Hybrid organizing has the potential to reshape capitalism through the creation of organizations that pursue both social and economic objectives, and are held accountable for doing so.

Julie Battilana

Julie Battilana

Harvard University

Julie Battilana is the Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School. As the Gleitsman Professor, she serves as the Faculty Chair of the New World Social Enterprise Fellows Program, a program that supports creative social innovators through teaching, mentorship, and financial support. At the Business School, she currently teaches Power and Influence, a popular MBA course. She also teaches in the doctoral program and 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 practices in a field of activity. In times like these, 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 corporations and charities at their core. 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 whether, and if so, how hybrids can sustainably combine aspects of business and charity and achieve high levels of social and financial performance.

She has articles published 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, Huffington Post, and Stanford Social Innovation Review. She has also been 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.