Davide Ravasi is Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management and Co-Director of the Cass PhD programme (Management, Marketing, and Operations Management pathway).
He is an expert in the areas of Organizational Identity and Culture, Design Management, and Qualitative Research Methods.
His research primarily examines interrelations between organizational identity, culture, and strategy in times of change, and he has served as a consultant to organizations reflecting on their own identity and core values. He has done extensive research on how design and designers contribute to strategic change and innovation. He is interested more generally in cultural-cognitive processes influencing how new objects and new practices come to be, and whether and how they are valued and adopted by individuals and organizations.
One of his latest studies examined how corporate museums enable organizations to use history, memory, and heritage as an asset for design and innovation. Based on this study, he curated an exhibition entitled Che Storie! Oggetti, miti e memorie dalle collezioni dei musei e degli archivi d‘impresa [tr. What stories! Objects, myths and memories from the collections of corporate museums and archives], Milano, Palazzo della Ragione, April-May 2013.
His research is mainly based on case studies and grounded theory and it has been published on Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, the Journal of Management Studies, Strategic Organization, and the Journal of Business Venturing among others. He is also a co-editor of the recent Oxford Handbook of Organizational Identity.
He has served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Management Studies (2010-2013) and sits on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Review, the Academy of Management Journal, the Journal of Management, the Journal of Management Studies, and Strategic Organization. He is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Organization and Management Theory (OMT) Division of the Academy of Management.
He is Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Aalto School of Business, Helsinki, and has also been visiting the Rotterdam School of Management, Copenhagen Business School, University of Lugano, and at the International Hellenic University of Thessaloniki. Prior of joining Cass, he was a Professor of Management at Bocconi University, Milano, where he also received his PhD in Business Administration and Management.
- Change Management
- Design Thinking
- Innovation & Creativity
- Organization Theory
- Organizational Culture
- consumer goods
- creative industries
- non-profit & voluntary sector
My research addresses the interrelations between organizational identity, culture, and strategy in times of change, and how discursive and material artifacts influence sensemaking in organizations.
I am also interested in practices of design and design management, and how organizations manage to endow its products with symbolic value and cultural meanings through design.
Organizational identity and culture
In the last decade, in-depth studies of change processes at Bang & Olufsen, Oticon, 3M and Alessi led me to produce a more fine-grained understanding of organizational culture and identity as multi-layered constructs and their interrelations. Collectively, these studies have stimulated an ongoing reflection aimed at reconceptualising identity processes in organization to account for its underexplored material and affective dimensions.
Identity, memory and heritage in corporate museums
Why do organizations invest time, money and efforts to collect, preserve, and display historical artifacts? My research on corporate museums explores mnemonic practices in organizations and how they influence collective identity-related processes. It also highlights how these practices bring the cultural heritage of the organization to bear on design, branding and people management.
Mapping long-term changes in organizational identity and culture
I am currently exploring new analytical methods and visual representations to account for long-term changes in organizational identity and cultural repertoires. A comparative study of identity trajectories in four non-profit organizations is helping examine interrelations between the content and structure of identity, identity work, and patterns of identity change.
History, temporal orientations, and innovation in long-lived organizations
How does the subjective experience of history and heritage influence strategy making and innovation? A study on multi-centenary Japanese firms is beginning to unravel how history act as a burden and a resource, shaping innovation in peculiar ways.
Alternative perspectives on the formation of reputation
Earlier in my career, I adopted a traditional perspective on reputation to investigate the formation of reputation in financial markets, and among the general public. These studies sensitized me to the limits of this approach and induced him to search for alternative theoretical lenses in other literatures (sensemaking, social memory) to better account to the formation of reputation in the new digital landscape.
- Pratt, M.G., Schultz, M., Ashforth, B.E. and Ravasi, D. (2016). The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Identity. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-100370-7.
- Lerpold, L., Ravasi, D., van Rekom, J. and Soenen, G. (2012). Organizational identity in practice. ISBN 978-0-203-81523-6.
- Stigliani, I. and Ravasi, D. (2016). Combining qualitative methods to study collective cognition in organizations. Handbook of Qualitative Organizational Research: Innovative Pathways and Methods (pp. 444–453). ISBN 978-1-317-90877-7.
- Pratt, M.G., Schultz, M., Ashforth, B.E. and Ravasi, D. (2016). Introduction: Organizational Identity: mapping where we have been, where we are, and where we might go. In Schultz, M., Ashforth, B.E. and Ravasi, D. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Identity Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-968957-6.
- Ravasi, D. (2016). Organizational Identity, Culture, and Image. In Schultz, M., Ashforth, B.E. and Ravasi, D. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Identity Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-968957-6.
- Pratt, M.G., Schultz, M., Ashforth, B.E. and Ravasi, D. (2016). Conclusion: On the Identity of Organizational Identity
looking backward toward the future. In Schultz, M., Ashforth, B.E. and Ravasi, D. (Eds.), Oxford Handbooks Online Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-968957-6.
- Lerpold, L., Ravasi, D., Van Rekom, J. and Soenen, G. (2012). Analyzing organizational identities: Some guidelines for practice. Organizational Identity in Practice (pp. 235–244). ISBN 978-0-203-81523-6.
- Stigliani, I. and Ravasi, D. (2012). Organizational artefacts and the expression of identity in corporate museums at Alfa-Romeo, Kartell, and Piaggio. Organizational Identity in Practice (pp. 197–214). ISBN 978-0-203-81523-6.
- Ravasi, D. and Schultz, M. (2012). Organizational culture and identity at Bang & Olufsen. Organizational Identity in Practice (pp. 103–120). ISBN 978-0-203-81523-6.
- Dalpiaz, E. and Ravasi, D. (2010). Corporate reputation and the news media in Italy. Corporate Reputation and the News Media: Agenda-Setting within Business News Coverage in Developed, Emerging, and Frontier Markets (pp. 105–128). ISBN 0-203-86858-7.
- Ravasi, D. and Rindova, V. (2008). Symbolic value creation. The SAGE Handbook of New Approaches in Management and Organization (pp. 270–284). ISBN 978-1-84920-039-4.
Journal articles (26)
- Giudici, A., Reinmoeller, P. and Ravasi, D. (2017). Open-system orchestration as a relational source of sensing capabilities: Evidence from a venture association. Academy of Management Journal.
- Ravasi, D. (2016). Visualizing Our Way through Theory Building. Journal of Management Inquiry. doi:10.1177/1056492616680575.
- Dalpiaz, E., Rindova, V. and Ravasi, D. (2016). Combining Logics to Transform Organizational Agency: Blending Industry and Art at Alessi. Administrative Science Quarterly, 61(3), pp. 347–392. doi:10.1177/0001839216636103.
- Compagni, A., Mele, V. and Ravasi, D. (2015). How early implementations influence later adoptions of innovation: Social positioning and skill reproduction in the diffusion of robotic surgery. Academy of Management Journal, 58(1), pp. 242–278. doi:10.5465/amj.2011.1184.
- Canato, A. and Ravasi, D. (2015). Managing long-lasting cultural changes. Organizational Dynamics, 44(1), pp. 75–82. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2014.11.009.
- Canato, A., Ravasi, D. and Phillips, N. (2013). Coerced practice implementation in cases of low cultural fit: Cultural change and practice adaptation during the implementation of six sigma at 3M. Academy of Management Journal, 56(6), pp. 1724–1753. doi:10.5465/amj.2011.0093.
- Ravasi, D. and Canato, A. (2013). How do i know who you think you are? A review of research methods on organizational identity. International Journal of Management Reviews, 15(2), pp. 185–204. doi:10.1111/ijmr.12008.
- Stigliani, I. and Ravasi, D. (2012). Organizing thoughts and connecting brains: Material practices and the transition from individual to group-level prospective sensemaking. Academy of Management Journal, 55(5), pp. 1232–1259. doi:10.5465/amj.2010.0890.
- Ravasi, D. and Stigliani, I. (2012). Product Design: A Review and Research Agenda for Management Studies. International Journal of Management Reviews, 14(4), pp. 464–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2370.2012.00330.x.
- Ravasi, D., Rindova, V. and Dalpiaz, E. (2012). The cultural side of value creation. Strategic Organization, 10(3), pp. 231–239. doi:10.1177/1476127012452824.
- Ravasi, D. and Phillips, N. (2011). Strategies of alignment: Organizational identity management and strategic change at Bang & Olufsen. Strategic Organization, 9(2), pp. 103–135. doi:10.1177/1476127011403453.
- Kjærgaard, A., Morsing, M. and Ravasi, D. (2011). Mediating Identity: A Study of Media Influence on Organizational Identity Construction in a Celebrity Firm. Journal of Management Studies, 48(3), pp. 514–543. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6486.2010.00954.x.
- Rindova, V., Dalpiaz, E. and Ravasi, D. (2011). A Cultural Quest: A study of organizational use of new cultural resources in strategy formation. Organization Science, 22(2), pp. 413–431. doi:10.1287/orsc.1100.0537.
- Dalpiaz, E., Rindova, V.P. and Ravasi, D. (2010). Where strategy meets culture: The neglected role of cultural and symbolic resources in strategy research. Advances in Strategic Management, 27, pp. 175–208. doi:10.1108/S0742-3322(2010)0000027010.
- Gabbioneta, C., Ravasi, D. and Mazzola, P. (2007). Exploring the Drivers of Corporate Reputation: A Study of Italian Securities Analysts. Corporate Reputation Review, 10(2), pp. 99–123. doi:10.1057/palgrave.crr.1550048.
- Ravasi, D. and Zattoni, A. (2006). Exploring the political side of board involvement in strategy: A study of mixed-ownership institutions. Journal of Management Studies, 43(8), pp. 1671–1702. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6486.2006.00659.x.
- Mazzola, P., Ravasi, D. and Gabbioneta, C. (2006). How to Build Reputation in Financial Markets. Long Range Planning, 39(4), pp. 385–407. doi:10.1016/j.lrp.2006.09.001.
- Ravasi, D. and Schultz, M. (2006). Responding to organizational identity threats: Exploring the role of organizational culture. Academy of Management Journal, 49(3), pp. 433–458. doi:10.5465/AMJ.2006.21794663.
- Ravasi, D. and Lojacono, G. (2005). Managing design and designers for strategic renewal. Long Range Planning, 38(1), pp. 51–77. doi:10.1016/j.lrp.2004.11.010.
- Ravasi, D. and Turati, C. (2005). Exploring entrepreneurial learning: A comparative study of technology development projects. Journal of Business Venturing, 20(1), pp. 137–164. doi:10.1016/j.jbusvent.2003.11.002.
- Ravasi, D. and Marchisio, G. (2003). Going Public and the Enrichment of a Supportive Network. Small Business Economics, 21(4), pp. 381–395. doi:10.1023/A:1026119221991.
- Ravasi, D. and van Rekom, J. (2003). Key Issues in Organizational Identity and Identification Theory. Corporate Reputation Review, 6(2), pp. 118–132. doi:10.1057/palgrave.crr.1540194.
- Verona, G. and Ravasi, D. (2003). Unbundling dynamic capabilities: An exploratory study of continuous product innovation. Industrial and Corporate Change, 12(3), pp. 577–606. doi:10.1093/icc/12.3.577.
- Ravasi, D. (2002). Italy: Analyzing Reputation in a Cross-National Setting. Corporate Reputation Review, 4(4), pp. 354–361. doi:10.1057/palgrave.crr.1540156.
- Ravasi, D. and Verona, G. (2001). Organising the process of knowledge integration: The benefits of structural ambiguity. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 17(1), pp. 41–66. doi:10.1016/S0956-5221(00)00032-4.
- Stigliani, I. and Ravasi, D. The Shaping of Form: Exploring Designers’ Use of Aesthetic Knowledge. Organization Studies.
Editorial activity (6)
- Journal of Management, Member of Editorial Board, 2011 – present.
- Strategic Organization, Member of Editorial Board, 2011 – present.
- Journal of Management Studies, Associate Editor, 2010 – 2013.
- Academy of Management Journal, Member of Editorial Board, 2010 – present.
- Academy of Management Review, Member of Editorial Board, 2005 – present.
- Corporate Reputation Review, Member of Editorial Board, 2004 – present.