Ioannis Ioannou

Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship

BA (Yale) MA PhD (Harvard)

Prof. Ioannou is a leading strategy scholar whose research focuses on Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). More specifically, he seeks to understand whether, how, and the extent to which the modern business organization contributes towards building a sustainable future. His award-winning academic work evolves around two main themes: a) understanding how the broader investment community perceives, evaluates and reacts to corporate engagement with, and integration of, environmental and social issues into strategy and b) understanding the multiple and multilevel factors that may affect the corporate decision to adopt environmentally and socially responsible strategies.

Prof. Ioannou regularly publishes in top-tier peer-reviewed academic journals including some of the most prestigious academic journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Management Science, Organization Science, The Accounting Review and the Journal of International Business Studies. To date, his work is widely cited, he is the most cited scholar of his graduating cohort and he consistently ranks in the top 100 authors on the social science research network (SSRN). He is currently serving as an Associate Editor of the Strategic Management Journal – the top academic journal in Strategy - and in 2015 and 2019 received an Outstanding Editorial Board Member Award for his service. He also served a Senior Editor for Organization & Environment (2016-2020)

Moreover, Prof. Ioannou is deeply engaged with the world of practice. He is the co-Chair of the Sustainability Advisory Panel of Merck KGaA, a member of the ESG Advisory Board of the DWS Group, one of the world’s leading asset managers with about $900 billion of assets under management, a member of the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Risk Assessment Framework (SRAF), the Board of the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS) and serves as an Advisor to TreeApp. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Expert Network with expertise in the area of Sustainable Development and a member of the experts’ network of KKS Advisors, a leading sustainability advisory firm. Recently, Prof. Ioannou served on the Stakeholder Working Group of the UK Treasury's Asset Management Taskforce.

Prof. Ioannou has presented his research at many academic conferences, and universities around the world and also, he is very often invited to deliver keynote speeches on issues of responsible management and sustainability at numerous high-profile events and conferences globally. Recent keynotes include Redburn/Rothschild ESG Conference (Sept 2020), Aptar Dialogue Summit (2020), Moody’s Annual EMEA convention (2020), the inaugural Malta Sustainability Forum (2019), 2019 Strategica Conference (Romania), BlackRock Goldman Sachs Factor Symposium (2019), the Global Islamic Finance Forum (2018), and UBS Quantitative Investment Conference (2017), among others. He is also very active on social media and a frequent contributor to articles in the popular and managerial press including outlets such as the Financial Times, Bloomberg, The Guardian, BBC, Le Monde, CNBC and Forbes. In further recognition of his impactful work, Prof. Ioannou has been recognized by various rankings as one of the top social media influencers around the world for issues of responsible business and sustainability.

Prof. Ioannou graduated magna cum laude from Yale University, majoring in Economics and Mathematics and holds a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University and the Harvard Business School. He joined LBS in 2009 as an Assistant Professor and he is currently an Associate Professor with tenure. For the academic year 2021/22, Prof. Ioannou is a Visiting Associate Professor of Management at Miami Herbert Business School, at the University of Miami. He has taught on the MBA and EMBA Core Strategy courses at LBS, and several other degree programs such as the Masters in Finance degree, the Emerging Leaders Program and other senior executive programs, including the Senior Executive Programme (SEP). He is a regular contributor to multiple LBS executive education programmes including modules on Responsible Business and Sustainability. Ioannis’ 6-week online course on Sustainability Leadership and Corporate Responsibility (www.london.edu/SLCR) has enrolled to date more than 500 senior leaders and Board members from around the world. It has empowered them to become transformational change agents and has enabled them to reconceptualize critical global challenges as sustainable growth opportunities and in so doing, to achieve positive social impact.

In 2016, Prof. Ioannou was awarded the 2016 ARCS Emerging Sustainability Scholar Award; an award that recognises a scholar in the area of corporate sustainability who is likely to make significant contributions to the advancement of corporate sustainability scholarship. At the same event, Prof. Ioannou’s work with R. Durand and O. Hawn received the 2016 ARCS Outstanding Paper Award.

A key contribution of his work is to theorize about and provide rigorous empirical evidence for the emergence of the “responsible organization” (in a recent study published in Management Science, with G. Serafeim and B. Eccles). In this piece of work, Ioannou and co-authors provide evidence regarding significant long-term outperformance of this type of organization compared to the traditional corporate form, both in terms of operating as well as stock market performance. For a brief presentation of this work see here.

Relatedly, Prof. Ioannou has studied how companies tackle the inevitable trade-offs that arise due to a genuine sustainability commitment. In a recent paper, with R. Durand and O. Hawn, they have developed a model of organisational decision-making with regards to ESG issues, that explains why different companies respond differently when faced with the same ESG pressure and why some of them do not even respond at all. This study, published in Academy of Management Review, has also inspired a simulation titled “The Trade-Off: Can you balance Purpose and Profit?” by the Financial Times (freely available here).

In a more recent study with C. Flammer, Prof. Ioannou explores the impact of the Great Recession on long-term corporate strategies, revealing the critical role of investments in innovation and stakeholder relations during times of crisis. Specifically, the findings show that during the Great Recession, companies significantly reduced their workforce and capital expenditures. Yet, they maintained the same level of investments in R&D and CSR in an attempt to remain competitive during (and after) turbulent times. For a recent webinar linking these findings to the current pandemic, see here.

His work on CSR and Access to Finance, with G. Serafeim and B. Cheng, has received the Best Paper Award at the Annual Academic Conference of the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment as well as the Emerald Citations of Excellence 2017 Award. His work with O. Hawn received the Best Paper Award from the Social Issues in Management division of the Academy of Management and was published in the Best Paper Proceedings of the 2012 Academy of Management (AOM) meeting. Recently, his paper with O. Hawn and R. Durand presenting a general model of corporate responses to normative pressures as they relate to socio-environmental issues was published in the 2016 AOM Best Paper Proceedings. The same paper inspired an FT simulation on the trade-offs that arise when companies try to integrate sustainability into their core business (see here). Previously Prof. Ioannou had two more papers published in the AOM Best Paper Proceedings: his dissertation work on the impact of spinoffs on their parent companies in the US automobile industry (2009), and a paper with G. Serafeim on the Impact of CSR on Investment Recommendations (2010).

Research Awards     

  • 2017 Emerald Citations of Excellence 2017 Award for paper CSR and Access to Finance (SMJ, 2014)

  • 2016 ARCS Emerging Sustainability Scholar Award

  • 2016 ARCS Outstanding Paper Award (for Durand, Hawn and Ioannou (2016))

  • 2016 Durand, Hawn, and Ioannou (2016): Best Paper Proceedings of the Academy of Management – ONE

  • 2016 Advisory Board: Ethical Corporation Magazine

  • 2015 Outstanding Member Award: Strategic Management Journal Editorial Board

  • 2015 Member of UK Network Rail’s External Transparency Challenge Panel

  • 2014 Member of Prosperity Panel, advising the Minister of the Environment of Northern Ireland

  • 2013 Short-listed for Thinkers 50 Future Thinker Award

  • 2012 Hawn & Ioannou (2011): Best Paper Award SIM Division - Academy of Management (2012)

  • 2011 Best Conference Paper, PRI-Mistra/SIRP Academic Conference, United Nations PRI

  • 2011 Best Reviewer Award, Academy of Management 2011, SIM Division

  • 2010 Ioannou & Serafeim (2010): Best Paper Proceedings of the Academy of Management (2010) – SIM

  • 2009 Ioannou (2008): Distinguished Student Paper Award, BPS Division, Academy of Management 2009

  • 2009 Ioannou (2008): Best Paper Proceedings of the Academy of Management (2009) – BPS Division

  • 2006 Nominated for Bok Prize, awarded to Best Teaching Fellow across all Harvard departments

  • 2005-2006 Three Certificates for Distinction in Teaching, Bok Center, Harvard University

  • 2003-2008 Harvard Business School (Wyss) Doctoral Student Fellowship

  • 1999-2003 CASP / Fulbright Scholar, full scholarship for undergraduate degree

  • Corporate social responsibility and social performance
  • Sustainability and sustainability reporting
  • Social innovation and entrepreneurship


CSR decoupling within business groups and the risk of perceived greenwashing

Bothello J; Ioannou I; Porumb V-A; Zengin-Karaibrahimoglu Y

Strategic Management Journal 2023 Vol 44:13 p 3217-3251

Retrospective: What drives corporate social performance? The role of nation-level institutions

Ioannou I; Serafeim G

Journal of International Business Studies 2023 Vol 54 p 14-23


The Impact of Perceived Greenwashing on Customer Satisfaction and the Contingent Role of Capability Reputation

Ioannou I; Kassinis G; Papagiannakis G

Journal of Business Ethics 2022 In Press


Redefining the strategy field in the age of sustainability

Ioannou I; Hawn O

in McWilliams A, Rupp D E, Siegel D S, Stahl G K, and Waldman D A (Eds), Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility: Psychological and Organizational Perspectives

Willing and able : a general model of organizational responses to normative pressures

Durand R; Hawn O; Ioannou I

Academy of Management Review 2019 Vol 44:2 p 299-320


The consequences of mandatory corporate sustainability reporting

Serafeim G; Ioannou I

in McWilliams A, Rupp D E, Siegel D S, Stahl G K, and Waldman D A (Eds), Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility: Psychological and Organizational Perspectives


A model of organizational symbolism: understanding the different shades of green

Durand R; Hawn O; Ioannou I

Academy of Management Proceedings 2017 Vol 2016:1


Effect of target difficulty on target completion: the case of reducing carbon emissions

Ioannou I; Li S X; Serafeim G

Accounting Review 2016 Vol 91:5 p 1467-1497

Mind the gap: the interplay between internal and external actions in the case of corporate social responsibility

Ioannou I; Hawn O

Strategic Management Journal 2016 Vol 37:13 p 2569-2588


Corporate social responsibility and access to finance

Ioannou I; Serafeim G; Cheng B

Strategic Management Journal 2014 Vol 35:1 p 1-23

The impact of corporate sustainability on organizational processes and performance

Eccles R; Ioannou I; Serafeim G

Management Science 2014 November Vol 60:11 p 2835-2857


Do actions speak louder than words? The case of corporate social responsibility(CSR)

Hawn O; Ioannou I

Academy of Management Best Papers Proceedings 2012

What drives corporate social performance? The role of nation-level institutions

Ioannou I; Serafeim G

Journal of International Business Studies 2012 Vol 43:9 p 834-864


Effects of capacity on sales under alternative supply contracts

Ioannou I; Mortimer J H; Mortimer R

Journal of Industrial Economics 2011 Vol 59:1 p 117-117


Drivers of corporate sustainability and implications for capital markets

Ioannou I; Serafeim G

Book Chapter: In Eccles R G, Beiting C & Saltzman D eds., The Landscape of Integrated Reporting; reflections and next steps, CUP, 2010

The impact of corporate social responsibility on investment recommendations

Ioannou I

Academy of Management Best Papers Proceedings 2010

The profits of goodness

Ioannou I

Business Strategy Review 2010


The impact of different types of spinoffs on firm survival: Evidence from the US automobile industry 1890-1986

Ioannou I

Best Paper Proceedings of the Academy of Management 2009


A textbook example of international price discrimination

Ioannou I; Cabolis C; Celrides S; Shaft D

Economics Letters 2007 April Vol 95:1 p 91-91


Talk is not always cheap: what firms say, how they say it, and social performance

Crilly D; Ioannou I

Social Sciences Research Network

The consequences of mandatory corporate sustainability reporting

Ioannou I; Serafeim G

Social Sciences Research Network


Redefining the strategy field in the age of sustainability

Ioannou I; Hawn O

Social Sciences Research Network


The dog that didn’t bark: Long-term strategies in times of recession

Flammer C; Ioannou I

Social Sciences Research Network


Redefining the strategy field in the age of sustainability

Ioannou I; Hawn O

Social Sciences Research Network

Teaching portfolio

Our teaching offering is updated annually. Faculty and programme material are subject to change.