Aline Gatignon

Aline Gatignon
  • Assistant Professor of Management
  • Faculty Affiliate, Wharton Social Impact Initiative
  • Faculty Affiliate, Center for Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2023 SH-DH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: Cross-sector Partnerships, Emerging Markets, Cooperative Strategy, Stakeholder Engagement, Non-market Strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility, Multi-level Theory

Links: CV


Aline Gatignon is an Assistant Professor of Management at the Wharton School. She completed her Ph.D. in Strategic Management at  INSEAD, and previously received a M.A. in Development Economics and a B.A. in Political Science from the Paris Institute of Political Science (Sciences Po).

Aline’s research explains how firms, governments and non-profit organizations can collaborate to solve large-scale socio-environmental and economic problems of mutual concern. She mainly focuses on how these problems can be overcome in emerging markets, which are typically characterized by substantial voids in market-based institutions.

A central characteristic of Aline’s work is that her analyses draw on both qualitative and quantitative data that she collects from the field, across multiple countries and types of organization. The empirical settings that she studies include cosmetics in Brazil,  healthcare partnerships in Africa, Corporate Social Responsibility in India, global environmental nonprofits as well as last-mile logistics and corporate disaster response worldwide. As a result, she is able to examine her phenomenon of interest from different angles so as to, over time, build a deep understanding of the mechanisms connecting cross-sector partnerships to social and performance outcomes.

Alin’s research and pedagogical case studies on this topic have been recognized with several awards, including the Strategic Management Society Best PhD Paper Award and the European Foundation for Management Development case study competition award. Her work has been listed as part of INSEAD’s “50 Years, 50 Women, 50 Ideas” series. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Strategic Management Journal.

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Ballesteros, Luis & Gatignon, Aline, “The Relative Value of Firm and Non-Profit Experience: Tackling Large-Scale Social Issues across Institutional Contexts”, Strategic Management Journal, forthcoming

Gatignon, Aline & Gatignon, Hubert, 2011. “Transaction Costs in Action: Erin Anderson and the Path-Breaking Work of TCE in New Areas of Business Research”, Journal of Retailing, Vol 86, No 3, pp. 232-247

Gatignon, Aline, Charles, Aurélie & Van Wassenhove, Luk .N., 2010. “The Yogyakarta Earthquake: Humanitarian Relief through IFRC’s Decentralized Supply Chain”, International Journal of Production Economics, vol. 126, no. 1, pp. 102-110

Gatignon, Aline & Capron, Laurence, “The Firm as an Architect of Polycentric Governance: How Natura Built an Open Institutional Infrastructure in Brazil” (under review at the Strategic Management Journal)

Gatignon, Aline, “Employee assignments to Nonprofit Partners in Emerging Markets:  diagnosing Organizational Dysfunction via Identity Strain” (in preparation for submission)

McDonnell, Mary-Hunter, Gatignon, Aline & Odziemkowska, Katarzyna, “When in Rome: The Tactical Tenor of Environmental NGOs’ Interactions with Foreign Governments” (in preparation for submission)

  • Aline Gatignon (Working), Employee assignments to Nonprofit Partners in Emerging Markets: diagnosing Organizational Dysfunction via Identity Strain.

  • Aline Gatignon and Laurence Capron (Under Review), The Firm As an Architect of Polycentric Governance: How Natura Built an Open Institutional Infrastructure in Brazil.

  • Aline Gatignon and H. Gatignon (2011), Transaction Costs in Action: Erin Anderson and the Path-Breaking Work of TCE in New Areas of Business Research, Journal of Retailing, 86 (3), pp. 232-247.

    Abstract: This review article synthesizes Erin Anderson's academic contribution, with an emphasis on two path breaking aspects of her work, namely the operationalization of TCA in different contexts and the refinement of the theory. We review the measures that she developed to reflect key TCE constructs, and identify five contexts in which Erin Anderson's application of TCE concepts broke new paths. These are employee or representative salesforces, choice of foreign entry mode, new market entry and innovation, countertrade, and ethics. We highlight a number of ways in which her research integrates other theories to transaction cost economics, thereby deepening our understanding of key issues involving make or buy decisions. Finally, we draw attention to directions for future research identified through her work.

  • Aline Gatignon, A. Charles, L. N. Van Wassenhove (2010), The Yogyakarta Earthquake: Humanitarian Relief through IFRC’s Decentralized Supply Chain, International Journal of Production Economics, 126 (1), pp. 102-110.

    Abstract: Humanitarian operations rely heavily on logistics in uncertain, risky, and urgent contexts, making them a very different field of application for supply chain management principles than that of traditional businesses. We illustrate how optimal supply chains can be designed and implemented within this sector via a study of the process through which the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) decentralized its supply chain. We examine how the process was implemented through a 10-year retrospective of the organization's evolution. We then evaluate the decentralized supply chain's performance in responding to humanitarian crises through an analysis of the IFRC's operations during the Yogyakarta earthquake in 2006. This was the first operation to benefit from the support of Regional Logistics Units (RLUs), the core element of the IFRC's new decentralized supply chain for disaster relief. Our analysis demonstrates the benefits of the decentralized model in humanitarian operations. We find that its implementation requires an alignment between organizational readiness and the adoption of fundamental logistics components, namely standardized tools and processes, traceability through adapted information systems, and appropriate competencies within the organization.


Mgmt. 101- Introduction to Management

Organizations are all around you. Some have helped shaped who you are. Others may influence you more indirectly by shaping the world you live in. And you, in turn, have a role to play in shaping them. That role will become increasingly important as you join the workforce, gain experience, and eventually take on greater leadership responsibilities.

The better you are equipped to take on that role of shaping the organizations around you, the greater an impact you can have through your actions. Management involves helping a group of people within an organization to achieve common goals that they can’t (or wouldn’t want to) accomplish on their own. This course will teach you how to formulate those goals and implement strategies for attaining them.

The course is organized into three modules, each of which covers three key areas of management. As we move from one module to the next, we will gradually “drill down” from more macro-level to more micro- level questions and concepts.

The first module covers three core concepts in strategic management: competitive strategy, corporate strategy and cooperative strategy. The second module analyzes three major issues that managers must integrate into their strategy formulation: innovation and organizational change, global strategy, and corporate social responsibility. The third module covers three micro-level concepts that are critical to implementing strategies to address these issues: leadership, teams and job design.

Through these three modules, the course will provide you with a roadmap to the different areas within the discipline of management and the ability to bring them together to solve managerial problems.

Mgmt. 715 – Political and Social Environment of the Multinational Firm

How can you develop cosmetics products using plants located in areas that only local communities can access, when there is no legal framework for employing members of these communities and there are no collective production processes in place? How can you deliver your products when only road transportation is available but experienced truck drivers are succumbing to HIV&AIDS and they don’t have access to healthcare? How can you sell your products when there is no retail infrastructure, capital is hard to come by and potential distributors have had no basic education?

This course will teaches students to manage effectively in challenging political and social environments, specifically (although not limited to) emerging markets – places where the institutional infrastructure (access to capital, labor, talent and vertical intermediaries) is too weak to adequately support firms’ development, but where opportunities to do business abound. The ability to engage diverse groups of stakeholders – not only customers and employees, suppliers and distributors, but also politicians, non-profit organizations, and local communities – is key to navigating these challenges. The class provides students with an integrative perspective towards managing political and social risks through a combination of practical tools and the latest academic thinking on this topic.

Students in this class learn to protect and create value for the firm by engaging with external stakeholders to address critical socio-political challenges in emerging markets. By the end of the course, they will know how to: 1) exercise due diligence to insulate the firm from political risk, 2) engage stakeholders to earn a social license to operate, 3) integrate stakeholder-based initiatives into their financial management and organizational structure, and 4) leverage partnerships with public and non-profit organizations to foster organizational learning.

The format includes lecture, case discussion, in-class debates, Q&A with guest speakers and an integrative computer-based crisis management simulation custom-designed for this course.


Awards and Honors

  • Named to INSEAD’s “50 Years, 50 Women, 50 Ideas” series, 2018 Description

    The ’50 Years, 50 Women, 50 Ideas’ series recognizes the outstanding achievements of INSEAD women leading academic excellence since the school’s founding

  • Strategic Management Journal Outstanding Editorial Review Board Member Award, 2017
  • Finalist, Best PhD Conference Paper Award, Strategic Management Society, 2017
  • Nominated for the Strategic Management Society Best Conference Paper Award for ‘Allies or Adversaries: TNGOs’ Strategic Interaction with States’ (w/ Mary-Hunter McDonnell and Kate Odziemkowska), 2016
  • Nominated for the Strategic Management Society Best Conference Paper for Practice Implications and Best PhD Conference Paper awards for “The Double-Edged Sword of Public-Private Partnerships: Value Creation and Value Capture across Sector Boundaries”, 2014
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award for the Business Policy and Strategy Division of the Academy of Management Annual Conference, 2014
  • Winner of the Strategic Management Society Best Conference PhD Paper Prize for “The Locus of Capabilities in Emerging Markets: The Role of Micro-Macro Resource Grafting by Leading Domestic Firms”, 2013
  • Nominated for Best Paper, Best Student Paper and Best Paper for Managerial Implications Awards of the Strategic Management Society Annual Conference for “A Process Perspective on Institutional Capability Development”, 2012
  • Winner of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) case study competition in the ‘Supply Chain Management’ category, for “The Yogyakarta earthquake: IFRC’s first experiences with the decentralized supply chain”, 2010
  • Winner of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) case study competition in the ‘Public Sector Innovation’ category, for “Safety in Numbers: Reducing road risk with Danida’s multi- sector partnership”, 2009
  • Winner of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) case study competition in the ‘African Business Cases’ category, for “Paving the Road to Healthy Highways: A partnership to Scale up HIV & AIDS Clinics in Africa”, 2009

In the News

  • 50 Years, 50 Women, 50 Ideas, INSEAD - 05/15/2018 Description

    Aline Gatignon named to the “50 Years, 50 Women, 50 Ideas” series recognizing 50 Years of INSEAD Women Leading Academic Excellence

  • How Partnerships Drive Health Care Innovation in Africa, Knowledge@Wharton - 08/19/2016 Description

    North Star Alliance is providing much needed health care to Africa’s mobile workforce, such as truck drivers and sex workers at high risk for HIV infections. Wharton management professor Aline Gatignon recently interviewed Luke Disney, North Star’s executive director, about his work on the continent. Gatignon has done research on creating optimal partnerships to tackle socio-economic problems using data from North Star, in conjunction with Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management.

  • Creating Optimal Partnerships to Tackle Socio-economic Problems, Knowledge@Wharton - 04/21/2016 Description

    When it comes to tackling large-scale socio-economic problems, especially in emerging markets, several entities usually form partnerships to solve these challenges. But what is the optimal configuration of these partnerships and how should they best be coordinated for maximum effect?

  • Maximizing Partnerships: How Employee Learning Impacts the Organization, Knowledge@Wharton - 10/22/2015 Description

    Sending employees to work on a project with a joint partner is a convenient and efficient way for companies to glean outside knowledge and learn new ways of conducting business. But it’s not that simple. Employees who are chosen to work on these projects often have to learn under very unfamiliar conditions, and they must figure out how to integrate that new information into the existing framework of the company when they come back.

Knowledge @ Wharton


Latest Research

Aline Gatignon (Working), Employee assignments to Nonprofit Partners in Emerging Markets: diagnosing Organizational Dysfunction via Identity Strain.
All Research

In the News

How Partnerships Drive Health Care Innovation in Africa

North Star Alliance has built a network of health care clinics operating out of containers in Africa.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2016/08/19
All News