theory; social entrepreneurship; Social Entrepreneurship; Organizations;

    Citation:

    Lee, Matthew, and Julie Battilana. "How the Zebra Got Its Stripes: Imprinting of Individuals and Hybrid Social Ventures." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-005, July 2013. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board

    In 2014, as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has just brought former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on as chairman of the board, Jean Rogers, founder and CEO struggles with how best to ensure the nonprofit's financial sustainability while pushing for broad acceptance of its nonfinancial accounting metrics.

    Keywords: sustainability; sustainability reporting; accounting; reporting; Environmental Sustainability; Accounting; Accounting Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, and Michael Norris. "The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board." Harvard Business School Case 414-078, May 2014. View Details
  2. Echoing Green

    This case presents the leadership challenges that Cheryl Dorsey, the president of Echoing Green, faces in early 2009. Echoing Green is a fellowship program that seeks to improve society by identifying and supporting social entrepreneurs who launch organizations to attack some of the world's most difficult problems. After turning Echoing Green around and re-building an organization almost from scratch over the last 7 years, Dorsey feels that Echoing Green is at a crossroads as it is facing much more competition. Adding to Dorsey's challenges, in late 2008 the economy is in crisis and many Echoing Green supporters are reducing or delaying their donations. In this situation, Dorsey has to decide whether, and if so how, to change Echoing Green's strategy as well as whether she is the right person to continue to lead the organization.

    Keywords: Change Management; Financial Crisis; Social Entrepreneurship; Leadership Style; Organizational Structure; Personal Development and Career; Social Enterprise;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, Thomas J. DeLong, and James Weber. "Echoing Green." Harvard Business School Case 410-013, July 2009. (Revised December 2009.) View Details
  3. Marie Trellu-Kane at Unis-Cite

    Marie Trellu-Kane is trying to decide how Unis-Cite should respond to French President Jacques Chirac's announcement in 2005 of a new national voluntary civil service program. Since 1994, Trellu-Kane and her co-founders had been creating and overseeing a civil service program called Unis-Cite, in which youth, particularly from the disadvantaged immigrant population, volunteered nine months of their time to work on community projects. Based in Paris, France, Unis-Cite had begun to expand to other areas. With the announcement that the government would provide funding to mobilize thousands of youth volunteers, Trellu-Kane needed to decide how Unis-Cite would proceed.

    Keywords: Age Characteristics; Growth and Development Strategy; Organizational Design; Business and Community Relations; Business and Government Relations; Social Enterprise; Paris;

    Citation:

    Anteby, Michel, Julie Battilana, and Anne-Claire Pache. "Marie Trellu-Kane at Unis-Cite." Harvard Business School Case 407-106, June 2007. (Revised December 2008.) View Details
  4. Leslie Brinkman at Versutia Capital

    Leslie Brinkman is the founder and CEO of a hedge fund, Genuity Capital. Leslie spent late 2002 and early 2003 assembling her team and launched the fund in early 2003. While the firm performed well during 2003 and 2004 (both in terms of returns and new assets), in 2005 the results began to suffer. Describes the process of designing the firm, the resulting team dynamics, the strains on the staff and the impact of Leslie's management style on the performance of her team. In the spring of 2005, Leslie must decide whether to re-design the firm and/or change her management style in order to address the performance issues that Genuity is facing.

    Keywords: Management Style; Organizational Design; Performance Improvement; Groups and Teams;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, and Robert Steven Kaplan. "Leslie Brinkman at Versutia Capital." Harvard Business School Case 407-089, June 2007. (Revised July 2007.) View Details

Presentations

  1. Combining Social and Economic Objectives: On the Challenges of Sustaining a Hybrid Organizational Form

    Keywords: Economics; Problems and Challenges; Organizations; Society;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, A.-C. Pache, M. Sengul, and Jacob Model. "Combining Social and Economic Objectives: On the Challenges of Sustaining a Hybrid Organizational Form." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, August 2011. View Details
  2. Organization Building Amid Multiple Institutional Logics: The Case of Commercial Microfinance Organizations

    Keywords: Organizations; Microfinance;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, and Silvia Dorado. "Organization Building Amid Multiple Institutional Logics: The Case of Commercial Microfinance Organizations." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Chicago, August 07, 2009. (OMT Division.) View Details
  3. Bringing the Individual and Community Levels Back in Institutional Theory, PDW Session on "Institutions Across Social Spheres: Bridging Levels of Analysis in Research and Conceptualization

    Keywords: Theory;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie. Bringing the Individual and Community Levels Back in Institutional Theory, PDW Session on "Institutions Across Social Spheres: Bridging Levels of Analysis in Research and Conceptualization." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA, August 07, 2008. View Details
  4. Embeddedness of Social Entrepreneurship: Understanding Variation across Geographic Communities

    Keywords: Social Entrepreneurship; Civil Society or Community;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, Tina Dacin, Johanna Mair, and Christian Seelos. "Embeddedness of Social Entrepreneurship: Understanding Variation across Geographic Communities." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA, August 2008. View Details
  5. The Embeddedness of Social Entrepreneurship: Understanding Variation across Geographic Communities

    Keywords: Social Entrepreneurship; Geography; Civil Society or Community;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, Tina Dacin, Johanna Mair, and Christian Seelos. "The Embeddedness of Social Entrepreneurship: Understanding Variation across Geographic Communities." Paper presented at the European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium, July 01, 2008. View Details
  6. Initiating Divergent Organizational Change: The Enabling Role of Actor's Social Position

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Society; Rank and Position;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie. "Initiating Divergent Organizational Change: The Enabling Role of Actor's Social Position." In Best Paper Proceedings. Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, August 03–08, 2007. View Details
  7. The Secret of Commercial Microfinance's Sustainability: Turning Social Workers into Bankers or Bankers into Social Workers? Neither

    Keywords: Microfinance;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, and Silvia Dorado. "The Secret of Commercial Microfinance's Sustainability: Turning Social Workers into Bankers or Bankers into Social Workers? Neither." Paper presented at the European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium, European Group for Organizational Studies, July 01, 2007. View Details
  8. A Match Made in Heaven? Joining Leadership Competencies to the Process of Organizational Change

    Keywords: Leadership; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Change; Management Practices and Processes;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, M.J. Gilmartin, A.-C. Pache, M. Sengul, and J. Alexander. "A Match Made in Heaven? Joining Leadership Competencies to the Process of Organizational Change." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, August 11–15, 2006. (ODC Division, Atlanta, USA.) View Details
  9. The Innovative Capacity of Institutional Entrepreneurs: Mechanisms for Generating Alternative Ideas

    Keywords: Innovation and Invention; Entrepreneurship; Cognition and Thinking;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, and E. Boxenbaum. "The Innovative Capacity of Institutional Entrepreneurs: Mechanisms for Generating Alternative Ideas." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Honolulu, HI, August 2005. View Details
  10. Institutional Innovation: Socio-cognitive Reconstruction of Corporate Social Responsibility

    Keywords: Innovation and Invention; Cognition and Thinking; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, and E. Boxenbaum. "Institutional Innovation: Socio-cognitive Reconstruction of Corporate Social Responsibility." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, New Orleans, August 2004. View Details
  11. The Politics of Technological Change: How Firms Act to Influence the Decisions of Public Authorities Regarding Technological Change

    Keywords: Technology; Change; Decision Making;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie. "The Politics of Technological Change: How Firms Act to Influence the Decisions of Public Authorities Regarding Technological Change." Paper presented at the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, July 2003. View Details

Other Publications and Materials

  1. The Embeddedness of Social Entrepreneurship: Understanding Variation across Local Communities

    Keywords: Social Entrepreneurship; Local Range;

    Citation:

    Seelos, Christian, Johanna Mair, Julie Battilana, and Tina Dacin. "The Embeddedness of Social Entrepreneurship: Understanding Variation across Local Communities." January 2010. (Invited to contribute to the special issue of Research in Organizational Sociology on Communities and Organizations.) View Details

    Research Summary

  1. The enabling conditions for institutional entrepreneurship

    Under what conditions can actors, whose beliefs and actions are influenced by their institutional environment, diverge from the institutional status quo? The first stream of research in Professor Battilana’s work aims to address this question. To do so, she has examined the enabling role of actors’ social position both within their organization and within their field of activity, in a series of theoretical and empirical articles and book chapters. She developed a model that specifically highlights the impact that individuals' social position has on their likelihood to initiate change that diverges from the institutional status quo. This model was tested with data from 93 change projects that were conducted by 93 clinical managers from the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom between 2002 and 2004. The findings suggest that individuals' social position is an important enabling condition for change diverging from the prevailing institutions in a field and that, depending on the institutions from which they diverge, individual actors have different profiles in terms of social position.

    Professor Battilana has also begun to explore the influence of other individual-level as well as community-level enabling conditions for institutional entrepreneurship that have so far received scant attention. Her findings point to the need to adopt a multi-level approach that accounts for the individual, the organizational, the field, as well as the community levels in examining the enabling conditions for institutional entrepreneurship. Apart from its theoretical implications, this line of research has important practical implications in that it helps to identify the profile of local champions for implementing change that diverges from the institutional status quo, be it in the form of public sector reforms or private sector change initiatives.

  2. How the process of institutional entrepreneurship unfolds

    When attempting to implement change that diverges from the institutional status quo, institutional entrepreneurs face the specific challenge of having to convince others to adopt practices that are not only new to them but also diverge from the norms in their institutional environment. How can they meet this challenge? The second stream of research in Professor Battilana’s work aims to address this question. She has done so in two recent studies. The first study, which she conducted with Silvia Dorado, examines the creation and sustainability of the first two private commercial microfinance organizations created in Bolivia. Commercial microfinance organizations provide loans to low-income entrepreneurs under market conditions. They combine the development logic that guides their mission to help the poor on the one hand, with the banking logic that dictates that the interest rates they charge generate profits sufficient to enable them to fulfill their fiduciary obligations, on the other hand. In combining the development and banking logics in such an unprecedented way, the first commercial microfinance organizations diverged from the existing organizational archetypes of both banks and not-for-profit microfinance organizations, thereby acting as institutional entrepreneurs. This study explores how these commercial microfinance organizations, which were new types of hybrid organizations (organizations that combined institutional logics in unprecedented ways), developed and maintained their hybrid nature in the absence of "ready-to-wear" organizational archetypes. The study identifies hiring and socialization policies as crucial levers for the development of an organizational identity that can sustain novel combinations of logics over time. In doing so, it contributes to better understanding how organizations that depart from existing organizational archetypes can mobilize their organizational members to support such departures.

    In the second empirical project, Professor Battilana is currently further exploring the challenges of coalition building in the implementation of change that diverges from the institutional status quo. Using data on 68 organizational change initiatives conducted at the NHS, she examines, with Tiziana Casciaro, how change agents leverage their social capital when implementing such change. More specifically, the study examines the influence of change agents’ position in intra-organizational networks on their likelihood to succeed in implementing change in general, as well as change that diverges from the institutional status quo.

  3. Institutional entrepreneurship in the social enterprise sector

    Most recently, Professor Battilana has started studying institutional entrepreneurship in the social enterprise sector. Social entrepreneurs can be broadly characterized as individuals or organizations engaged in entrepreneurial activities with a social goal, such as commercial microfinance organizations. In attempting to achieve this social goal, social enterprise initiatives often break with existing institutions, thus providing a particularly adequate setting for examining the process of institutional entrepreneurship.
    1. Science Watch. Fast Breaking Paper: “How Actors Change Institutions: Towards a Theory of Institutional Entrepreneurship” with Bernard Leca and Eva Boxenbaum (Academy of Management Annals, 2009) was named by Science Watch as the August 2011 “Fast Breaking Paper” in Economics and Business. A Fast Breaking Paper is “a very recent scientific contribution that is just beginning to attract the attention of the scientific community.”

    2. Young Leader (French-American Foundation): Selected by the French-American Foundation as one of 20 participants (10 French and 10 American) in the 2009 Young Leader program. The French-American Foundation is the principal non-governmental organization linking France and the United States at leadership levels and across the full range of the French-American relationship.