Paola Perez-Aleman

Associate Professor, Strategy & Organization
Paola Perez-Aleman
Contact Information
Email address: 
paola.perez-aleman [at]
Alternate email address: 
nicoleta.anton [at]

Bronfman Building [Map]
1001 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 1G5


PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
BSc, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Strategy & Organization

Dr. Paola Perez-Aleman is Associate Professor of Strategy and Organization at McGill University. Her research and expertise lies at the intersection of management, strategy, and international development. The focus of her work is on the processes that build capabilities of enterprises, foster innovation, and advance economic development. Specifically, Dr. Perez-Aleman examines how clusters and inter-firm networks emerge and grow; how local enterprises in developing countries build production and innovation capabilities; and how vulnerable groups in low-income contexts and global value chains are included in the shift to sustainable production practices. Her research explores organizational and institutional processes that foster equity, inclusive innovation, poverty alleviation, and sustainability.

In recognition for exceptional leadership in integrating social and environmental issues into her research and teaching in management, the Aspen Institute named Dr. Perez-Aleman a Faculty Pioneer Award Finalist. The Industry Studies Association and INFORMS, and the Organization and Management Division of the Academy of Management selected her papers as Best Paper Award Finalist. At McGill University, Dr. Perez-Aleman was awarded the McGill Award for Equity and Community Building recognizing outstanding achievement, initiative and impact of her research, teaching and service in the domains of equity, inclusion, and community building. Dr. Perez-Aleman’s work is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Organization Science, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, World Development, Industrial and Corporate Change, California Management Review, and Business and Politics.

Dr. Perez-Aleman teaches international management at McGill University, creating courses such as Strategic Management in Developing Countries (MBA) and Strategies for Developing Countries (undergraduate) that prepare students to manage the challenges facing enterprises operating in developing and emerging economies.  She also created a PhD seminar on International Business and Government and an undergraduate course on Business-Government Relations that examine business-government-NGO regulatory actions, production organization, and innovation dynamics in a complex global context.  Dr. Perez-Aleman is an Associate Faculty Member of McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development.

Professor Perez-Aleman earned her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her B.Sc. degree from the University of California at Berkeley.


MGPO 365 Business-Government Relations 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

MGPO 438 Social Entrepreneur&Innovation 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

MGPO 475 Strategies for Devel Countries 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

MGPO 651 Strategic Mgmt:Dev Countries 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Tenured & Tenure Track
Research areas: 
Clusters & Networks
Developing Countries
Economic Development
Emerging Market Strategy
Government & Business
Innovation & Entrepreneurship
International Management
Social Innovation
Sustainable Development
Sustainable Value Chains
Technology & Innovation
Selected publications: 

Papers in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Perez-Aleman, P. and Ferretti, T., "Creating Innovation Capabilities for Improving Global Health: Inventing Technology for Neglected Tropical Diseases in Brazil," Journal of International Business Policy, 2022,

Wu, Y. and Perez-Aleman, P., "Multiplicity of Alliance Learning in the Entrepreneurial Process: Strategies of Early-Stage Biotech Firms," Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 2022, DOI 10.1080/08276331.2021.2008212

Kannan, R., & Perez-Aleman, P. "A Practice-based View of Innovation Adoption," In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Business and Management, 2022. doi:

Delgado, N.A. and Perez-Aleman, P., "Inclusion in Global Environmental Governance: Sustained Access, Engagement, and Influence in Decisive Spaces," Sustainability, Vol. 13, 10052, 2021, pp. 1-23.

Perez-Aleman, P. and Alves, F.C., "Reinventing Industrial Policy at the Frontier: Catalyzing Learning and Innovation in Brazil," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2017, pp. 151-171.

Morgan, G., Peinado Gomes, M.V., Perez-Aleman, P. "Transnational Governance Regimes in the Global South: Multinationals, States and NGOs as Political Actors," RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, Vol. 56, No. 4, 2016, pp. 374-379.

Perez-Aleman, P. "Regulation in the Process of Building Capabilities: Strengthening Competitiveness while Improving Food Safety and Environmental Sustainability in Nicaragua," Politics & Society, Vol. 14, No. 4, 2013, pp. 589-620.

Perez-Aleman, P. “Global Standards and Local Knowledge Building: Upgrading Small Producers in Developing Countries,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, Vol. 109, No. 31, 2012, pp. 12344-12349.

Perez-Aleman, P., “Collective Learning in Global Diffusion: Spreading Quality Standards in a Developing Country Cluster,” Organization Science, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2011, pp. 173-189.

Perez-Aleman, P. and Sandilands, M., “Building Value at the Top and the Bottom of the Global Supply Chain: MNC-NGO Partnerships,” California Management Review, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2008, pp. 24-49.

Perez-Aleman, P., “Cluster Formation, Institutions and Learning: Emergence of Clusters and Development in Chile,” Industrial and Corporate Change, Vol. 14, No. 4, 2005, pp. 651-677.

Perez-Aleman, P., “A Learning-Centered View of Business Associations: Building Business- Government Relations for Development,” Business and Politics, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2003, pp. 195-215.

Perez-Aleman, P., “Decentralized Production Organization and Institutional Transformations: Large and Small Firm Networks in Chile and Nicaragua,” Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 27, No. 5, 2003, pp. 789-805.

Perez-Aleman, P., “Learning, Adjustment and Economic Development: Transforming Firms, the State and Associations in Chile,” World Development, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2000, pp. 41-55.

Books and Edited Volumes

Morgan, G., Peinado Gomes, M.V., and Perez-Aleman, P., editors, RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, Special Issue on Transnational Governance Regimes in the Global South: Multinationals, States and NGOs as Political Actors, Vol. 56, No. 4, [published both in English and Portuguese], FGV-EAESP, Sao Paulo, 2016.

Perez-Aleman, P., Organización, Identidad y Cambio: Las Campesinas en Nicaragua [Organization, Identity, and Change: Rural Women in Nicaragua], INIM, Managua, 1990.

Perez-Aleman, P. and Widmaier, C., Industria y Género en Nicaragua [Industrial Production and Gender in Nicaragua], INIM: Managua, 1988.

Chapters in Books

Perez-Aleman, P. “Connecting Sustainability Movements and Enterprises in Developing Economies: Building Networks and Capabilities,” invited chapter contribution for Using a Positive Lens to Explore Social Change and Organizations, edited by Jane Dutton and Karen Golden-Biddle, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2012.

Perez-Aleman, P., “Standards and Collective Knowledge Flows in the Emergence of Clusters: Developing Firms in Chile,” in The Emergence of Clusters: Theoretical, Empirical, and Political Perspectives on the Initial Stage of Cluster Evolution, edited by Dirk Fornahl and Max-Peter Menzel, Edward Elgar Publisher, Series on ‘Industrial Dynamics, Entrepreneurship and Innovation,’ 2010.

Perez-Aleman, P., “New Standards, MNC-NGO Partnerships and the Inclusion of Small Producers in Latin America: Some Lessons for State Policy,” in Business, Social Policy and Corporate Political Influence in Developing Countries, edited by Peter Utting and Jose Carlos Marques, Macmillan-Palgrave, 2010.

Perez-Aleman, P., “Improving Competitiveness and Social Cohesion,” in The Mesoamerican Region: Southeastern Mexico and Central America, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Territorial Reviews, OECD, Paris, 2006.

Perez-Aleman, P., “Aprendizado, ajustes e desenvolvimento economico: transformando empresas, o estado e associacoes no Chile,” in N. Araujo Guimaraes (ed.) Competitividade: Atores e instituicoes locais [Competitiveness: Local Actors and Institutions], SENAC: Sao Paulo, 2001.

Perez Aleman, P., «Panorámica de la investigación social sobre la mujer en Nicaragua, » in C. Serrano (ed.), Las Investigaciones sobre la Mujer en América Latina, INSTRAW-CIPAF, FLACSO, Santo Domingo, 1993.

Perez-Aleman, P., “Economic Crisis and Women in Nicaragua: Adjustments and Transformation,” in L. Beneria and Feldman, S. (eds.) Unequal Burden: Economic Crisis, Persistent Poverty and Gender Inequality, Westview Press: Boulder, 1992.

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 


2018: McGill's Award for Equity and Community Building, McGill University.

2012: INFORMS-Industry Studies Association Best Articles Award Finalist (for “Collective Learning in Global Diffusion,” Organization Science), out of 800 articles published in INFORMS Journals in 2011.

2010: Faculty Pioneer Award Finalist, Aspen Institute, Center for Business Education.


2020-2022: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Partnership Engagement Grant, Principal Investigator

2019-2020: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Partnership Engagement Grant, Principal Investigator

2016-2018: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Insight Development Grant, with Y. Wu

2013-2014: Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University, Faculty Research Award

2008-2012: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Business and Management Grant, Principal/Sole Researcher

2003, 2005, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016: McGill University Travel Grant

2006-2008: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, McGill University, Grant, Principal/Sole Researcher

2004-2007: Fonds Quebecois de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture, Nouveaux Professeurs-Chercheurs Program Grant, Principal/Sole Researcher

2002-2003: McGill University, Individual New Research Grant, Research Development Fund, Principal/Sole Researcher

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