Julie Battilana

Change Agent

Julie Battilana is an Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School. She currently teaches the second-year Power and Influence course and in previous years has taught the first-year Leadership and Organizational Behavior (LEAD) course in the MBA program. She also teaches in executive education offerings, including Colloquium on Participant-Centered Learning and High Potentials Leadership Program.

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, that is, the process of institutional entrepreneurship. Institutions are patterns of acting and organizing that have become so well established that actors perceive them as the only possible ways of acting and organizing. Institutional entrepreneurs, whether organizations or individuals, are actors who initiate and actively participate in the implementation of change that diverges from the institutional status quo in a field of activity. In times like these, when the question of how to reform existing institutions such as healthcare and financial systems has taken on great urgency, understanding the process of institutional entrepreneurship is crucial. Aiming to do so, Professor Battilana’s work examines (1) the conditions that enable actors to initiate change that diverges from the institutional status quo, and (2) the process by which they implement such change. She has articles published or forthcoming in Academy of Management Journal, Organization 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.

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.