Luciana Silvestri

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Doctoral Student

Luciana is a doctoral candidate in Management at Harvard Business School. Her research aims to uncover new forms and processes of organizing in industries characterized by extreme dynamism, complexity, and uncertainty, where the roles and relationships prescribed by formal structure often “fall behind” the actual evolution of work.

Before coming to HBS, Luciana executive-directed IAE Business School's Research Center for the M&E Industry in Latin America. In this capacity, she led research projects aimed at establishing how emerging consumers in the region relate to technology and digital content. Luciana was also a consultant at Accenture's Human Performance practice, where she worked primarily with clients in the telecommunications and M&E industries, and she was a member of the incipient management team of aventeon.com, a mobile technologies company headquartered in Munich, Germany.

Luciana holds a BS in Business Sciences and an MBA from IAE Business School - Universidad Austral in Argentina.

Luciana lives between Cambridge and Los Angeles with her husband Michael. She is passionate about art, media, and creativity, topics which underlie her research and about which she tweets frequently.  

Publications

Books

  1. Dirección estratégica en países emergentes: Elementos fundamentales para plantear el crecimiento de las empresas latinoamericanas [Strategic management in emerging countries: Fundamental tools to plan the growth of Latin American firms]

    This book seeks to help managers in emerging economies formulate and implement strategy, design their organizational structure, and nurture their organization's identity as part of an integrated, holistic process. Chapters cover classic topics such as industry analysis and positioning, capability building, product portfolio management and managing product life-cycle, blending well-known strategy models with the idiosyncrasies of strategic thinking in an emerging economy.

    Keywords: strategy; organizational structure; organizational identity; organizational alignment; emerging economies; Strategy; Business or Company Management; Organizational Structure; Organizational Culture; Developing Countries and Economies;

Journal Articles

  1. Organizational Identity as an Anchor for Adaptation: An Emerging Market Perspective

    There is little doubt that organizational identity—that which is central, distinctive, and enduring about an organization—mediates in adaptive processes. Exactly how this mediation takes place, and whether it is favorable or unfavorable to adaptation, must still be fully established. The purpose of this paper is to add to the literature on identity and adaptation by exploring the relationship between these two constructs in family firms operating in an emerging economy. Based on measures of strength of identity, the authors examine how identity affects the adaptive processes of issue identification, strategic impulse definition, and implementation, where the authors look at pace of adjustment.

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; organizational identity; emerging economies; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Culture;

    Citation:

    Hatum, Andres, Luciana Silvestri, Roberto Vassolo, and Andrew Pettigrew. "Organizational Identity as an Anchor for Adaptation: An Emerging Market Perspective." International Journal of Emerging Markets 7, no. 3 (2012): 305–334. View Details
  2. Induced Variation in Administrative Systems: Experimenting with Contexts for Innovation

    Research on intra-organizational evolution determined that variation results from the autonomous strategic behavior of the firm. We revisit this idea by examining a case of induced variation, where a multinational firm experimented with different, coexisting, region-specific sets of administrative systems. Our findings help explain the conditions under which induced variation arises.

    Keywords: organizational design; integrated design; Innovation and Management; emerging economies; Organizational Design; Innovation and Management;

    Citation:

    Caldart, Adrian, Roberto Vassolo, and Luciana Silvestri. "Induced Variation in Administrative Systems: Experimenting with Contexts for Innovation." Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings (2010). View Details
  3. La innovación minorista para los consumidores emergentes en América Latina [Retail innovation for emerging consumers in Latin America]

    La innovacion de producto—el tipo de innovacion mas difundida y mas investigada—es dificil de intentar por parte de los minoristas. Estos casi nunca tienen incidencia en las especificaciones, funcionalidades o el diseño de la mayoria de los productos que venden. Por definicion, los minoristas proveen de espacio en sus estanterias para exhibir y promover las ventas de los productos de otras compañias. Los minoristas de bienes electronicos de consumo, por ejemplo, venden los mismos televisores de pantalla plana fabricados por Sony o LG. Las farmacias venden los mismos medicamentos elaborados por Pfizer o Merck. ¿Como pueden innovar los minoristas cuando los atributos mas visibles de sus negocios estan fuera de su control?

    Keywords: retail; business model innovation; emerging economies;

    Citation:

    D'Andrea, Guillermo, Andres Terech, and Luciana Silvestri. "La innovación minorista para los consumidores emergentes en América Latina [Retail innovation for emerging consumers in Latin America]." Harvard Business Review América Latina 87, no. 12 (December 2009): 39–49. View Details
  4. Coherencia Sistemica: El enfoque estratégico de Disney en América Latina [Systemic Coherence: Disney's Strategic Approach in Latin America]

    La búsqueda de crecimiento internacional con frecuencia ha llevado a las multinacionales a ingresar a mercados emergentes, donde deben navegar a través de turbulencias económicas, políticas y sociales. Los rasgos ambientales particulares de América Latina plantean una serie de trade-offs a las multinacionales tanto a nivel estratégico como organizacional. Estos trade-offs tocan las fuentes de ventaja competitiva de las multinacionales y afectan sus recursos y capacidades clave. Al mismo tiempo, condicionan su comportamiento y sus supuestos sobre la región. Tras años de estudiar sistemáticamente el entorno de negocios latinoamericano, los autores han visto a los ejecutivos resolver estos trade-offs eligiendo e invirtiendo fuertemente en un extremo de la ecuación. Las multinacionales han desarrollado así capacidades valiosas en una dirección, dejando otras oportunidades inexploradas. Este enfoque, que llaman bipolar, resulta de aplicar soluciones globales prefabricadas a los entornos regionales, y la confianza excesiva en él puede dejar a las multinacionales más expuestas de lo que sospechan. Los autores proponen un enfoque sistémico basado en patrones de adaptación identificados entre multinacionales altamente exitosas en América Latina. Una de ellas es The Walt Disney Company, que los autores han elegido como ejemplo de coherencia sistémica. Considerada generalmente una de las compañías globales por excelencia, Disney ha sabido responder a los rasgos particulares de cada mercado regional que atiende. En América Latina, la empresa emprendió recientemente un revolucionario cambio para acercar la organización a las realidades del mercado, resolviendo exitosamente los trade-offs en tres procesos fundamentales: definición estratégica, alineación organizacional y estilo de liderazgo.

    Citation:

    Vassolo, Roberto, Andres Hatum, and Luciana Silvestri. "Coherencia Sistemica: El enfoque estratégico de Disney en América Latina [Systemic Coherence: Disney's Strategic Approach in Latin America]." Harvard Business Review América Latina 85, no. 3 (March 2007): 59–67. View Details

Book Chapters

  1. From Periphery to Core: A Process Model for Embracing Sustainability

    There is a growing call for business enterprises to adopt sustainability principles and practices, yet many established organizations continue to struggle in their quest to embrace them. In this chapter, we analyze how organizations that relegate sustainability to the periphery and those that incorporate it into their core differ in their approaches to identity (how they think about sustainability), strategy (how they plan for sustainability), and design (how they act toward sustainability). Advocating a holistic approach to these three organizational elements, we present a process model that shows, along four specific stages, how an established organization can bring sustainability into its core. We illustrate the model through the experience of the Ford Motor Company.

    Citation:

    Silvestri, Luciana, and Ranjay Gulati. "From Periphery to Core: A Process Model for Embracing Sustainability." In Leading Sustainable Change: An Organizational Perspective, edited by Rebecca Henderson, Ranjay Gulati, and Michael Tushman. Oxford University Press, forthcoming. View Details
  2. Media & Entertainment in Argentina: Doing business in a fragmented society.

    We explore the issues of vertical and horizontal fragmentation in Argentina by examining how consumers relate to media and entertainment content and technologies. We focus on belly-of-the-market consumers (the most affluent at the bottom of the pyramid) and observe the way they relate to products and services, move to acquire them, and build aspirations and dreams. Subsequently, we compare their behavior with that of high- and low-income consumers. Results evidence that both vertical and horizontal fragmentation are prevalent: belly-of-the-market consumers not only differ in their behavior with individuals of different socioeconomic characteristics, but also—quite strongly—among themselves. Fragmentation seems to be tied to four distinct factors: consumers' lifecycle stage, gender, income level, and degree of social embeddedness. Our findings have important implications for companies doing business in fragmented societies where the M&E industry is still awaiting major changes in structure, technology, and market offerings.

    Citation:

    Silvestri, Luciana, and Roberto Vassolo. "Media & Entertainment in Argentina: Doing business in a fragmented society." In Handbook of Spanish Language Media, edited by Alan Albarran. Routledge, in press. View Details

Presentations

  1. Brokerage Spaces: How Informal Networks Transform Formal Structure In The Pursuit Of Complex Tasks

    Keywords: networks; organizational design; ambiguity; cognition; collaboration; Networks; Organizational Design; Cognition and Thinking;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Luciana Silvestri. "Brokerage Spaces: How Informal Networks Transform Formal Structure In The Pursuit Of Complex Tasks." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Lake Buena Vista (Orlando), FL, August 2013. View Details
  2. Weaving Sustainability into the Organization’s Fabric: A Framework for Organizational Renewal

    Keywords: sustainability; Sustainability Management; organizational identity; organizational design; strategy; alliances; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Mission and Purpose; Management; Strategy; Organizational Design; Alliances; Environmental Sustainability;

    Citation:

    Silvestri, Luciana, and Ranjay Gulati. "Weaving Sustainability into the Organization’s Fabric: A Framework for Organizational Renewal." Paper presented at the Change and Sustainability Conference, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA, May 9, 2013. View Details
  3. Brokerage Spaces: How Informal Networks Transform Formal Structure In The Pursuit Of Complex Tasks

    Keywords: networks; organizational structure; cognition; collaboration; Networks; Organizational Structure; Cognition and Thinking;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Luciana Silvestri. "Brokerage Spaces: How Informal Networks Transform Formal Structure In The Pursuit Of Complex Tasks." Paper presented at the Strategic Management Society Annual International Conference, Atlanta, GA, 2013. View Details
  4. Differentiation, Coordination, and Integration under Knowledge Interdependence

    Keywords: organizational design; interdependence; Integration; Integration; Organizational Design;

    Citation:

    Raveendran (formerly Goetting), Marlo, Ranjay Gulati, and Luciana Silvestri. "Differentiation, Coordination, and Integration under Knowledge Interdependence." Paper presented at the Strategic Management Society Annual International Conference, Miami, FL, 2011. View Details
  5. Differentiation, Coordination, and Integration under Knowledge Interdependence

    Keywords: organizational design; interdependence; Integration; Integration; Organizational Design;

    Citation:

    Raveendran (formerly Goetting), Marlo, Ranjay Gulati, and Luciana Silvestri. "Differentiation, Coordination, and Integration under Knowledge Interdependence." Paper presented at the Trans-Atlantic Doctoral Conference, London Business School, London, UK, 2011. View Details
  6. Compensatory Fit in Integrated Architectures: The Upside of Structural Ambiguity

    Keywords: organizational design; ambiguity; collaboration; Organizational Design;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Luciana Silvestri. "Compensatory Fit in Integrated Architectures: The Upside of Structural Ambiguity." Paper presented at the Trans-Atlantic Doctoral Conference, London Business School, London, UK, 2010. View Details
  7. Induced Variation in Administrative Systems: Experimenting with Contexts for Innovation

    Keywords: organizational design; Evolutionary Perspective on Strategic Management; international business; Management; Organizational Design; Globalization;

    Citation:

    Caldart, Adrian, Roberto Vassolo, and Luciana Silvestri. "Induced Variation in Administrative Systems: Experimenting with Contexts for Innovation." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Montréal, Canada, 2010. View Details
  8. Compensatory Fit in Integrated Architectures: The Upside of Structural Ambiguity

    Keywords: integrated design; organizational structure; organizational design; ambiguity; Organizational Design; Organizational Structure;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Luciana Silvestri. "Compensatory Fit in Integrated Architectures: The Upside of Structural Ambiguity." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Montréal, Canada, 2010. View Details
  9. Organizational Identity as an Anchor for Adaptation: An Emerging Market Perspective

    There is little doubt that organizational identity—that which is central, distinctive, and enduring about an organization—mediates in adaptive processes. Exactly how this mediation takes place, and whether it is favorable or unfavorable to adaptation, must still be fully established. We add to the literature on identity and adaptation by exploring the relationship between these two constructs in family firms operating in an emerging economy. Based on measures of strength of identity, we examine how identity affects the adaptive processes of issue identification, strategic impulse definition, and implementation, where we look at pace of adjustment. We find that strong-identity organizations are able to foresee relevant changes in their industries, define adequate strategic responses, and implement them in an evolutionary (i.e., smooth) manner. Conversely, loose-identity organizations misread industry trends, incur in strategic paralysis, and must eventually enforce revolutionary (i.e., violent) changes in order to ensure survival.

    Keywords: Identity; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Family Business; Strategy; Emerging Markets;

    Citation:

    Hatum, Andres, Luciana Silvestri, and Roberto Vassolo. "Organizational Identity as an Anchor for Adaptation: An Emerging Market Perspective." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2008. View Details

    Research Summary

  1. Overview

    In industries characterized by extreme dynamism, complexity, and uncertainty, formal structure often “falls behind” actual work processes. The nature of work in these environments evolves continuously while formal structure can only do so at specific times in discrete ways. My research aims to uncover new forms and processes of organizing that allow firms in these industries to thrive and stay ahead of the curve. I have spent the past two years at a social media company tracing the ways in which identity (both at collective and individual levels) helps organize work processes in order to capture market opportunities before the window closes. My in-depth inductive qualitative study explains how identity acts as a shared cognitive map that guides the evolution of roles and linkages until a new formal structure is put in place. Identity emerges as a continuity that bridges two discontinuities (structure at t0 and t1) and thus helps shape the organization’s evolutionary trajectory. In related work, I explore how identity can be brought asunder by reorganizations that interrupt this trajectory.I examine the different kinds of identity work individuals perform not only to sustain their sense of self at work but also to support vital work processes the new structure ignores. Additional inductive-qualitative work describes how organizations use structural ambiguity to perform complex cross-functional work (with Ranjay Gulati), how identity can help firms adapt to crises in emerging markets (with Andres Hatum, Andrew Pettigrew, and Roberto Vassolo, 2012) and how identity can help drive strategy and long-term performance (with Andres Hatum).

    Keywords: organizational structure; organizational design; organizational identity; identity work; strategy; strategic change; collaboration; cross-functional integration; cognition; organizational evolution; organizational alignment; social media;

    Teaching

  1. Overview

    Luciana has taught in front of MBA, Master of International Business and Economics, and Executive Education students. At HBS, she was a teaching fellow in "Managing Innovation" (taught in the MBA program by Professor Karim Lakhani) and co-developed most teaching materials for "High-Performance Leadership" (taught in the AMP program by Professor Ranjay Gulati). She developed and taught the first-ever Strategy course offered at Dubrovnik International University in Croatia to Masters students, many of whom were learning the fundamentals of competition in a newly-minted market economy for the first time. Finally, Luciana taught Strategy sessions at IAE Business School in Argentina to MBA and Young Professional students, having co-developed most teaching materials with Professor Roberto Vassolo. The course combined well-known competitive and corporate strategy content with content developed specifically for managers formulating strategy in a developing economy. Luciana and Roberto wrote a book based on these materials, which continues to be the backbone of many Strategy courses taught at IAE.

    Keywords: strategy; Organizational Change and Adaptation; organizational evolution; organizational design; organizational behavior; Strategy; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Design;

  1. Published in the Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, 2010.

  2. Nominated for the Strategic Management Society Best Conference Paper Prize, 2011.

  3. Nominated for the Strategic Management Society Best Conference Paper Prize for Practice Implications, 2011.

Area of Study

  • Management