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Kamal Munir

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Kamal Munir

Reader in Strategy & Policy
Academic Director, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP)
Race & Inclusion Champion, University of Cambridge
Fellow of Homerton College

PhD (McGill University)

Research interests

Strategy in highly turbulent and disruptive competitive environments; positioning in ecosystems; platform-based strategy; business models; economic development and national competitiveness.

Subject group: Strategy & International Business

Professional experience

Dr Kamal Munir has been teaching at Cambridge Judge Business School since 2000. Dr Munir's research focuses on technological and business model disruptions at the corporate and societal levels. His research also spans the competitive advantage of nations.

Dr Munir has published several articles in leading organisational and technology journals, including the Academy of Management Journal, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Industrial and Corporate Change, Organization Studies and Research Policy, and presented his work at numerous international conferences. At the same time, he has written numerous articles for newspapers and magazines including the Financial Times, The Guardian, Dawn and Economic and Political Weekly. His work has been quoted and cited in several forums, including BBC's Hard Talk, World Economic Forum, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Wired magazine, and BusinessWeek among many others. He is the founder of OTREG, an international discussion forum for organisational theorists, a Senior Editor of Organization Studies, an Associate Editor of the Journal of Management Inquiry, and serves on the Editorial Board of Academy of Management Review.

Dr Munir has consulted for the State Bank of Pakistan, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. He has also been a consultant to the governments of UK, Pakistan and Nigeria. In the private sector he served as a consultant and trainer for several leading organisations and regularly conducts Strategy Offsites for wide ranging firms. He is frequently invited internationally to speak on issues related to social, technological and economic change. Dr Munir is a Visiting Professor in Economic Sociology at LUMS, Pakistan, where he served as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2015/16.

Previous appointments

From 1996 to 2000, Kamal taught at McGill University in Canada.

Awards & honours

  • Winner, Best PhD Paper Prize (with Maima A. Syakhroza), Strategic Management Society Annual Conference, 2016
  • Runners-Up, Best Paper Prize, Strategic Management Society Annual Conference, 2016
  • Best International Symposium Award, for Symposium on University-Industry Collaborations, Academy of Management Conference, Chicago, USA, 2009

Selected publications

Here are a selection of Kamal Munir's publications. Please see the "Selected publications" tab above for a more comprehensive list.

Amis, J.M., Mair, J. and Munir, K. (2020) "The organizational reproduction of inequality." Academy of Management Annals, 14(1): 195-230 (DOI: 10.5465/annals.2017.0033)

Syakhroza, M.A., Paolella, L. and Munir, K. (2019) "Holier than thou? Identity buffers and adoption of controversial practices in the Islamic banking category." Academy of Management Journal, 62(4): 1252-1277 (DOI: 10.5465/amj.2016.1017)

Amis, J.M., Munir, K.A., Lawrence, T.B., Hirsch, P. and McGahan, A. (2018) "Inequality, institutions and organizations." Organization Studies, 39(9): 1131-1152 (DOI: 10.1177/0170840618792596)

Dacin, M.T., Munir, K. and Tracey, P. (2010) "Formal dining at Cambridge colleges: linking ritual performance and institutional maintenance." Academy of Management Journal, 53(6): 1393-1418

Khan, F., Munir, K. and Willmott, H. (2007) "A dark side of institutional entrepreneurship: soccer balls, child labour and postcolonial impoverishment." Organization Studies, 28(7): 1055-1077 (DOI: 10.1177/0170840607078114)

Munir, K.A. and Phillips, N. (2005) "The birth of the Kodak moment: institutional entrepreneurship and the adoption of new technologies." Organization Studies, 26(11): 1665-1687 (DOI: 10.1177/0170840605056395)

Journal articles

Dougherty, D., Borrelli, L., Munir, K. and O'Sullivan, A. (2000) "Systems of organizational sensemaking for sustained product innovation." Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 17(3-4): 321-355 (DOI: 10.1016/S0923-4748(00)00028-X)

Munir, K.A. (2002) "Being different: how normative and cognitive aspects of institutional environments influence technology transfer." Human Relations, 55(12): 1403-1428 (DOI: 10.1177/001872602128782204)

Munir, K.A. and Phillips, N. (2002) "The concept of industry and the case of radical technological change." Journal of High Technology Management Research, 13(2): 279-297 (DOI: 10.1016/S1047-8310(02)00046-9)

Munir, K., with Garud, R. (2003) "Snap decisions." Business Life, Sep: 18

Munir, K. (2003) "Flaws at the core." Business Life, Oct: 18

Munir, K.A. (2003) "Competitive dynamics in face of technological discontinuity: a framework for action." Journal of High Technology Management Research, 14(1): 93-109 (DOI: 10.1016/S1047-8310(03)00006-3)

Munir, K. (2004) "Saving big blue: case study IBM." Business Life, May: 16

Pittaway, L., Robertson, M., Munir, K., Denyer, D. and Neely, A. (2004) "Networking and innovation in the UK: a systematic review of the literature: report prepared for the DTI and ESRC." International Journal of Management Reviews, 5-6(3-4): 137-168 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-8545.2004.00101.x)

Munir, K.A. and Jones, M. (2004) "Discontinuity and after: the social dynamics of technology evolution and dominance." Organization Studies, 25(4): 561-581 (DOI: 10.1177/0170840604040676)

Munir, K. (2005) "Act of man." The Guardian, 11 November 2005

Munir, K.A. (2005) "The social construction of events: a study of institutional change in the photographic field." Organization Studies, 26(1): 93-112 (DOI: 10.1177/0170840605049463)

Munir, K.A. and Phillips, N. (2005) "The birth of the Kodak moment: institutional entrepreneurship and the adoption of new technologies." Organization Studies, 26(11): 1665-1687 (DOI: 10.1177/0170840605056395)

Khan, F., Munir, K. and Willmott, H. (2007) "A dark side of institutional entrepreneurship: soccer balls, child labour and postcolonial impoverishment." Organization Studies, 28(7): 1055-1077 (DOI: 10.1177/0170840607078114)

Ansari, S. and Munir, K. (2008) "How valuable is a piece of the spectrum? Determination of value in external resource acquisition." Industrial and Corporate Change, 17(2): 301-333 (DOI: 10.1093/icc/dtn004)

Garud, R. and Munir, K. (2008) "From transaction to transformation costs: the case of Polaroid's SX-70 camera." Research Policy, 37(4): 690-705 (DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2007.12.010)

Runde, J., Jones, M., Munir, K. and Nikolychuk, L. (2009) "On technological objects and the adoption of technological product innovations: rules, routines and the transition from analogue photography to digital imaging." Cambridge Journal of Economics, 33(1): 1-24 (DOI: 10.1093/cje/ben023)

Dacin, M.T., Munir, K. and Tracey, P. (2010) "Formal dining at Cambridge colleges: linking ritual performance and institutional maintenance." Academy of Management Journal, 53(6): 1393-1418

Munir, K.A. (2011) "Financial crisis 2008-2009: what does the silence of institutional theorists tell us?" Journal of Management Inquiry, 20(2): 114-117 (DOI: 10.1177/1056492610394739)

Munir, K. and Khalid, S. (2012) "Pakistan's power politics." Economic and Political Weekly, 47(25): 24-27

Ansari, S., Munir, K. and Gregg, T. (2012) "Impact at the 'bottom of the pyramid': the role of social capital in capability development and community empowerment." Journal of Management Studies, 49(4): 813-842 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2012.01042.x)

Munir, K.A. and Khalid, S. (2012) "Pakistan's power crisis: how did we get here?" The Lahore Journal of Economics, 17(SE): 73-82

Herzog, J.O., Munir, K.A. and Kattuman, P. (2013) "The King and I: monarchies and the performance of business groups." Cambridge Journal of Economics, 37(1): 171-185 (DOI: 10.1093/cje/bes032)

Munir, K. and Naqvi, N. (2013) "Pakistan's post-reforms banking sector: a critical evaluation." Economic and Political Weekly, 48(47): 38-42

Munir, K.A., Naqvi, N. and Usmani, A. (2015) "The abject condition of labor in Pakistan." International Labor and Working-Class History, 78: 174-183 (DOI: 10.1017/S0147547914000283)

Munir, K. and Naqvi, N. (2018) "Privatization in the land of believers: the political economy of privatization in Pakistan." Modern Asian Studies, 51(6): 1695-1726 (DOI: 10.1017/S0026749X16000585)

Munir, K., Ayaz, M., Levy, D.L. and Willmott, H. (2018) "The role of intermediaries in governance of global production networks: restructuring work relations in Pakistan's apparel industry." Human Relations, 71(4): 560-583 (DOI: 10.1177/0018726717722395)

Amis, J.M., Munir, K.A., Lawrence, T.B., Hirsch, P. and McGahan, A. (2018) "Inequality, institutions and organizations." Organization Studies, 39(9): 1131-1152 (DOI: 10.1177/0170840618792596)

Syakhroza, M.A., Paolella, L. and Munir, K. (2019) "Holier than thou? Identity buffers and adoption of controversial practices in the Islamic banking category." Academy of Management Journal, 62(4): 1252-1277 (DOI: 10.5465/amj.2016.1017)

Amis, J.M., Mair, J. and Munir, K. (2020) "The organizational reproduction of inequality." Academy of Management Annals, 14(1): 195-230 (DOI: 10.5465/annals.2017.0033)

Munir, K.A. (2020) "Challenging institutional theory's critical credentials." Organization Theory (DOI: 10.1177/2631787719887975) (published online Dec 2019)

Special issues of journals

Lawrence, T.B., Amis, J.M., Munir, K.A., Hirsch, P. and McGahan, A. (eds.) (2018) "Special issue on inequality, institutions and organizations." Organization Studies, 39(9)

Books, monographs, reports & case studies

Birdi, K., Denyer, D., Munir, K., Neely, A. and Prabhu, J. (2003) Post Porter: where does the UK go from here? Summary report from the AIM Management Research Forum June 2003. London: AIM (Advanced Institute of Management).

Pittaway, L., Robertson, M., Munir, K., Denyer, D. and Neely, A. (2004) Networking and innovation in the UK: a systematic review of the literature. London: Advanced Institute of Management Research.

Burki, A.A., Munir, K., Khan, M.A., Khan, U., Faheem, A., Khalid, A. and Hussain, S.T. (2011) Industrial policy, its spatial aspects and cluster development in Pakistan: a report commissioned by the World Bank and the Ministry of Industries and Production. Islamabad: Government of Pakistan

Burki, A.A., Munir, K.A., Khan, M.U., Noorani, T., Khan, S.H. and Akhtar, M. (2011) National industrial policy 2011: implementation framework. Islamabad: Ministry of Industries and Production, Government of Pakistan.

Book chapters

Dougherty, D., Borrelli, L., Munir, K. and O'Sullivan, A. (1998) "Interpretive flexibility of an organization's technology as a dynamic capability." In Baum, J. (ed.): Advances in strategic management: vol.15: Disciplinary roots of strategic management research. Stamford, Conn.: JAI Press, pp.169-204

O'Sullivan, A., Munir, K. and Dougherty, D. (1998) "Building organizational capabilities for product innovation." In Kanungo, B. (ed.): Entrepreneurship and innovation: models for development. New Delhi: Sage, pp.265-286

Munir, K. (1998) "Product innovation in a non-Western context: bridging organizations and society." In Serapio, M. (ed.): Research in international business and international relations: vol.7: international organizational behavior. Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press, pp.141-161

Munir, K.A. and Phillips, N. (2003) "The concept of industry and the case of radical technological change." In Zedtwitz, M. von, Haour, G., Khalil, T.M. and Lefebvre, L.A. (eds.): Management of technology: growth through business innovation and entrepreneurship: selected papers from the Tenth International Conference on Management of Technology. London: Pergamon, pp.217-237

Jones, M., Orlikowski, W. and Munir, K. (2004) "Structuration theory and information." In Mingers, J. and Willcocks, L. (eds.): Social theory and philosophy for information systems. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, pp.297-328

Munir, K., Ansari, S. and Gregg, T. (2010) "Beyond the hype: taking business strategy to the 'bottom of the pyramid'." In Baum, J.A.C. and Lampel, J. (eds.): The globalization of strategy research. (Advances in Strategic Management Series, vol.27) Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing, pp.247-276

Ansari, S. and Munir, K. (2010) "Letting users into our world: some organizational implications of user-generated content." In Griffiths, D., Phillips, N. and Sewell, G. (eds.): Technology and organization: essays in honour of Joan Woodward. (Research in the Sociology of Organizations Series, vol.29) Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing, pp.79-105

Amis, J.M., Munir, K.A. and Mair, J. (2017) "Institutions and economic inequality." In: Greenwood, R., Oliver, C., Lawrence, T. and Meyer, R. (eds.) The SAGE handbook of organizational institutionalism. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2nd edition. (forthcoming)

Quinn, Q. and Munir, K. (2017) "Hybrid categories as political devices: the case of impact investing in frontier markets." In: Durrand, R., Granqvist, N. and Tyllström, A. (eds.) From categories to categorization: studies in sociology, organizations and strategy at the crossroads (Research in the Sociology of Organizations). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing, pp.113-150 (DOI: 10.1108/S0733-558X20170000051002)

Conference papers

Dougherty, D., Munir, K. and Subramaniam, M. (2002) "Managing technology flows in practice: a grounded theory of sustained innovation." In Academy of Management (eds.): Building effective networks: Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings (62nd), 11-14 August 2002, Denver, Colorado, USA. [Published on CD-ROM], pp. TIM:E1-E6

Garud, R. and Munir, K.A. (2003) "Breaking through and breaking apart: learning from Polaroid's development of SX-70." In: Democracy in a knowledge economy: Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Showcase Symposium on Modular Emergence, 1-6 August 2003, Seattle, WA.

Munir, K.A. and Phillips, N. (2003) "The concept of industry and the case of radical technological change." In Von Zedtwitz, M., Haour, G., Khali, T.M., Lefebvre, L.A. (eds.): Management of technology: International Conference on Growth through Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 10th, selected papers, March 2001, Lausanne, Switzerland. Toronto, Canada: Pergamon Press, pp.217-237

Garud, R. and Munir, K.A. (2004) "Socio-technical dynamics underlying radical innovation: the case of Polaroid's SX-70 camera." In: Creating actionable knowledge: Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 64th, 6-11 August 2004, New Orleans, LA.

Munir, K., Jones, M., Orlikowski, W., Runde, J., and Nikolychuk, L. (2005) "Of continuities of discontinuous institutional change: evidence from technological transformation in the photographic field." In: Theorizing process in organizational research: Organization Studies Summer Workshop, 12-13 June 2005, Santorini, Greece.

Jones, M., Munir, K., Orlikowski, W. and Runde, J. (2008) "About time too: online news and changing temporal structures in the newspaper industry." In Boland, R.J., Limayem, M. and Pentland, B. (eds.): ICIS 2008 Proceedings, 14-17 December, Paris, France.

Yin, E., Bao, Y., Munir, K. and Merlo, O. (2008) "Global mindedness and strategic orientation of Chinese small and medium sized enterprises in their international expansion efforts." In: Proceedings of the Global Marketing Conference, Shanghai, China.

Racism & inequality: ‘a good time to act’

Society must actively combat racism and inequality because a ‘passive approach’ simply won’t work, says Kamal Munir of Cambridge Judge Business School. …

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Superb teaching

Eight members of the Cambridge Judge faculty are awarded Teaching Prizes for excellence across the School’s programmes. Eight members of the Cambridge …

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Dr Kamal Munir moderating EGOS panel on inequality in organisations

Dr Kamal Munir, Academic Director of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, will be moderating a sub-plenary at the Annual Meeting of the …

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Improving the global practice of philanthropy

Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP) partners with Alliance Magazine to host a webinar on philanthropy in high growth markets. The Centre for …

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Centre for Strategic Philanthropy established at Cambridge Judge, dedicated to high-growth markets

A new Centre for Strategic Philanthropy has been established at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, dedicated to examining strategic philanthropy …

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Cambridge Judge statement on racism and inclusion

Like the rest of the world, we are deeply shocked and angered by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd’s death …

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Confronting racism

Synopsis of study co-authored by Dr Kamal Munir of Cambridge Judge Business School cited by Forbes magazine as one of five ‘must-read’ …

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Coronavirus research

Working with Public Health England and the NHS in the East of England on responses to COVID-19 (coronavirus). A team of a …

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Four reasons Netflix should expand into video games

By Dr Kamal A. Munir, Reader in Strategy and Policy, Cambridge Judge Business School, and Hamza Mudassir, Visiting Fellow in Strategy, Cambridge …

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Highly institutionalised myths

Inequality has emerged as one of the grand challenges for societies. It is often explained in terms of the intrinsic dynamics of …

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Traditional banks are struggling to stave off the fintech revolution

By Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy, and Hamza Mudassir, Visiting Fellow in Strategy, Cambridge Judge Business School Traditional banks …

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Four reasons Huawei’s new Harmony OS won’t solve its problems

Huawei’s meteoric rise in the telecoms business was brought to a dramatic halt in April when the US government put a ban …

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The London50

Cambridge Judge Business School faculty attend this week’s inaugural conference of The London50 for strategy and entrepreneurship. Ten faculty members from Cambridge …

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Healthcare policy & drug development (The Cambridge Judge Business Debate podcast series)

How ageing societies can afford healthcare for all and reform an organisational system that has not kept pace with technology. In this …

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Unsettling research

No ivory tower here: how academics are affected by research in unsettling contexts like refugee camps, prisons and rape-crisis centres. A frequent …

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Pakistan’s privatisation dilemma as it seeks IMF bailout

Reluctantly seeking an IMF bailout for its balance-of-payments crisis, Imran Khan’s nascent government in Pakistan has already devalued its currency, hiked utility …

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Code breakers

Islamic banks face new competition such as the introduction of risky derivatives into their markets. An ‘identity buffer’ makes them more likely …

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Teaching prizes

Seven members of the Cambridge Judge Business School faculty receive Teaching Prizes from Dean Christoph Loch for teaching excellence in a variety …

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A voice for equality

Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy and Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, is selected as an Equality Champion at the University of …

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Inequality (The Cambridge Judge Business Debate podcast series)

Since the early 1980s there has been widening income and wealth inequality in many industrialised countries. Why has this happened? Is it …

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Financial Times: Pakistan seeks relief from China over Belt and Road

Dr Kamal Munir comments on Pakistan’s energy policy as the country is trying to trying to renegotiate Belt and Road repayments with …

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UK Fundraising: Centre for Strategic Philanthropy opens at University of Cambridge

A new Centre for Strategic Philanthropy has been established at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. The Centre is dedicated to …

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Khaleej Times: Philanthropy centre comes up at University of Cambridge, to focus on high-growth markets including UAE

A new Centre for Strategic Philanthropy has been established at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School dedicated to examining strategic philanthropy …

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Third Sector: New Centre for Strategic Philanthropy is launched

The University of Cambridge Judge Business School has launched a new centre to focus on strategic philanthropy in emerging markets. A new …

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Zawya: Centre for Strategic Philanthropy established at University of Cambridge dedicated to high-growth markets including the UAE

A new Centre for Strategic Philanthropy has been established at Cambridge Judge Business School to examine and work to enhance the impact …

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The National: Cambridge University philanthropy school to focus on Middle East, Asia and Africa

The Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, established at University of Cambridge Judge Business School, will focus on the world’s fastest growing regions and …

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Forbes: Confronting Racism: Five must-read articles for every business leader

Synopsis of a study co-authored by Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, is featured in …

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The Conversation: Four reasons Netflix should expand into video games

Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, and Visiting Fellow Hamza Mudassir, outline reasons on why …

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Cambridge Independent: From Hollywood ‘logic’ to ‘highly institutionalised myths’ of the workplace

In the latest instalment in a series, here is the latest summary of Cambridge Judge Business School’s research. It includes: a study …

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The Conversation: Traditional banks are struggling to stave off the fintech revolution

Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, and Visiting Fellow Hamza Mudassir discuss the challenges traditional …

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The Independent: ‘Google has entered the videogaming industry. Its competitors should be scared’

An article by Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy at Cambridge Judge, and Visiting Fellow Hamza Mudassir discusses the threat …

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The Conversation: Four reasons Huawei’s new Harmony OS won’t solve its problems

An article in The Conversation co-authored by Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, looks at …

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Dawn: To fix the economy, start with the power sector

Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, shares his thoughts on the rising costs of power …

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The Conversation: Pakistan’s privatisation dilemma as it seeks IMF bailout

Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, writes about Pakistan’s privatisation dilemma as it seeks help …

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The Malaysian Reserve: The point when Islamic bankers are willing to break the code

Islamic banks face new competition such as the introduction of risky derivatives into their markets. An “identity buffer” makes them more likely …

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Dawn: Creating a sovereign wealth fund

Pakistan may establish a sovereign wealth fund to manage its problematic state-owned enterprises, write Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy …

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BBC Radio 4: The Bottom Line

Presenter Evan Davis focuses on the topic of unassailability in business. How a market leading firm, such as Myspace or Kodak, failed …

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The Conversation: Nawaz Sharif ousted in Pakistan: celebrate, but remember the bigger picture

Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy and Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, looks into the wider political and economic consequences in …

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Cambridge Business Magazine: ‘Marketisation’ has its limits – even in the absence of opposition

Some sectors including childcare remain stubbornly resistant to marketisation, finds research by Professor Shaz Ansari and Dr Kamal Munir at Cambridge Judge …

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European Business Review: What is Islamic finance?

Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, comments on Islamic finance. “Rather than providing a lucrative …

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Contact details

Kamal Munir
Cambridge Judge Business School
University of Cambridge
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1AG
UK

Tel: +44 (0)1223 337054

k.munir@jbs.cam.ac.uk