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Senior Researcher



I study the cognitive and neuropsychological antecedents of strategy. I rely on theories and findings from neurosciences and psychology to understand creativity, decision-making, learning and problem solving in managers, entrepreneurs and innovative leaders and their organizations.

I combine different methods: qualitative using interviews, ‘Verbal Protocol Analyses’ and text analysis, behavioral studies using neuropsychological tasks, and brain imaging studies using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

I hold a PhD in Management (Strategy and Innovation) from Bocconi University. Prior to entering academia, I worked as a researcher and a businesses and government consultant in areas related to small businesses development in Latin America.  I am also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Management, Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.

I teach managerial cognition, innovation and creativity, and methods courses at the Masters, Executive and PhD levels. For the last five years I have organized multiple workshops at the AoM and SMS meetings. My publications have appeared in the Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Business Venturing Insights, the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology and Economics​, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience and Frontiers in Psychology. I am part of the Editorial Board of the Strategic Management Journal.

Research Interests

Cognitive foundations of strategy; Entrepreneurship; Innovation; Individual and Organizational Learning; Managerial Attention (Neurological and Psychological Processes); Positive emotions; Social Responsibility; Time Orientation.

Curriculum Vitae

Please click here.

Teaching activities and Roles

I created and teach the Managerial Cognition theory module for the PhD program and also there I co-teach the module on Qualitative Research Methods. I co-created and co-teach the course Innovation, Creativity and Personality Traits, offered for MAS students. For the MSc level I co-created and co-teach the Innovation Leadership core course. 

In 2015 I was elected Representative at Large for the Knowledge and Innovation Interest Group for the Strategic Management Society.
In 2016 I was elected Representative at Large for the Behavioral Strategy Interest Group for the Strategic Management Society.
In 2017 I was elected to serve as a Representative at Large for the Technology and Innovation Management Division of the Academy of Management and also as the International Representative for the Managerial and Organizational Cognition Division of the Academy of Management.

See the video abstract of my paper with Stefano Brusoni here.

As personal as I can get this public...

I think of myself as a tropical creature, who hails from an enormous city located 2600 meters closer to the stars. I love nature and often feel curious about its wonders: aliments, animals, in particular certain humans.

Laughing is one of my all-time favorite activities. Specially with others and about myself.

Journal articles

Brusoni, S., Laureiro-Martinez, D., Canessa, N., Zollo, M. Forthcoming. Exploring Exploration: The role of affective states as forces that hinder change. Industrial and Corporate Change
Csaszar, Felipe A. and Laureiro-Martinez, Daniella. Forthcoming. Individual and Organizational Antecedents of Strategic Foresight. Strategy Science
Laureiro-Martínez, D., Brusoni, S. Forthcoming. Switching cognitive gears: cognitive flexibility and adaptive decision making. Strategic Management Journal
Laureiro-Martinez, D., Brusoni, S., Tata, A., Zollo, M. 2019. The Manager’s Notepad: Working Memory, Exploration, and Performance. Journal of Management Studies, published online

This study builds upon March and Simon’s proposition that individual-level dif-ferences must be considered when explaining decision-making performance. We extend their discussion on the importance of decision-makers’ attention to explain heterogeneous patterns of exploration and exploitation within the same uncertain environment. We develop a model of decision-making under uncertainty in which ‘working memory’ – i.e., the ability to hold multiple elements in mind to actively process them – explains the emergence of heterogeneity in exploration-exploitation choice patterns. We validated the model in a laboratory study and two replications involving 171 individuals. Our findings show that differences in working memory allow us to identify individuals who are more likely to choose exploration over exploitation appropriately, and thus achieve higher performance. We discuss the implications for management theories, and re-propose the work of March and Simon as a unifying framework that still can be used to gener-ate and test managerially relevant hypotheses.

Crespi, C., Laureiro-Martínez, D., Dodich, A., Cappa, S. F., Brusoni, S., Zollo, M., Falini, A., & Canessa, N. 2018. Improving innovative decision-making: Training-induced changes in frontoparietal networks. Brain and Cognition, 128: 46-55

Innovative decision-making entails the balance of exploitative and explorative choices, and has been linked to the efficiency of executive functioning, including working-memory and attentional skills, associated with frontoparietal networks. Based on the notion that such skills can be improved by cognitive training, we assessed whether a cognitive training enhancing basic executive skills might also improve the ability to manage the exploration-exploitation trade-off and its financial consequences, and whether any improvement in trainingrelated performance would be reflected in neurostructural changes within fronto-parietal networks. Eighteen subjects participated in a baseline assessment, a training period and a follow-up measurement, while a matched group of 18 subjects did not undertake the training program. A subgroup of subjects underwent a multimodal MRI study to explore training-related changes in grey-matter volume and white-matter microstructure. After training, increased efficiency of innovative decision-making, related to the improvement of executive control skills, reflected neurostructural changes involving the right fronto-polar cortex and left superior longitudinal fasciculus. The quality of innovative decision-making can be improved by ad-hoc cognitive training procedures focused on executive skills, promoting neurostructural changes in fronto-parietal networks. The manifold implications involve both managerial and rehabilitative settings concerned with the quality of choices in normal and pathological conditions, respectively.

Dodich, A., Zollo, M., Crespi, C., Cappa, S., Laureiro-Martínez, D., Falini, A., Canessa, N. 2018. Short-term Sahaja Yoga meditation training modulates brain structure and spontaneous activity in the executive control network. Brain and Behavior

While cross‐sectional studies have shown neural changes in long‐term meditators, they might be confounded by self‐selection and potential baseline differences between meditators and non meditators. Prospective longitudinal studies of the effects of meditation in naïve subjects are more conclusive with respect to causal inferences, but related evidence is so far limited. Here, we assessed the effects of a 4‐week Sahaja Yoga meditation training on gray matter density and spontaneous resting‐state brain activity in a group of 12 meditation‐naïve healthy adults. Compared with 30 control subjects, the participants to meditation training showed increased gray matter density and changes in the coherence of intrinsic brain activity in two adjacent regions of the right inferior frontal gyrus encompassing the anterior component of the executive control network. Both these measures correlated with self‐reported well‐being scores in the meditation group. The significant impact of a brief meditation training on brain regions associated with attention, self‐control, and self‐awareness may reflect the engagement of cognitive control skills in searching for a state of mental silence, a distinctive feature of Sahaja Yoga meditation. The manifold implications of these findings involve both managerial and rehabilitative settings concerned with well‐being and emotional state in normal and pathological conditions.

Laureiro - Martinez D., Trujillo CA. & Unda J. 2017. Time perspective and age: a review of age associated differences . Frontiers in Psychology, 8

We investigate the relationship between age and the five dimensions of time perspective measured by the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) (past negative, past positive, present hedonistic, present fatalistic and future). Time perspective is related to well-being, decision-making, level of development, and many other psychological issues. Hence, the existence of a systematic relationship between time perspective and age should be considered in all studies for which time is a relevant variable. However, no specific research about it has been conducted. Adapting meta-analytical techniques, we collected 407 papers that referenced the ZTPI between 2001 and 2015. From those, 72 studies met our inclusion criteria. They include 29,815 participants from 19 countries whose age spans most phases of adulthood (from 13.5 to 75.5 years, mean 28.7). We found that present hedonistic and past negative dimensions are negatively related to aging with partial eta squared effect sizes of roughly .15. Our results have implications for the design of studies related to time as our findings highlight the importance of taking into account the differences associated with age.

Tata, A., Laureiro Martinez D., Garcia D., Oesch A., Brusoni, S. 2017. The Psycholinguistics of Entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 7 (June 2017): 38 - 44

We compare data across 24,624 Twitter users to examine differences between entrepreneurs and the general population. Our analyses reveal that entrepreneurs manifest more positive and fewer negative emotions than the general population. Entrepreneurs also communicate more about work, and less about aspects related to personal life. Interestingly, during the early phases of a venture, positive emotions and work concerns increase, while negative emotions and life concerns decrease. Counterintuitively, work and negative emotions are negatively associated. Entrepreneurs express negative emotions 2.26 times less, and these negative emotions reduce by 8% after successful fundraising. Our work has implications for the understanding of work-life balance and of emotions in entrepreneurial contexts.

Laureiro-Martinez, D., Brusoni, S., & Canessa, N. 2015. Cognition and Emotions in Exploration: A Deeper Look Into the Microfoundations of Strategic Change. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2015(1)
Laureiro-Martínez, D., Brusoni, S., Canessa, N., & Zollo, M. 2015. Understanding the exploration-exploitation dilemma: An fMRI study of attention control and decision-making performance. Strategic Management Journal, 36:3: 319-338

This paper studies the cognitive processes that enable decision makers to switch between exploitation and exploration. We use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a sample of expert decision makers to make two main contributions. First, we identify and contrast the specific brain regions and cognitive processes associated with exploitation and exploration decisions. Exploitation activates regions associated with reward seeking, which track and evaluate the value of current choices, while exploration relies on regions associated with attentional control, tracking the value of alternative choices. Second, we propose and test the idea that stronger activation of the brain circuits related to attentional control allows individuals to achieve better decision-making performance as a result. We discuss the implications of these results for strategic management research and practice. Video abstract:

Laureiro-Martínez, D. 2014. Cognitive Control Capabilities, Routinization Propensity and Decision-Making Performance. Organization Science, 25 / 4: 1111 - 1133

This paper examines the cognitive and behavioral foundations of decision making at the individual level. It is based on a study conducted with 86 graduate students and a model that combines the highly mindful cognitive control capabilities and the less-mindful routinization propensity to explain decision-making performance. The paper offers three contributions. First, I introduce and empirically observe cognitive control capabilities, i.e., the supervisory cognitive mechanisms through which individuals monitor and control their own attention processes. Second, I introduce and operationalize the concept of routinization propensity. This is an individual-difference variable capturing the tendency to develop and enact a behavioral repertoire of standard solutions. Third, I propose and test a model in which routinization propensity mediates the impact of cognitive control capabilities on decision-making performance. I show that both high and low levels of mindfulness are essential to maximize performance in strategic decision making. Counterintuitively, however, higher cognitive control capabilities are connected to higher levels of routinization propensity, which in turn enhance performance. These findings contribute to the development of an integrated theory of cognition, decision making, and learning.

Laureiro-Martínez, D., Canessa, N., Brusoni, S., Zollo, M., Hare, T., Alemanno, F., & Cappa, S. F. 2013. Frontopolar cortex and decision-making efficiency: comparing brain activity of experts with different professional background during an exploration-exploitation task. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7: 1-10

An optimal balance between efficient exploitation of available resources and creative exploration of alternatives is critical for adaptation and survival. Previous studies associated these behavioral drives with, respectively, the dopaminergic mesocorticolimbic system and frontopolar-intraparietal networks. We study the activation of these systems in two age and gender-matched groups of experienced decision-makers differing in prior professional background, with the aim to understand the neural bases of individual differences in decision-making efficiency (performance divided by response time). We compare brain activity of entrepreneurs (who currently manage the organization they founded based on their venture idea) and managers (who are constantly involved in making strategic decisions but have no venture experience) engaged in a gambling-task assessing exploitative vs. explorative decision-making. Compared with managers, entrepreneurs showed higher decision-making efficiency, and a stronger activation in regions of frontopolar cortex (FPC) previously associated with explorative choice. Moreover, activity across a network of regions previously linked to explore/exploit tradeoffs explained individual differences in choice efficiency. These results suggest new avenues for the study of individual differences in the neural antecedents of efficient decision-making.

Forero-Pineda, C., Laureiro-Martinez, D., & Marín, A. 2011. Innovation patterns and intellectual property in SMEs of a developing country. Innovar, 21(42): 113-128
Laureiro-Martínez, D., Brusoni, S., Zollo, M.,. 2010. The Neuroscientific Foundations of the Exploration-Exploitation Dilemma. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics., 3(2): 95-115

Books / Book chapters

Laureiro-Martínez, D., Venkatraman, V., Cappa, S., Zollo, M., & Brusoni, S. 2015. Cognitive Neurosciences and Strategic Management: Challenges and Opportunities in Tying the Knot, 32, 351-370, ISSN: 0742-3322. Advances in Strategic Management: Cognition and Strategy

This chapter discusses the practical challenges and opportunities involved in merging the two fields of cognitive neurosciences and strategic management, starting from the premise that the need to marry them is justified by their complementarities, as opposed to the level of analysis on which they both focus. We discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of using methods borrowed from cognitive neurosciences for management research. First, we argue that there are clear advantages in deploying techniques that enable researchers to observe processes and variables that are central to management research, with the caveat that neuroscientific methods and techniques are not general-purpose technologies. Second, we identify three core issues that specify the boundaries within which management scholars can usefully deploy such methods. Third, we propose a possible research agenda with various areas of synergy between the complementary capabilities of management and neuroscience scholars, aiming to generate valuable knowledge and insight for both disciplines and also for society as a whole.

Forero-Pineda, C., Laureiro-Martínez, D., & Marín, A. 2012. Patrones de innovación y propiedad intelectual en las PYMES de un país en desarrollo, 65. SIGLO XXI EDITORES ed: Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana Xochimilco
Forero-Pineda, C., Laureiro-Martínez, D., & Marín, A. 2011. Colombian Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Innovation Model. In J. Aboites and J. M. Corona, Innovation and Developmental Economics: A comparison between Brazil and Mexico. UN - ECLAC Editions, Mexico
Forero-Pineda, C., Laureiro-Martínez, D., & Marín, A. 2011. Patrones de innovación y propiedad intelectual en las PYMES de un país en desarrollo / Colombian Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Innovation Model, 431-455. Book Chapter. In: “Economía de la innovación y desarrollo.”

Working papers / Conference papers

Cszasar, F., Laureiro-Martinez, D. Individual and Organizational Antecendents of Strategic Forsight. Academy of Management Conference, 2016