Herminia Ibarra

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Herminia Ibarra FBA is a scholar in the fields of organizational behaviour, leadership, and career development. She is the Charles Handy Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Ibarra was born in Cuba and obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in organisational behaviour from Yale University.[1]


Ibarra began her career as a professor at Harvard Business School in 1989. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1994 and to Full Professor with tenure in 1998. In 2002 she joined the INSEAD faculty as Chaired Professor of Organizational Behaviour. At INSEAD she created and directed the executive programs The Leadership Transition and Women Leading Change. In 2017, Ibarra joined the London Business School faculty as the Charles Handy Professor of Organizational Behavior.

She is a member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network, a jury member for the Financial Times Best Business Book of the Year Award and has been named by Thinkers 50 as one of the world's most influential businesses thinkers.[2][3] She is also listed as one of the top 40 business case study authors by The Case Centre.

Ibarra is a Governor of the London Business School. Previously, she chaired the Visiting Committee of the Harvard Businesses School and was a member of INSEAD's board.

In July 2019 Ibarra was elected Fellow of the British Academy.[4]

Research and publications[edit]

Her research areas and publications include:

Career development[edit]

Ibarra's research on career development challenges traditional career advice and emphasizes the importance of possible selves, provisional identity and experiments with one's self in the process of making career transitions.

Notable publications include:

  • Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career (2nd ed.). Harvard Business Review Press. 2023.
  • Betwixt and Between: Liminal Experience in Contemporary Careers. Research in Organizational Behavior, 36: 47-64.
  • "Identity as Narrative: A Process Model of Narrative Identity Work in Macro Work Role Transition." Academy of Management Review, January, 35 (1): 135-154. Ibarra, H. & Barbulescu, R. (2010)


Ibarra's research on leadership delves into the complexities of modern leadership roles and the challenges leaders face in a global and diverse environment. She has emphasized the importance of adaptive leadership and explored leadership transitions in-depth.

Notable publications in this area include:

  • Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader (2nd ed.). Harvard Business Review Press. 2023.
  • "The Leader as Coach." Harvard Business Review. November-December, 97 (6): 110-119. Winner of the 2020 Warren Bennis Prize for the Best Leadership article in HBR. Ibarra, H. & Scoular, A. (2019).
  • "The Authenticity Paradox." Harvard Business Review, January-February, 93 (1-2): 52-59. Winner, Best Practitioner Paper, AOM, OB division, 2016. Reprinted in HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Leadership, Vol. 2, 10 Must Reads for New Leaders, 10 Must Reads for Business Students, and Authentic Leadership. Ibarra, H.  (2015)

Women's Advancement[edit]

Ibarra's work on women's career advancement has illuminated the systematic barriers women face in making their way from junior to senior roles, notably getting assigned to mission-critical roles, building relationships with powerful sponsors and in key network, and sustaining a credible image and identity in contexts where leadership models are male-typed. Her research has provided insights for organizations seeking to increase the diversity of their senior ranks.  

Notable publications in this area include:

  • "Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers."  Harvard Business Review, 91(9): 60-66. Reprinted in HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Women and Leadership. Ibarra, H.,  Ely, R. & Kolb, D. (2013)
  • "Personal Networks of Women and Minorities in Management: A Conceptual Framework." Academy of Management Review, 18 (1): 56-87. Ibarra, H. (1993)
  • "Homophily and Differential Returns: Sex Differences in Network Structure and Access in an Advertising Firm." Administrative Science Quarterly, 37 (3): 422447. Most cited gender paper published in ASQ, 2021. Ibarra, H. (1993)


Throughout her career, Professor Ibarra has been an award-winning teacher, case writer and course developer. Her achievements include:

Best selling business case studies

  • Satya Nadella at Microsoft: Instilling a Growth Mindset (Case Center Overall Best Case)
  • Vivienne Cox at BP Alternative Energy (EFMD Best Case Award)
  • Charlotte Beers at Ogilvy and Mather (A & B) (Top 10 Classic Cases & Top 50 Cases 1973-2023, The Case Centre; ECCH Best Seller)
  • Margaret Thatcher (Case Centre Best Seller)

Teaching awards

  • Top 50 Bestselling Case Authors, The Case Center, 2019- 2023
  • Best Teacher Award, LBS Sloan, 2022
  • Excellence in Teaching Prize, LBS, 2019

Course creation

  • Career Transitions at 50+, LBS
  • Women in Leadership, LBS
  • The Leadership Transition, INSEAD

Awards and honors[edit]

Professor Ibarra has received awards and honors in recognition of her contributions to academia and her impact on the business world. Some of these accolades include:

  • Thinkers 50:  2011- 2023
  • Academy of Management-GDO Division, Scholarly Contributions to Educational Practice Advancing Women in Leadership Award, 2021
  • Fellow of the British Academy, 2019
  • Distinguished Scholar-Practitioner, Academy of Management, 2018
  • 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy, Apolitica, 2018
  • Clarendon Lectures, Oxford University, Said Business School, 2017
  • HR Magazine’s #1 Most Influential Thinker, 2017
  • #1 Leadership Thinker, Thinkers 50, 2013


  1. ^ a b "Herminia Ibarra". London Business School. Retrieved 2022-07-04.
  2. ^ "Herminia Ibarra – Faculty & Research – INSEAD". insead.edu. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  3. ^ Juan Manuel García Campos (11 October 2015). "Los pensadores económicos más influyentes del mundo". La Vanguardia. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  4. ^ "New Fellows 2019" (PDF). The British Academy. Retrieved 2019-11-08.