Aline Gatignon

Aline Gatignon
  • Assistant Professor of Management, Govil Family Faculty Scholar
  • Faculty Affiliate, Wharton Social Impact Initiative & Penn Center for Africana Studies

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2023 SH-DH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: Cross-sector Partnerships, Emerging Markets, Non-market Strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility

Links: CV, Personal Website


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 can collaborate with governments and non-profit organizations 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, where weak formal institutions often make such problems particularly salient.

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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  • Aline Gatignon (2022), The double-edged sword of boundary-spanning Corporate Social Responsibility programs, Strategic Management Journal, 29.

    Abstract: This paper builds theoretical arguments and shows empirical evidence of the direct benefits and indirect costs of corporate volunteering in developing countries. Spanning corporate and humanitarian sectors to work in challenging environments should activate motivational and learning benefits for participating employees. However, results from a field study of a 10-year partnership between logistics provider TNT and the United Nations World Food Program show that such boundary-spanning corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be a double-edged sword. Task interdependence with nonprofit peers while volunteering strengthens employees' partnership identification and institutional learning. However, institutional learning triggers identity strain (associated with attrition) when they return, unless firms foster a sense that they recognize CSR experiences as valuable. The findings inform the behavioral and micro-foundations of the potential consequences of CSR.

  • Aline Gatignon, Marina A.B. Gama, Rodrigo B. DeMello (2022), The Returns to Nonmarket Strategies during Institutional Transitions: Investor Reactions to Actor and Tie Characteristics, Organization Science, 19.

    Abstract: We explain how investor perceptions of nonmarket strategies’ legitimacy, and thereby value, change during institutional transitions toward greater legal compliance. Indirect influence strategies should be better aligned with the transition and therefore become more legitimate than those associated with direct co-optation and control. Moreover, investors should assess this alignment based on two defining characteristics of firms’ nonmarket strategies, namely, the nonmarket actors and the ties involved. We, therefore, expect investors to value firms’ ties to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) more than to political actors and ties formed via donations more than board ties. We test our hypotheses in the context of seven police raids that took place in Brazil in 2014; these raids launched “Operation Car Wash,” an anticorruption probe that signaled to investors a shift toward greater legal compliance at that point in time. Ultimately, we find that firms benefited the most when both nonmarket actors and ties were aligned with the institutional transition (i.e., NGO donations), and they suffered the most when both characteristics were misaligned (i.e., political board ties). Our findings integrate nonmarket strategies’ political and social facets by showing how actor and tie characteristics jointly explain their success or failure. They also contribute to explaining which firms will be better positioned to weather institutional transitions between legal capture and legal compliance.

    Description: published online ahead of print (open access) in Organization Science

  • Aline Gatignon and Laurence Capron (2020), The Firm As an Architect of Polycentric Governance: Building Open Institutional Infrastructure in Emerging Markets, Strategic Management Journal.

    Abstract: Research Summary: We apply pattern-matching techniques to contrast qualitative case study data with perspectives from strategic management and institutional economics about how a firm can address voids in market-based institutions. We identify a novel approach whereby the firm builds an open institutional infrastructure (OII) by investing in a pool of resources widely accessible beyond its exchange partners. To collectively govern OII, the firm must empower other actors within multilateral cross-sector partnerships. And it must enforce the resulting rules through relational norms based on alignment between public and private value creation. These findings, achieved by adapting Elinor Ostrom’s principles of polycentric governance to corporate actors who take the lead in building OII, advance our understanding of new organizational forms that transcend the traditional boundaries of firms and markets. Managerial Summary: Emerging markets typically present additional obstacles for business operations, because they lack the necessary underlying institutional infrastructure such as access to capital and labor markets. We introduce a new way for firms to overcome these obstacles— which we call building an open institutional infrastructure (OII)—by investing in such infrastructure themselves and making it available to their commercial partners, local communities and even to competitors. Firms must empower those actors to take the lead in collectively defining the rules for accessing this infrastructure, by orchestrating cross-sector partnerships. This process creates relational norms around the alignment of public and private interests, which ultimately can promote firms’ competitive advantage.

  • Luis Ballesteros and Aline Gatignon (2019), The Relative Value of Firm and Non-Profit Experience: Tackling Large-Scale Social Issues across Institutional Contexts, Strategic Management Journal, 40, pp. 631-657.

    Abstract: Research Summary Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are often identified as a natural vehicle for the engagement of firms in large‐scale social issues. We evaluate this argument by examining the conditions under which NPO experience is more valuable than firm experience in overcoming the key challenges associated with corporate disaster giving. Findings from a quasi‐experiment across the 4,396 natural disasters worldwide between 2003 and 2015 demonstrate that firms could donate more by implementing the aid through NPOs (on their own) in countries with low (high) institutional development, especially where they lack (have) market operations. However, we also observe that firms more frequently than not opted into the allocation mode that yielded comparatively low aid, raising questions about incentive alignment and communication across the business and nonprofit sectors. Managerial Summary Firms are increasingly tackling social issues across the world. Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are often identified as natural channels for facilitating such engagement, but we have no systematic evidence to confirm this. We tackle this question by outlining the conditions under which allocating company aid for disaster relief and recovery through NPOs results in greater donations than when the firms disburse its aid directly to victims. We analyze all major natural disasters that affected the world between 2003 and 2015 and observe that firms would have donated more through an NPO (directly) in countries with low (high) institutional development where they lacked (had) local operations. Yet, firms frequently chose the channel that yielded lower donations.

  • 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. 1010- Introduction to Management (2018-present)

Organizations emerge because individuals can’t (or don’t want to) accomplish their goals alone. Management is the art and science of helping individuals achieve their goals together. Managers in an organization determine where their organization is going and how it gets there. More formally, managers formulate strategies and implement those strategies.

This course provides a framework for understanding the opportunities and challenges involved in formulating and implementing strategies by taking a “systems” view of organizations. This means that we examine multiple aspects of how managers navigate and shape their environments, organize internally, and maximize desired outcomes, as well as how managerial decisions made in these various domains interrelate.

As such, the course will provide a roadmap to the different areas within the discipline of management and help you bring them together to solve managerial problems. It will be particularly valuable if you are interested in management consulting, investment analysis, or entrepreneurship – but it will help you to better understand and be a more effective contributor to any organizations you join, whether they are large, established firms, startups, or nonprofit and government organizations.

MGMT960 – PhD course: Nonmarket Strategy (Spring 2022)

Mgmt. 715 – Political and Social Environment of the Multinational Firm (2016-2018)

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.


All Courses

  • MGMT1010 - Intro To Management

    We all spend much of our lives in organizations. Most of us are born in organizations, educated in organizations, and work in organizations. Organizations emerge because individuals can't (or don't want to) accomplish their goals alone. Management is the art and science of helping individuals achieve their goals together. Managers in an organization determine where their organization is going and how it gets there. More formally, managers formulate strategies and implement those strategies. This course provides a framework for understanding the opportunities and challenges involved in formulating and implementing strategies by taking a "system" view of organizations,which means that we examine multiple aspects of how managers address their environments, strategy, structure, culture, tasks, people, and outputs, and how managerial decisions made in these various domains interrelate. The course will help you to understand and analyze how managers can formulate and implement strategies effectively. It will be particularly valuable if you are interested in management consulting, investment analysis, or entrepreneurship - but it will help you to better understand and be a more effective contributor to any organizations you join, whether they are large, established firms or startups. This course must be taken for a grade.

  • MGMT7150 - Pol & Soc Environ of Mm

    All successful firms go global. This course provides a broad introduction to international business. You will learn about who loses and who gains from trade, what are the effects of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, the World Trade Organization (WTO), regional trading blocs, and NAFTA. The course then turns to the international financial architecture, focusing on exchange rate risk. We then move to multinational firm strategies, including a discussion of the reasons for why firms choose to do business globally through trade or FDI, international tax strategy, joint ventures, technology transfer, different ways to be a multinational firm, and ethical dilemmas. The class is a mix of lectures and cases that allow students to synthesize the extensive materials on multinational management, international institutions, economic policies, and politics with a goal towards formulating multinational firm strategy.

  • MGMT9600 - Non-Market Strategy

    This course builds on the foundational material presented in MGMT 955 with a deeper focus on current research examining institutional influences on multinational management. These include regulative supports (e.g., laws, regulations, contracts and their enforcement through litigation, arbitration of incentive compatible self-regulation) but also normative (e.g., socially shared expectations of appropriate behavior, and social exchange processes) and cognitive (e.g., creating shared identity to bridge differences in values, beliefs and framing) elements of the institutional environment. We will examine not only strategic responses in the market environment but also influence strategies of multinational and domestic firms that seek to alter the institutional environment in which they operate. We will draw not only upon the international business literature but also related literatures including political economy, sociology, law, finance, communications, institutional theory, strategic corporate social responsibility, social movements, network theory and the management of extractive industries.

Awards and Honors

  • Outstanding Editorial Board Member Award for the Strategic Management Journal, 2021
  • 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

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Creating Equity in COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Distribution

Wharton’s Stephanie Creary and Aline Gatignon talk with Penn Medicine’s Dr. Florencia Greer Polite and David Casey of CVS Health about COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and access in communities of color.Read More

Knowledge at Wharton - 5/4/2021
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Illustrated graphic of various people of all ethnicities wearing the same white face mask.Faculty Insights: How to Lead and Work Through a Pandemic

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Wharton Stories - 03/26/2020
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