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. Gestion estrategica en paises emergentes (Strategic management in emerging countries): Herramientas fundamentales para plantear el crecimiento de las empresas latinoamericanas (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;

    Citation:

    Vassolo, Roberto, and Luciana Silvestri. Gestion estrategica en paises emergentes (Strategic management in emerging countries): Herramientas fundamentales para plantear el crecimiento de las empresas latinoamericanas (Fundamental tools to plan the growth of Latin American firms). Buenos Aires, Argentina: Granica, 2011, Spanish ed. View Details

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;

    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. Spinning the Wheel of Retailing: Innovation Platforms for Emerging Consumers

    This exploratory study identifies key pillars upon which innovative business models rely on in the Latin American retail landscape. First, using qualitative research methods, we delve into the minds of Latin American emerging consumers to uncover their needs and paradigms. In a region where retail innovation has traditionally been targeted at high-income consumers, we find a new breed of retailers that cater to the large mass of emerging consumers Second, we explore the avenues of innovation retailers have followed to serve this impoverished segment. We find that retailers' efforts to innovate have resulted in at least three original retail formats: one centered on providing access to durable goods, another centered on offering a wide assortment of goods and a convenient location, and the last one centered on incorporating design and quality. Based on the wheel of retailing theory, we show how these new formats are changing the structure of the retail industry in the region.

    Citation:

    D'Andrea, Guillermo, Luciana Silvestri, Leticia Costa, Fernando Fernandes, and Fabio Fossen. "Spinning the Wheel of Retailing: Innovation Platforms for Emerging Consumers." International Studies of Management & Organization 40, no. 2 (2010). View Details
  3. 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;

    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
  4. La innovacion minorista para los consumidores emergentes en America 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 innovacion minorista para los consumidores emergentes en America Latina (Retail innovation for emerging consumers in Latin America)." Harvard Business Review América Latina 87, no. 12 (December 2009). View Details
  5. Systemic Coherence: Disney's Strategic Approach in Latin America

    Citation:

    Hatum, Andres, Roberto Vassolo, and Luciana Silvestri. "Systemic Coherence: Disney's Strategic Approach in Latin America." Harvard Business Review América Latina (March 2007). View Details

Book Chapters

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

    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;

    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, 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;

    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, 2013. View Details
  3. Brokerage Spaces: How Informal Networks Transform Formal Structure In The Pursuit Of Complex Tasks

    Keywords: networks; organizational structure; cognition; collaboration;

    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. Searching for Sustainability: Identity and Structure in Rapidly Developing Industries

    Keywords: organizational structure; identity;

    Citation:

    Silvestri, Luciana. "Searching for Sustainability: Identity and Structure in Rapidly Developing Industries." Paper presented at the Strategic Management Society Annual International Conference, Atlanta, GA, 2013. View Details
  5. Differentiation, Coordination, and Integration under Knowledge Interdependence

    Keywords: organizational design; interdependence; Integration;

    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
  6. Differentiation, Coordination, and Integration under Knowledge Interdependence

    Keywords: organizational design; interdependence; Integration;

    Citation:

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

    Keywords: organizational design; ambiguity; collaboration;

    Citation:

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

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

    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, Montreal, Canada, 2010. View Details
  9. Compensatory Fit in Integrated Architectures: The Upside of Structural Ambiguity

    Keywords: integrated design; organizational structure; organizational design; ambiguity;

    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, Montreal, Canada, 2010. View Details
  10. 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;

    Area of Study

    • Management