Imperial College London

Dr Cleo Silvestri

Business School

Research Associate



+44 (0)7492 888 003cleo.silvestri13 CV




Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





During my PhD, I focused my research on the challenges that employees face when they belong to a hybrid organization. In a first project, we explore the case of idealists - individuals who prioritize normative over utilitarian identity elements. This study extends prior work by highlighting the interplay between individuals’ need for self-continuity and self-esteem in informing organizational identification.

In my second and third projects, my colleagues (M. Perkmann, P. Criscuolo, & K. Weber) and I look at professionals whose private behavior does not conform to the sole engagement of core professional tasks and study their decision to nevertheless display such nonconformity in the construction of their professional image. This study revisits middle-status conformity, as it relaxes the assumption of complete visibility of nonconforming activities performed by actors based on their status. We test our hypotheses by analyzing quantitative data and text data from professional university-based webpages of academics.

After my dissertation, I extended my research portfolio with three additional projects on novelty and social (e)valuations. In a first project, my co-authors (J. Jourdan & M. Perkmann) and I build on Bourdieu’s concept of distinction, and propose a dynamic model in which critics adjust their evaluation of cultural products to distinguish themselves from their peers in a cultural space. To test these ideas, we leverage a unique dataset of 19,075 reviews published by 66 journals or magazines on 1,164 local and foreign movies released in the French theatrical market between 1999 and 2010. I presented preliminary results of this work at the virtual Mallen Conference in November 2020 (“The Mallen Scholars and Practitioners Conference in Filmed Entertainment Economics); these were also presented at the Creative Industry Conference (February, 2021).

In a second project, my co-authors (F. Bacco, G. Cattani, & S. Ferriani) and I look at how a particular language describing startup organizations is evaluated by a focal company that decided to engage in open innovation and for whom the scouting of these startups has been conducted. We are planning to use quantitative data from two anonymous companies and integrate the analysis with lab experiments to add validity of the mechanisms imputed. We presented the early version of this project at EGOS 2020 and AOM 2020.

In a third project (with M. Yu, L. Dong, & Y. Mishina), we shed light on the role of social-control agents in punishing misconduct. We posit that social-control agents give each violator a lighter sanction when a greater number of people are involved in a misconduct case. We further argue that this relationship is attenuated by those factors that scrutinize the decisions taken by social-control agents. We test our hypotheses using suspension decisions for doping events occurred in the context of professional road cycling between 1999 and 2019. This project was nominated for the Best Paper Award at SMS 2020, and we recently won two grants to support the data collection for this study. The first grant (in 2020) was sponsored by the Lille Economics Management (LEM) research laboratory and the second one (in 2021) by the Management & Entrepreneurship Department at Imperial College Business School.