Laura Géraldine Illia Manzan


 +41 26 300 8315

Organizational legitimacy, Stigma, Reputation, Identity, Social responsibility, Social impact, Stakeholder management, Issues and Crisis management, Social media, Text-mining, Time Series, Thematic analysis.


Laura Illia obtained her PhD in Communication at the Università della Svizzera Italiana (CH). She was then a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge and at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where she also lectured from 2006-08. From 2008 to 2019 Laura Illia has been a professor at IE University  (IE HST and IE Business School) in Madrid where she directed the Master’s program in Corporate and Marketing Communication.

In her research, Prof. Illia focuses on how discourses and narratives contribute to our understanding of business. Specifically, she looks into questions of legitimacy, reputation and corporate social responsibility. By applying new digital methods such as machine learning to big dataset she analyzes the legitimation of organizations on social media and the use of new media by companies in the dialogue with their stakeholders. Her works are published in journals like MIT Sloan Management Review, Journal of Business Ethics, British Journal of Management, Journal of Management Inquiry, Business and Society, Journal of Business Research and others. In her academic career she has won numerous grants such as the post-doc fellowship from Swiss National Science Foundation (CH), research grant from IABC (US), regional grant from JCYL (ES), private grant from UniCredit and Universities Foundation (IT), individual grant from BBVA Foundation (ES).

Research and publications

  • Publication

    Peer reviewed journals

    Etter, M., Colleoni, E., Illia., L., Meggiorin, K., & D’Eugenio, A. (2018). Measuring organizational legitimacy in social media: Assessing citizens’ judgments with sentiment analysis. Business & Society. (online first – most read paper in 2017)

    Cancellieri, U. C., Petruccelli, I., De Dominicis, S., Groggia, A., Illia, L., & Bonaiuto, M. (2017). Communicating corporate social responsibility to involve stakeholders: The case of employer branding for university students. Rassegna di psicologia, 33(3): XXXIV, 3, 24-39

    Illia, L., & Zamparini, A. (2016). Legitimate distinctiveness, historical bricolage and the fortune of the commons. Journal of Management Inquiry, 25(4), 397–414.

    Illia, L., Romenti, S., Rodriguez-Canovas, B., Murtarelli, G., & Carroll, C. E. (2016). Exploring corporations’ dialogue about corporate social responsibility in the digital era. Journal of Business Ethics. (online first)

    Illia, L., Romenti, S., & Zyglidopoulos, S. (2015). Creating effective dialogue about corporate social responsibility. MIT Sloan Management Review, 57(1), 20–22.

    Illia, L., Sonpar, K., & Bauer, M. (2014). Applying co-occurrence text analysis with ACELSTE to studies of impression management. British Journal of Management, 25(2), 352–372. 

    Illia, L., Zyglidopoulos, S., Romenti, S., Rodriguez-Canovas, B., & Gonzalez del Valle Brena, A. (2013). Communic ating corporate social responsibility to a cynical public. MIT Sloan Management Review, 54(3), 16–19.

    Bonaiuto, M., Dominicis, S., Illia, L., & Lizzani, G. (2013). Managing employer brand attributes to attract potential future leaders. Journal of Brand Management, 20, 779.

    Illia, L., Lurati, F., & Casalaz, R. (2013). The influence of ethnocentrism on journalists’ active communication behavior. Journal of Public Relations Research, 25(2), 93–122.

    Illia, L., Romenti, S., & Invernizzi, E. (2012). CSR disclosure: Cross-national differences in seven European countries. Mercati e Competitivita, 4, 123–146.

    Illia, L., & Balmer, J. M. T. (2012). Corporate communication and corporate marketing: Their nature, histories, differences and similarities. Corporate Communication: an International Journal, 17(4), 415–433.

    Illia, L., Rodriguez-Canovas, B., & Gonzalez del Valle Brena, A. (2012). ¿Qué piensan los directores europeos sobre los riesgos y oportunidades de la comunicación de la responsabilidad social corporativa? ADResearch ESIC, 6(6), 66–91.

    Illia, L., & van Rekom, J. (2012). Identity concerns or functional concerns? High vs. low identifiers. Reaction to Brand Identity Change,  Corporate Reputation Review, 15(1), 52–67.

    Illia, L., Bonaiuto, M., & van Rekom, J. (2011). Managing membership threats through collective efficacy. Journal of Business Research, 64(6), 631–639.

    Cossiavelou, V., Bantimaroudis, P., Kavakli, E., & Illia, L. (2011). The media gatekeeping model updated by R&I in ICTs: The case of wireless communications in media coverage of the Olympic Games. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Telecommunications and Networking (IJITN), 3(4), 24–56.

    Illia, L. (2010). How business disciplines discuss multiple identities in organizations. Corporate Reputation Review, 12(4), 327–344.

    Zamparini, A., Lurati, F., & Illia, L. (2010). Auditing the identity of regional wine brands: the case of Swiss Merlot Ticino. International Journal of Wine Business Research, 22(4), 386–405.

    Illia, L. (2009). Exploring how to diagnose members’ concerns about changes in core elements of organizations. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 45(4).

    Illia, L., Rodriguez-Canovas, B., Gonzalez del Valle Brena, A., & Romenti, S. (2010). La comunicación de la RSC entre las 250 principales empresas europeas. Cuadernos de la Información, 27, 89–95.

    Dates, M., & Illia, L. (2009). The audit and management of a museum’s media image. Museum Management and Curatorship, 24, 201.

    Birth, G., Illia, L., Lurati, F., & Zamparini, A. (2008). Communicating CSR: The practice in the top 300 companies in Switzerland. Corporate Communication: An International Journal, 13(2), 182–196.

    Illia, L., & Lurati, F. (2006). Stakeholder perspective to organization’s identity: Searching for a relationship approach. Corporate Reputation Review, 8(4), 293–304.

    Illia, L., Schmid, E., Fishbach, I., Hangartner, R., & Rivola, R. (2004). An issues management perspective to corporate identity: The case of a governmental agency. Corporate Reputation Review, 7(1), 10–24.

    Illia, L. (2003). Passage to cyberactivism: How dynamics of activism change. Journal of Public Affairs, 3(4), 326–337.


    Balmer, J.M.T., Illia.L., del valle Brena, A. (2013)  Corporate Marketing: contemporary perspectives on Corporate Branding, Marketing and Communications London:  Routdledge April 2013

    Illia, L. (2009). Changing organizational identity: Understanding difficulty to change and members’ concerns. Saarbruchen: SVHVDM Verlag Dr Mueller.

    Book chapters

    Illia, L., Bantimaroudis, P., & Meggiorin, K. (2016). Corporate agenda setting at the third level: Comparing networks of attributes in corporate press releases and media coverage. In L. Guo & M. McCombs (Eds.), The power of information networks: The third level of agenda setting (pp. 190–206). New York: Routledge.

    lllia, L., Sonpar, K., & Bantimaroudis, P. (2014). Framing impressions: the mediatization of corporate messages. In J. Pallas, S. Jonsson, & L. Strannegård (Eds.), Organizations and the Media: Organizing in a Mediatized World (pp. 192–204). New York: Routledge.

    Romenti, S., & Illia, L. (2013). Communicatively constituted reputation and reputation management. In C. Carroll (Ed.), The handbook of communication and reputation management (pp. 183–196), New York: Wiley.

    Illia, L. (2009). Exploring how organizational identity is affected by the arrival of new members. In K. Podnar & J. M. T. Balmer (Eds.), Contemplating the corporate marketing, identity and communications (pp. 73–90). London: Routledge.