Associate Professor in Strategy & Organisation
Ecole Normale Supérieure, LLM (Rennes I), MSc (Paris X Université), MA (EHESS), PhD (HEC Paris)
Strategy and economic sociology; organisation theory; categorisation; diversity, equity, inclusion; racial and gender diversity.
Subject group: Strategy & International Business
Lionel Paolella is an Associate Professor at Cambridge Judge Business School, and an Affiliated Faculty at Harvard Law School (Center on Legal Profession). He graduated from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan (ENS) in France, after which he took a MA in Sociology at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), a MS in Management and Organization Science (University Paris X), and a PhD in Strategy (HEC Paris). Before joining the University of Cambridge, he was a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago (Booth Graduate School of Business) in 2011, and a Chazen visiting scholar at Columbia University (Graduate School of Business) between September 2012 and December 2013.
Lionel’s main line of research explores: 1) how market categories – a set of firms that share cognitive and cultural similarities – affect the social evaluation and performance of organisations (e.g. in the international legal services market or the Islamic banking industry) and 2) how to foster diversity, equity and inclusion in organisations.
Lionel currently teaches the core Strategy course and the ED&I module in the MBA curriculum, and he is also involved in many Executive Education programmes (Strategy, General Management, Professional Service Firms, Diversity Trainings). He received the Cambridge Judge Teaching Award in 2017, the MBA Faculty of the Year Award in 2018, and he has been listed among the Best 40 under 40 Professors by Poets and Quants in 2019.
Awards & honours
- Listed in the “Best 40 under 40 Professors”, Poets & Quants, 2019
- CK Prahalad Best Conference Paper Award, Strategic Management Society Special Conference (India), 2018
- MBA Faculty of the Year Award as voted for by the Cambridge MBA class, 2018
- Cambridge Judge Business School Teaching Award, 2017
- Cambridge Art and Humanities Research Grant Scheme, 2017
- Emerald Citations of Excellence Award (for “Category stretching: reorienting research on categories in strategy, entrepreneurship, and organization theory” by R. Durand and L. Paolella), 2016
- Winner, Best PhD Paper Prize (with Maima A. Syakhroza), Strategic Management Society Annual Conference, 2016
- Nominee, Best Paper Prize, Strategic Management Society Annual Conference, 2016
- Cambridge Art and Humanities Research Grant Scheme, 2016
- Winner, Roland Calori Award, Best Young Scholar in Strategy, AIMS (French Association of Strategic Management), 2015
- Finalist, Wiley Blackwell Award for Outstanding Dissertation Research in Business Policy & Strategy, 2015
- Center for Research on Society & Organizations Visiting Scholarship, 2012
- HEC Paris Foundation Visiting Scholarship, 2011
- HEC Paris Doctoral Fellowship, 2008-2013
- ENS Cachan Fellowship, 2003-2007
Paolella, L. and Syakhroza, M.A. (2021) “Beyond the insider-outsider divide: heterogenous effects of organizational identity and category taken-for-grantedness on conformity.” Social Forces, 99(4): 1487-1517 (DOI: 10.1093/sf/soaa081) (available online via ResearchGate)
Syakhroza, M.A., Paolella, L. and Munir, K. (2019) “Holier than thou? Identity buffers and adoption of controversial practices in the Islamic banking category.” Academy of Management Journal, 62(4): 1252-1277 (DOI: 10.5465/amj.2016.1017) (available online)
Roulet, T., Paolella, L., Gabbionnetta, C. and Muzio, D. (2019) “Up or aside? Micro-foundations of institutional change in the career structure of UK elite law firms.” Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 51: 327-353 (DOI: 10.1108/S0733-558X2019000065A025) (available online)
Paolella, L. and Sharkey, A.J. (2017) “Forging consensus: an integrated view of how categories shape the perception of organizational identity.” Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 51: 327-353 (DOI: 10.1108/S0733-558X20170000051009) (available online)
Paolella, L. and Durand, R. (2016) “Category spanning, evaluation, and performance: revised theory and test on the corporate law market.” Academy of Management Journal, 59(1): 330-351 (DOI: 10.5465/amj.2013.0651) (available online)
Durand, R. and Paolella, L. (2013) “Category stretching: reorienting research on categories in strategy, entrepreneurship, and organization theory.” Journal of Management Studies, 50(6): 1100-1123 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2011.01039.x) (available online)