Ioannis Ioannou

Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship. BSc (Yale University), PhD (Harvard University) at London Business School


London Business School

Dr Ioannou is a strategy scholar whose research focuses on Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). More specifically, he seeks to understand whether, how, and the extent to which the modern business organization contributes towards building a sustainable future. His academic work evolves around two main themes: a) understanding how investment analysts, and the public equity markets, perceive, evaluate and react to corporate engagement with, and integration of, environmental and social issues into strategy and b) understanding the multiple factors (e.g. institutional, regulatory, behavioral) that may affect, drive or hinder, the corporate decision to adopt environmentally and socially responsible strategies.

Dr Ioannou regularly publishes in top-tier peer-reviewed academic journals including the Strategic Management Journal, Management Science, Organization Science, The Accounting Review and the Journal of International Business Studies. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Strategic Management Journal and in 2015 received an Outstanding Editorial Board Member Award for his service. He is also active on social media and a frequent contributor to articles in the popular and managerial press including outlets such as the Financial Times, The Guardian, and Forbes. In further recognition of his impactful work, Dr Ioannou has been shortlisted for the Future Thinker Award of Thinkers50, the first-ever global ranking of management thinkers whose mission is to recognize ideas that have the power to change the world.

A key contribution of his work is to theorize about and provide empirical evidence for the emergence of the “sustainable organization” (in a recent study published in Management Science, with G. Serafeim and B. Eccles). In addition to the emergence of the sustainable organization, Ioannou and co-authors provide solid evidence regarding significant long-term outperformance of this type of organization compared to the traditional corporate form, both in terms of operating as well as stock market performance. In a more recent study with C. Flammer, Dr Ioannou explores the impact of the Great Recession on long-term corporate strategies, revealing the critical role of investments in innovation and stakeholder relations during times of crisis. Specifically, the findings indicate that during the Great Recession, companies significantly reduced their workforce and capital expenditures. Yet, they maintained the same level of investments in R&D and CSR in an attempt to remain competitive during (and after) turbulent times.

His work on CSR and Access to Finance, with G. Serafeim and B. Cheng, has received the Best Paper Award at the Annual Academic Conference of the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment while his work with O.Hawn received the Best Paper Award from the Social Issues in Management division of the Academy of Management and was published in the Best Paper Proceedings of the 2012 Academy of Management (AOM) meeting. Recently, his paper with O. Hawn and R. Durand presenting a general model of corporate responses to normative pressures as they relate to socio-environmental issues was published in the 2016 AOM Best Paper Proceedings. Previously Dr Ioannou had two more papers published in the AOM Best Paper Proceedings: his dissertation work on the impact of spinoffs on their parent companies in the US automobile industry (2009), and a paper with G. Serafeim on the Impact of CSR on Investment Recommendations (2010).

Dr Ioannou graduated magna cum laude from Yale University, majoring in Economics and Mathematics and holds a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University and the Harvard Business School. He taught on the MBA and EMBA Core Strategy courses at LBS, and several other degree programs such as the Masters in Finance degree, the Emerging Leaders Program and other senior executive programs. He is a regular contributor to multiple LBS executive education programmes including modules on Sustainability, which he teaches to the fellows of the World Economic Forum.

In addition to research, he often consults internationally with companies on how environmental, social and corporate governance strategies are strategically adopted, effectively embedded and successfully implemented. He is a member of the UK Network Rail’s External Transparency Challenge Panel and also, a member of the Prosperity Panel that advises the Minister of the Environment of Northern Ireland. He recently joined the Advisory Board of Ethical Corporation.


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