01 Dec 2021

New Faculty Profiles: Joseph Pacelli


HBS faculty comprises more than 300 scholars and practitioners who bring leading-edge research, extensive experience, and deep insights into the classroom, to organizations, and to managers. We asked new faculty at HBS about their background, their new roles, and their interests.

Joseph Pacelli, visiting associate professor, Accounting and Management

What is your educational background?
Prior to joining HBS, I earned my PhD in accounting from Cornell University and graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting.

What’s your area of research and what led you to it?
My research focuses on gatekeepers, such as banks and financial analysts. I am particularly interested in issues related to corporate culture and diversity within banks. Culture is inherently difficult to measure, so my research often leverages new datasets and methodologies to better understand the inner workings of firms.

My research interests were heavily influenced by my graduate studies at Cornell, where there was a strong emphasis placed on understanding behavioral forces, judgment, and decision-making within firms.

What will you be teaching here?
I will be teaching Financial Reporting and Control in the Required Curriculum and a PhD seminar in the A&M Unit.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a professor?
Before going back to graduate school, I worked in investment banking for a brief period of time around the financial crisis. I suspect that there is a good chance that I would have continued to work in the banking industry.

Where are you from?
I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in central New Jersey.

What is something you like to do outside of your academic work?
I enjoy running, playing guitar, cooking, and wine tasting. I also indulge in the occasional Netflix binge watch.

What’s your favorite book, movie, or piece of art?
I am a big fan of nonfiction and memoirs, with one of my recent favorites being Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover. In terms of movies, I like thrillers, but am more interested in a captivating TV series. My favorite TV show of all time is The Sopranos.

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