Man in blue shirt with beard smiling.

Lionel Paolella


Associate Professor, Strategy & Organisation, University of Cambridge Judge Business School; Affiliate Faculty, Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession

Lionel Paolella is an Associate Professor at Cambridge Judge Business School, and an Affiliated Faculty at Harvard Law School (Center on Legal Profession). He graduated from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan (ENS) in France, after which he took a MA in Sociology at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), a MS in Management and Organization Science (University Paris X), and a PhD in Strategy (HEC Paris). Before joining the University of Cambridge, he was a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago (Booth Graduate School of Business) in 2011, and a Chazen visiting scholar at Columbia University (Graduate School of Business) between September 2012 and December 2013.

Lionel’s main line of research explores: 1) how market categories – a set of firms that share cognitive and cultural similarities – affect the social evaluation and performance of organisations (e.g. in the international legal services market or the Islamic banking industry) and 2) how to foster diversity, equity and inclusion in organisations.

Lionel currently teaches the core Strategy course and the ED&I module in the MBA curriculum, and he is also involved in many Executive Education programmes (Strategy, General Management, Professional Service Firms, Diversity Trainings). He received the Cambridge Judge Teaching Award in 2017, the MBA Faculty of the Year Award in 2018, and he has been listed among the Best 40 under 40 Professors by Poets and Quants in 2019.