Imperial College London


Business School

Associate Professor of Design and Innovation



+44 (0)20 7594 9228i.stigliani




395Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr. Ileana Stigliani is Assistant Professor of Design and Innovation at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Department. She received her Ph.D. in Management from Bocconi University, Milan.

Her research focuses on the cognitive aspects of innovation. In particular, she studies how material artifacts and practices influence cognitive processes – such as sensemaking and sensegiving, categorization, and perceptions of organizational and professional identities – within organizations.

She investigates these themes in design-based companies – e.g., Alessi, Kartell, Alfa Romeo, Piaggio, and Ducati - and in Product and Service Design consulting firms – Continuum Innovation, IDEO, Live Work, Engine Service Design, etc.

In particular, while she was a visiting scholar at the Sloan School of Management of the MIT, Boston,  she conducted a ten-month ethnography of how designers work at Continuum Innovation, a world leading innovation and design consulting firm.

She's currently studying the cognitive dynamics underpinning the emergence of Service Design.

Ileana's research has been published or is forthcoming in the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, the International Journal of Management Reviews, Organizational Dynamics, Organization Studies and the International Small Business Journal.

She is a member of the Editorial Board of the European Management Journal, and of Innovation: Organization and Management.

At Imperial, she teaches 'Management of Design' and "Design Thinking" to MSc, and MBA students, and Qualitative Research Methods to Ph.D. students.

In 2016, she received the Imperial College Business School Teaching Excellence Award for Innovation in teaching.

Her research and opinions about how Design Thinking can contribute to companies' success have been featured in media outlets, like The Economist, The Financial Times, Forbes, BBC, etc.



Elsbach K, Stigliani I, New information technology and implicit bias, Academy of Management Perspectives, ISSN:1558-9080


Stigliani I, Artifacts and Creativity: The Role of Artifacts during the Creative Process in a Product Design Firm, First European Design Management Workshop 2008

Stigliani I, The Making of Form: Exploring Aesthetic Knowledge in Product Design, EGOS 2009

Stigliani I, The Making of Form: Exploring Aesthetic Knowledge in Product Design, Academy of Management Meeting 2009

Stigliani I, The Aesthetic Implications of Product Design, Academy of Management Meeting 2010

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