Leandro S. Pongeluppe

Leandro S. Pongeluppe
  • Assistant Professor of Management

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2106 SH-DH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: Sustainable Development Goals, Stakeholder Management, Mixed Methods, and Global South

Links: CV, Personal Website, LinkedIn, Twitter

Overview

Leandro “Leo” Pongeluppe is an Assistant Professor of Management at the Wharton School of Management, University of Pennsylvania. Leo’s primary research interests are related to stakeholder management and socioeconomic development. Particularly, Leo is interested in understanding how organizations’ design and governance affect the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as poverty alleviation, environmental conservation, and healthcare. Leo uses mixed methods in his research, combining econometric causal inference methods with ethnographic techniques to analyze multi-faceted problems related to socioeconomic development. Currently, Leo is performing research in settings such as the Brazilian favelas, the Amazon rainforest, and African HIV/AIDS treatment clinics.

Professionally, Leo co-founded and worked as a PMO at Insper Metricis, a research group dedicated to evaluating projects’ socio-environmental impact. At Insper Metricis, Leo participated in the design of Brazil’s first Social Impact Bond (SIB), in partnership with the São Paulo State Government, Sundfeld Attorneys, Social Finance-UK, International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Leo also worked for about three years as an associate researcher at Accenture Institute for High Performance. During this time, Leo participated in projects related to inclusive innovation and public innovation in the context of developing countries, namely Brazil, China, Ghana, India, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa.

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Research

  • Leandro S. Pongeluppe (2023), Heroes or Villains? Agribusiness Leaders in the Amazon Region, Academy of Management Discoveries. https://doi.org/10.5465/amd.2022.0255

    Abstract: In recent years, the Amazon rainforest has faced voracious depletion due to logging and farming activities. These activities are often justified as necessary for economic development in the region. However, effective leadership, particularly at the local level, can play a crucial role in promoting simultaneously both economic growth and ecological sustainability. This study examines the effects of leaders’ occupational background in agribusiness on economic development and environmental preservation. We employ a Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD) to compare the performance of marginally elected (almost randomly) agribusiness leaders with non-agribusiness leaders in terms of new firm creation and deforestation rates in Brazilian Amazon municipalities from 2004 to 2016. Our findings suggest that agribusiness leaders are more effective than their non-agribusiness counterparts in promoting the creation of new businesses in their municipalities. This increased economic activity has not necessarily been accompanied by higher deforestation rates. The analysis of mechanisms shows the importance of fiscal policies, which are under the control of local leaders, in promoting economic prosperity without sacrificing environmental sustainability. This study underscores the need to move beyond simplistic notions of “heroes” and “villains” in the quest to reconcile economic and ecological objectives as aimed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Anita M McGahan and Leandro S. Pongeluppe (2023), There Is No Planet B: Aligning Stakeholder Interests to Preserve the Amazon Rainforest, Management Science.

    Abstract: How do firms address complex collective action problems effectively? Institutional and stakeholder research suggests that firms may avoid the tragedy of the commons by aligning the interests of critical proximate stakeholders in ways that governments cannot accomplish. This phenomenological paper investigates this possibility by analyzing Amazon rainforest preservation by Natura, a Brazilian cosmetics company. The results indicate that Natura internalized environmental externalities by linking ecologically conscious consumers with rural Amazonian communities. A differences-in-differences analysis compares forest preservation and fire activity in the municipalities that Natura entered with those in which it did not enter. Natura’s impact is identified through an instrumental variable analysis using missing satellite images, which Natura relied upon to decide which municipalities to enter. Quantitative results tie Natura’s entry into municipalities with forest preservation. Analysis of three mechanisms associates Natura’s involvement with stakeholder decisions to cultivate diverse forest-generated crops instead of clearing the land for conventional agriculture. This study contributes to the management literature by suggesting how firms can address important global challenges, such as rainforest preservation, by investing in stakeholder capability development and by creating institutional arrangements in line with those envisioned elsewhere.

  • Aline Gatignon, Julien Clement, Leandro S. Pongeluppe, Luk Van Wassenhove (Under Review), Resource-Poor but Network-Rich: A Configurational Approach to Stakeholder Engagement for Scaling Social Innovation.

    Abstract: Replicating social innovations across geographies while embedding them in each local setting can help disenfranchised populations access collective goods (e.g. healthcare), at scale. This calls for both external and internal stakeholder engagement, yet these relationships have high coordination costs for local managers. Therefore, we examine which stakeholder governance strategies can help them reach disenfranchised populations in resource-constrained settings. We use fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) techniques to analyze survey and performance data from seventeen health clinics serving mobile workers at risk of HIV/AIDS across Sub-Saharan Africa. We find that clinics under stronger resource constraints outperformed those with more available resources, as they made critical choices about which stakeholders to engage and how. These clinics reached disenfranchised populations best by (1) nurturing intensive relationships with either external or internal stakeholders or (2) using indirect coordination to sidestep this tradeoff, gaining external resource support and internal information exchange without such high costs. However, when targeting the most stigmatized population groups, the need to engage intensively with both internal and external stakeholders outweighed the high coordination costs. Our paper informs research connecting stakeholder governance to social innovation and social impact.

    Description: Replicating social innovations across geographies while embedding them in each local setting can help disenfranchised populations access collective goods (e.g. healthcare), at scale. This calls for both external and internal stakeholder engagement, yet these relationships have high coordination costs for local managers. Therefore, we examine which stakeholder governance strategies can help them reach disenfranchised populations in resource-constrained settings. We use fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) techniques to analyze survey and performance data from seventeen health clinics serving mobile workers at risk of HIV/AIDS across Sub-Saharan Africa. We find that clinics under stronger resource constraints outperformed those with more available resources, as they made critical choices about which stakeholders to engage and how. These clinics reached disenfranchised populations best by (1) nurturing intensive relationships with either external or internal stakeholders or (2) using indirect coordination to sidestep this tradeoff, gaining external resource support and internal information exchange without such high costs. However, when targeting the most stigmatized population groups, the need to engage intensively with both internal and external stakeholders outweighed the high coordination costs. Our paper informs research connecting stakeholder governance to social innovation and social impact.

  • Leandro S. Pongeluppe (2022), The Favela Effect: Spatial Inequalities and Firm Strategies in Disadvantaged Urban Communities, Strategic Management Journal, 43 (13), pp. 2777-2808.

    Abstract: E-commerce firms make fewer products available and charge higher delivery prices to customers inside Brazilian favelas than they do to customers immediately outside favelas, despite the absence of infrastructure impediments at the favela borders. This phenomenological study uses mixed methods to investigate firm heterogeneity in these practices. The analysis shows that some firms treat favela consumers more equitably than their competitors. These firms (i) invest in physical stores inside and outside favelas, which are complementary to their online marketplaces, and (ii) engage genuinely with employees and consumers, which reflects their stakeholder orientation. By examining how firms operate in disadvantaged communities, scholars can enrich core theoretical constructs in strategic management, particularly by integrating insights from the fields of critical geography and urban economics.

  • Luiz F Mesquita, Maria Sylvia M Saes, Sergio G Lazzarini, Leandro S. Pongeluppe (2021), Can trust induce vertical integration? An experimental study of buyer–seller exchanges with distinct competencies and specific investments, Industrial and Corporate Change, 30 (3), pp. 778-798.

    Abstract: Research has debated the merits of transaction cost and competence-based explanations of make-versus-buy choices. We advance this discussion by arguing that trust not only promotes markets by reducing the hazards of specific investments (as emphasized by previous work), but alternatively triggers vertical integration when parties would like to internalize distinctive competencies and at the same time avoid hierarchical failure. Our experimental results where players choose between markets and hierarchies lend support for this dual role of trust in boundary decisions.

  • Sergio G Lazzarini, Leandro S. Pongeluppe, Nobuiuki C. Ito, Felippe de Medeiros Oliveira, Armen Ovanessoff (2020), Public capacity, plural forms of collaboration, and the performance of public initiatives: A configurational approach, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 30 (4), pp. 579-595.

    Abstract: We assess conditions that explain plural forms of public and private action using a comparative study of 24 public initiatives in Brazil, India, and South Africa. Measuring performance as evidence of positive outcomes to their target populations, we compare cases of high and low performance. Our configurational approach examines combinations of conditions leading to positive outcomes: public operational capacity, diverse collaborations nurtured by public units (with for-profit firms, with nonprofit organizations, and with other units in the public bureaucracy), and stakeholder orientation (permeability to multiple sources of input to design and adjust the project). We apply fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis to unveil configurations consistent with high performance. Our configurational analysis reveals two distinct paths to high performance. A path with higher private engagement involves concurrent collaborations with for-profit and nonprofit actors, whereas an alternative path with higher internal (public) engagement relies on collaborations within the public bureaucracy complemented by high permeability to inputs from multiple stakeholders. Our results also confirm that strong public capacity is necessary in all high-performance configurations. An important implication is that externalization and multiple forms of collaboration are not substitutes for weak governments. Furthermore, our configurational perspective contributes to the literature by operationalizing a multiple-actor, multiple-logic perspective describing alternative paths to high performance.

  • Guilherme F. A. Monteiro, Luciana Luk-Tai Yeung, Silvia Morales Q. Caleman, Leandro S. Pongeluppe (2019), Indigenous Land Demarcation Conflicts in Brazil: Has the Supreme Court’s Decision Brought (In)Stability?, European Journal of Law and Economics, 48 (2), pp. 267-290.

    Abstract: We investigate judiciary decision-making patterns regarding property rights conflicts between native Brazilians and rural farmers in the Midwest region of Brazil. Our main contribution is the use of the qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) method for the evaluation of the issue. We use QCA to examine a unique database composed of cases heard by a regional federal court in Brazil between 1999 and 2013. Our empirical analysis is based on the outcomes of the individual judicial procedures along with the specific laws and jurisprudences evoked by the federal judges in making their decisions. We find evidence that a major case settled by the Brazilian Supreme Court in 2009, celebrated as a landmark in national jurisprudence and expected to bring stability to the conflicts, did not have this effect on lower courts’ judgments. In fact, the 2009 decision triggered a proliferation of different interpretations among judges about how to analyze the land conflicts, thus changing the structure of the judges’ decisions. Based on these findings, we can shed new light on the dynamics of judicial decision-making regarding property rights conflicts of indigenous lands in Brazil.

  • Raghav Narsalay, Leandro S. Pongeluppe, David Light (2015), The Hidden Pitfalls of Inclusive Innovation, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter, pp. 47-53.

Teaching

Current Courses (Spring 2024)

  • MGMT6110 - Managing Est Enterprise

    This course is about managing large enterprises that face the strategic challenge of being the incumbent in the market and the organizational challenge of needing to balance the forces of inertia and change. The firms of interest in this course tend to operate in a wide range of markets and segments, frequently on a global basis, and need to constantly deploy their resources to fend off challenges from new entrants and technologies that threaten their established positions. The class is organized around three distinct but related topics that managers of established firms must consider: strategy, human and social capital, and global strategy.

    MGMT6110001 ( Syllabus )

    MGMT6110002 ( Syllabus )

    MGMT6110003 ( Syllabus )

All Courses

  • MGMT6110 - Managing Est Enterprise

    This course is about managing large enterprises that face the strategic challenge of being the incumbent in the market and the organizational challenge of needing to balance the forces of inertia and change. The firms of interest in this course tend to operate in a wide range of markets and segments, frequently on a global basis, and need to constantly deploy their resources to fend off challenges from new entrants and technologies that threaten their established positions. The class is organized around three distinct but related topics that managers of established firms must consider: strategy, human and social capital, and global strategy.

Awards and Honors

  • Wiley Blackwell Outstanding Dissertation Award – 83rd Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2023, 2023
  • Wharton Global Initiatives Research Funding, 2023
  • Analytics at Wharton Funding, 2023
  • ESG Initiative at Wharton Funding, 2023
  • People’s Choice Award – 14th Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability Annual Conference., 2022
  • Best Paper Award – 13th Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability Annual Conference, 2021
  • Honorable Mention for the Best Conference Paper Prize – 41st Annual Conference of the Strategic Management Society, 2021
  • Stakeholder Strategy Best Ph.D. Student Proposal and Finalist for the Research Methods Paper Prize – 41st Annual Conference of the Strategic Management Society, 2021
  • William F. Glueck Best Paper Award – 81st Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2021
  • Gies College of Business (UIUC) Research Grant (in collaboration with Carlos Inoue), 2021
  • Best Paper Award – 17th Annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference, 2020
  • Winner Conference Ph.D. Paper Prize – 40th Annual Conference of the Strategic Management Society, 2020
  • Distinguished Paper Award in Cooperative Strategy – 80th Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2020
  • Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics PhD Student Research Award, 2020
  • Best Paper Award – 12th Ivey/Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability PhD Sustainability Academy, 2019
  • STR Division Best Reviewer – 79th Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2019
  • University of Toronto Portuguese Association PIPA Scholarship, 2019
  • Best Paper Award on Organization Economics – FEAUSP Ruy Leme on Academic Excellence Award, 2014
  • Special Mention of Pioneering Contribution – Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference, 2013

In the News

Activity

Latest Research

Leandro S. Pongeluppe (2023), Heroes or Villains? Agribusiness Leaders in the Amazon Region, Academy of Management Discoveries. https://doi.org/10.5465/amd.2022.0255
All Research

In the News

This Company’s Sustainable Partnerships Helped Prevent Amazon Rainforest Deforestation

A new study of Brazilian beauty company Natura shows how businesses can work with local stakeholders to preserve the environment and create change.Read More

Knowledge at Wharton - 9/26/2023
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Wharton Magazine - 10/21/2022