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Professor of Strategy, City, University of London

Elena Novelli is Professor of Strategy at Cass Business School, where she also serves as the Director of the Ph.D. in Management and the Co-Director of the Digital Leadership Research Centre. She holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration and Management and an M.Sc., cum laude, in Business Administration from Bocconi University, Milan.

Her research explores how firms create and capture value from knowledge, focusing in particular on the distinction between general and abstract knowledge vs. specialized knowledge. For instance, she has conducted conceptual and empirical research based on natural and field experiments to study the relationship between knowledge generality and organizational boundary choices, as well as the role of scientific knowledge in determining firms’ appropriability, patent strategy, and entrepreneurial performance. Her work has been published in top academic journals including Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Annals, Organization Science, Research Policy and the Journal of Management, and in other outlets such as The Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management, Handbook of Innovation Management - Oxford University Press, The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management.

Her work has been recognized with multiple awards including the 2015 Strategic Management Society Best Paper IG Knowledge and Innovation Award, the 2013 SIIE.EBS/Mikroforum Best-Paper-Award Innovation Management, the 2013 Cass Business School Research Publication Prize, the 2012 University of Bath Bright Idea Award. Her Ph.D. dissertation was selected as the Finalist for the Best Dissertation Awards from the Academy of Management (BPS Division) and the Danish Research Unit on Industrial Dynamics (DRUID). In 2012, the UK Economic and Social Research Council awarded the prestigious Future Research Leaders Grant to Dr. Novelli (GBP 212,240). In 2018, she has received as the Principal Investigator the UK Government BEIS Business Basics Grant (GBP 387,000) to fund Strategy Insight Lab (in collaboration with colleagues at Bocconi University and the University of Oxford), a programme to deliver free training for one year to hundreds of UK micro-businesses, keeping them at the forefront of business knowledge and conducting research on what enables their growth and success. For her work on this project, Professor Novelli was shortlisted as one of the three finalists for the 2019 City Icon Partnership Award.

Professor. Novelli is a member of the Editorial Review Boards of Organization Science, the Strategic Management Journal, Strategy Science and the Journal of Management Studies. She is the Chair of the Knowledge and Innovation Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society. She had already served in the same interest group in the role of Representative-at-Large in 2016-2017, in the role of Associate Program Chair in 2017-2018 and in the role of Program Chair in 2018-2019. Since 2015, she has been serving in the Executive and Operating Committee of the Technology and Innovation Management Division of the Academy of Management in the role of Treasurer. In the period 2017-2019, she served in the Executive Committee of the Strategic Management Division of the Academy of Management.

At Cass Business School, Professor Novelli teaches “Strategic Leadership” in the Executive MBA programme and “Corporate Strategy” in the Modular Executive MBA programme. In 2017, she launched the successful elective “Capturing Value from Innovation”, currently taught to students across all MBA Programmes. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence at the University of Bath; in 2016 she was nominated for a City University Learning Enhancement Award; in 2017 she was the Finalist for the Rector's Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, in 2019 she won the City Student Union Impact Award for Most Innovative Teaching. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Professor Novelli was a member of Cass Business School Board of Studies between 2013 and 2019 and she has been a member of Cass Business School Research Committee since 2016. Since 2017, she is also an Elected Member of City University Senate.

Professor Novelli has coordinated and taught Executive Education courses for public organisations as well as leading international companies in the media, banking, real estate, transportation and retail industries.


  • –present
    Lecturer in Management , City University London
  • 2014–present
    Senior Lecturer in Management , City University London