Imperial College London


Business School

Associate Professor of Design and Innovation



+44 (0)20 7594 9228i.stigliani




298Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr. Ileana Stigliani is Associate Professor of Design and Innovation at the Management 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 MIT, Boston,  she conducted a ten-month ethnography of how designers work at world-leading innovation and design consulting firm, Epam Continuum. 

She's currently studying how businesses introduce and integrate Design Thinking into their organizations.

Ileana's research has been published in leading management journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, the Journal of Management Studies, the Journal of Management, the Academy of Management Annals, the International Journal of Management Reviews, and Organization Studies.

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.

In 2018, Ileana was recognised for her outstanding teaching by Poets & Quants, a prestigious international business education website that covers news about business schools and MBA degree programmes.

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, the BBC, the Guardian etc.



Magistretti S, Bianchi M, Calabretta G, et al., 2022, Framing the multifaceted nature of design thinking in addressing different innovation purposes, Long Range Planning, Vol:55, ISSN:0024-6301

Baldessarelli G, Stigliani I, Elsbach K, 2022, The aesthetic dimension of organizing: a review and research agenda, The Academy of Management Annals, Vol:10, ISSN:1941-6067

Stigliani I, 2021, Following up on “A Letter to the Male ‘Good Apples’”, Journal of Management Inquiry, Vol:30, ISSN:1056-4926, Pages:469-471

Stigliani I, 2020, Navigating an academic maze: experiences of an international female scholar, Journal of Management Inquiry, Vol:29, ISSN:1056-4926, Pages:360-363

Elsbach K, Stigliani I, 2019, New information technology and implicit bias, Academy of Management Perspectives, Vol:33, ISSN:1558-9080, Pages:185-206

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