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Strategy & International Business

Members of the Strategy & International Business group have broad research interests in the areas of strategy, organisation theory and international business. They actively contribute to both academic and business communities. They have published in top-tier journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes and Journal of Applied Psychology. They currently serve or have served as associate editors at journals such as Journal of Management and Organization Studies and sit on the editorial boards of journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal and Organization Science.

The members of this group are cited and quoted regularly in the world media including the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and Business Week among others. They have worked with some of the world's leading organisations through collaborative research or executive education and have advised various multilateral agencies through collaborative research, executive education and advisory roles. 

The research of the group falls broadly into the following categories: 

  • Social stability and change (Kamal Munir, Shahzad Ansari, Jochem Kroezen)
  • Cultural industries (Allègre Hadida, Jochem Kroezen)
  • Competitive dynamics: industrial and national (Kamal Munir, Sucheta Nadkarni, Jin Zhang)
  • Dynamic capabilities (Shahzad Ansari, Allègre Hadida)
  • Technology and society (Shahzad Ansari, Kamal Munir)
  • Business and society (Kamal Munir, Jochem Kroezen, Lionel Paolella)
  • Political economy and evolution of Chinese businesses (Jin Zhang, Peter Williamson)
  • Behavioural strategy, executive characteristics and strategic cognition (Sucheta Nadkarni)
  • Categorisation processes and social structures of markets (Lionel Paolella, Kamal Munir)
  • Legal services markets (Lionel Paolella)
  • Industry renewal (Jochem Kroezen)


Lecturer and Senior Lecturer are equivalent to Assistant Professor in North American terminology. Reader is equivalent to Associate Professor with tenure in North American terminology.

PhD students

Honorary appointments

Members of the group regularly publish in top academic and practitioner journals in management. Here is a selection from the last few years:


Nadkarni, S., Chen, T. and Chen, J. (2016) "The clock is ticking! Executive temporal depth, industry velocity, and competitive aggressiveness." Strategic Management Journal, 37(6): 1132-1153 (DOI: 10.1002/smj.2376)


Gray, B., Purdy, B. and Ansari, S. (2015) "From interactions to institutions: microprocesses of framing and mechanisms for the structuring of institutional fields." Academy of Management Review, 40(1): 115-143 (DOI: 10.5465/amr.2013.0299)

Reinecke, J. and Ansari, S. (2015) "What is a 'fair' price? Ethics as sensemaking." Organization Science (DOI: 10.1287/orsc.2015.0968) (a previous version of this paper won the Best Environmental and Social Practices Paper Award, OMT Division, Academy of Management, 2013)

Reinecke, J. and Ansari, S. (2015) "When times collide: temporal brokerage at the intersection of markets and development." Academy of Management Journal, 58(2): 618-648 (DOI: 10.5465/amj.2012.1004) (a previous version of this paper won the Best International Paper Paper Award, OMT Division, Academy of Management, 2014)


Nadkarni, S. and Chen, J. (2014) "Bridging yesterday, today, and tomorrow: CEO temporal focus, environmental dynamism, and rate of new product introductions." Academy of Management Journal, 57(6): 1810-1833 (DOI: 10.5465/amj.2011.0401)

Mohammed, S. and Nadkarni, S. (2014) "Are we all on the same temporal page? The moderating effects of temporal team cognition on the polychronicity diversity-team performance relationship." Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(3): 404-422 (DOI: 10.1037/a0035640)

Herrmann, P. and Nadkarni, S. (2014) "Managing strategic change: the duality of CEO personality." Strategic Management Journal, 35(9): 1318-1342 (DOI: 10.1002/smj.2156)

Williamson, P.J. and Yin, E. (2014) "Accelerated innovation: the new challenge from China." MIT Sloan Management Review, 55(4): 1-8


Seifert, M. and Hadida, A.L. (2013) "3 humans + 1 computer = best prediction." Harvard Business Review, 91(5): 28

Seifert, M. and Hadida, A.L. (2013) "On the relative importance of linear model and human judge(s) in combined forecasting." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 120(1): 24-36

Durand, R. and Paolella, L. (2013) "Category stretching: reorienting research on categories in strategy, entrepreneurship, and organization theory." Journal of Management Studies, 50(6): 1100-1123 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2011.01039.x)

Ansari, S.M., Wijen, F. and Gray, B. (2013) "Constructing a climate change logic: an institutional perspective on the 'tragedy of the commons'." Organization Science, 24(4): 1014-1040 (DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1120.0799)


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)

Williamson, P.J. and De Meyer, A. (2012) "Ecosystem advantage: how to successfully harness the power of partners." California Management Review, 55(1): 24-46


Williamson, P.J. and Raman, A.P. (2011) "How China reset its global acquisition agenda." Harvard Business Review, 89(4): 109

Ansari, S. and Phillips, N. (2011) "Text me! New consumer practices and change in organizational fields." Organization Science, 22(6): 1579-1599 (DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1100.0595)

Mohammed, S. and Nadkarni, S. (2011) "Temporal diversity and team performance: the moderating role of team temporal leadership." Academy of Management Journal, 54(3): 489-508 (DOI: 10.5465/AMJ.2011.61967991)

Nadkarni, S., Herrmann, P. and Perez, P.D. (2011) "Domestic mindsets and early international performance: the moderating effect of global industry conditions." Strategic Management Journal, 32(5): 510-531 (DOI: 10.1002/smj.888)


Ansari, S.M., Fiss, P. and Zajac, E. (2010) "Made to fit: how practices vary as they diffuse." Academy of Management Review, 35(1): 67-92

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

Nadkarni, S. and Herrmann, P. (2010) "CEO personality, strategic flexibility, and firm performance: the case of the Indian business process outsourcing industry." Academy of Management Journal, 53(5): 1050-1073 (DOI: 10.5465/AMJ.2010.54533196)

Other notable publications


Hadida, A.L. and Tarvainen, W. (2014) "Organizational improvisation: a consolidating review and framework." International Journal of Management Reviews (forthcoming)

Hadida, A.L. and Paris, T. (2014) "Managerial cognition and the value chain in the digital music industry." Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 83: 84-97 (DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2013.04.005)

Munir, K. (2014) "A loss of power in institutional theory." Journal of Management Inquiry (DOI: 10.1177/1056492614545302) (published online Aug 2014; forthcoming in print) (lead article to which Professors Paul Hirsch, Michael Lounsbury, Roy Suddaby and Hugh Willmott responded in the same issue)


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

Hadida, A.L. (2013) "Let your hands do the thinking!: Lego bricks, strategic thinking and ideas generation within organizations." Strategic Direction, 29(2): 3-5 (DOI: 10.1108/02580541311297976)

Hadida, A.L. (2013) "Institutions, assets combinations and film performance: a U.S.-French comparison." Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, 7(2): 155-170 (DOI: 10.1037/a0030166)


Herzog, J.O., Munir, K.A. and Kattuman, P. (2012) "The King and I: monarchies and the performance of business groups." Cambridge Journal of Economics (DOI: 10.1093/cje/bes032) (published online Jul 2012; forthcoming in print)

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


Koene, B. and Ansari, S. (2011) "Institutional change and the multinational change agent." Journal of Organizational Change Management, 24(4): 511-531 (DOI: 10.1108/09534811111144647)

Ansari, S., Wijen, F. and Gray, B. (2011) "Fiddling while the ice melts? How organizational scholars can take a more active role in the climate change debate." Strategic Organization, 9(1): 70-76 (DOI: 10.1177/1476127010395525)

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)

Yin, E. and Williamson, P.J. (2011) "Rethinking innovation for a recovery." Ivey Business Journal (Online Edition), May/Jun


Hadida, A.L. (2010) "Commercial success and artistic recognition of motion picture projects." Journal of Cultural Economics, 34(1): 45-80 (DOI: 10.1007/s10824-009-9109-z)

Nolan, P. and Zhang, J. (2010) "Global competition after the financial crisis." New Left Review, 64: 97-108

Williamson, P.J. (2010) "Cost innovation: preparing for a 'value-for-money' revolution." Long Range Planning, 43(2-3): 343-353


Hadida, A.L. (2009) "Motion picture performance: a review and research agenda." International Journal of Management Reviews, 11(3): 297-335 (watch "Six things we know about motion picture performance")

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)



Zhang, J. (2013) Globalisation and Chinese large firms (in Chinese). Tianjin: Nankai University Press.

Refereed book chapters


Birkinshaw, J. and Ansari, S. (2015) "Understanding management models: going beyond 'what and why' to 'how' work gets done in organizations." In: Foss, N.J. and Saebi, T. (eds.) Business model innovation: the organizational dimension. (forthcoming)


Hadida, A.L. (2014) "Performance in the creative industries." In: Jones, C., Lorenzen, M. and Sapsted, J. (eds.) Oxford handbook of the creative industries. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming) (watch "Creative and cultural industries performance")


Hadida, A.L. (2013) "Strategic assets and performance across institutional environments." In: Kaufman, J.C. and Simonton, D.K. (eds.) The social science of cinema. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.207-231


Kroezen, J.J. and Heugens, P.M.A.R. (2012) "Organizational identity formation: processes of identity imprinting and enactment in the Dutch microbrewing landscape." In: Schultz, M., Maguire, S., Langley, A. and Tsoukas, H. (eds.) Constructing identity in and around organizations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.89-128


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

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., Sidhu, J., Oshri, I. and Volberda, H. (2010) "Knowledge management across globally disaggregated onshore and offshore teams: the role of organizational politics." In: Contractor, F.J., Kumar, V., Kundu, S.K. and Pedersen, T. (eds.) Offshoring and outsourcing: the organizational and geographical relocation of high-value company functions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Members of the Strategy & International Business group engage deeply with the business community, multilateral agencies and governments through their impactful research, innovative executive education programmes and area expertise. Members of the group have spearheaded several research projects and grants funded by companies such as Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton and Newton Asset Management (a division of BNY Mellon Bank). They have advised major multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, the European Commission, the Asian Development Bank and UNCTAD, as well as governments of countries such as Greece and Pakistan.

The Strategy & International Business subject group hosts a seminar series of distinguished visiting scholars. Please contact Luke Slater if you would like to be added to the mailing list.

Upcoming seminars

Easter Term 2018

Diversity & Performance in the Multinational Firm: Evidence from the Ships of the Dutch East India Company, 1700-1796
Professor Filippo Carlo Wezel, Universita’ della Svizzera italiana (USI Lugano)

12:00-13:30, 16 May 2018
Room W2.01, Cambridge Judge Business School


The global organisation is routinely confronted with the problem of managing groups composed of diverse nationalities. These problems were amplified during early capitalism, when language and religious differences created sharp divisions among workers. Empirical analyses that draw on historical evidence of the causal relationship between national diversity and subunit performance nevertheless remain rare. We deploy social categorisation and similarity-attraction theories to suggest how national diversity may have affected conflict and turnover among the members of multinational teams in early capitalism. In addition, we consider workforce recruitment as an alternative mechanism that suggests a confounding of the effects of national diversity with a lack of firm-specific experience. We test our hypotheses on instances of individual punishment and desertion among roughly half a million seafarers of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and on the time to completion of more than two thousand voyages to Asia by VOC ships. Our results suggest that much of the adverse performance "effect" of multinational diversity could be explained by historical shifts in workforce recruitment, rather than by a causal impact of conflict and turnover. More generally, the study has implications for the analysis of diversity in historical contexts, when demographic heterogeneity did not yet have implications for the external legitimacy of firms.

Speaker bio

Filippo Carlo Wezel was appointed Professor of Organization and Management at the Faculty of Economics of Universita’ della Svizzera italiana (USI Lugano) in September 2009. He is currently Director of the Institute of Management and Organization at USI and permanent visiting Professor at emlyon (France). Filippo is also a Senior Editor at Organization Science. With a PhD in Management from the University of Bologna, he previously held appointments at the University of Groningen (post-doc) and at Tilburg University (assistant and, then, associate professor). He acquired further academic experience as visiting researcher/professor at the Wharton Business School, Duke and Columbia Universities, and at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). His research focuses on the effects of categorisation in markets, on managerial mobility, and on entrepreneurship. His work has been published in Academy of Management Journal, American Sociological Review, Organization Science, Journal of International Business Studies, Organization Studies, Journal of Business Venturing, Strategic Organization, Advances in Strategic Management, and Research in the Sociology of Organizations.

Big, Beige and Bulky: Aesthetic Shifts in the Hearing Aid Industry (1945-2015)
Dr Stine Grodal, Boston University Questrom School of Business

11:00-12:30, 1 May 2018
Room W2.02, Cambridge Judge Business School


Aesthetics play an important role in the success of technology products. Scholars have theorised about how the aesthetics of technology products shift over the course of the technology lifecycle. These scholars posit that aesthetics follow a reverse pattern of the technology lifecycle with minimal novelty during the era of ferment, but that producers engage in aesthetic innovation when the technology matures to differentiate their products in the market. We extend this theory through an inductive examination of technological and aesthetic innovations in the hearing aid industry over the 70-year period 1945-2015. We identify that aesthetic innovation tends to occur within the confinement of a dominant aesthetic - that is an aesthetic manifestation, which is present in the majority of products during that lifecycle. In contrast to existing theory, we find that the innovations in aesthetics that eventually drive forth a new dominant aesthetic tend to be launched in during the era of ferment. We find that categorical aspirations - aiming for the product to take on the meaning of other product categories - are a core driver of aesthetic innovation. Over the course of the technology lifecycle, producers begin to question the dominant aesthetics and begin to draw analogies to other categories. Through analogies to other categories, producers form aspirations to have their products attain the same meanings as the categories aspired to. However, these new categorical aspirations do not immediately spur aesthetic innovations challenging the dominant aesthetic - rather they remain latent. The latent categorical aspirations do not lead to experimentation with a new aesthetic manifestation until a new era of technological ferment jolts the existing dominant aesthetic. As technological designs destabilise, it frees up producers to experiment with the accumulated latent categorical aspirations. After a period of aesthetic experimentation, the industry settles into a new dominant aesthetic, which undergoes minor aesthetic elaborations as the technology matures.

Speaker bio

Stine Grodal is an Associate Professor at Boston University Questrom School of Business. She received her PhD from Stanford University. Her work has received numerous awards and has been published across a variety of journals among others Administrative Science Quarterly, American Sociological Review and Organization Science. Her research focuses on the emergence and evolution of markets, industries and organisational fields with a specific focus on the role categories and their associated labels play in this process. In particular, her work explores the strategic actions that market participants take to shape and exploit categorical structures.

That Could Have Been Me: Director Deaths, Mortality Salience & CEO Prosocial Behaviour
Dr Guoli Chen, INSEAD

15:30-17:00, 19 March 2018
Room tbc, Cambridge Judge Business School

in association with the Cambridge Corporate Governance Network (CCGN)


Mortality salience – the awareness of the inevitability of death – is often traumatic. However, it can also be associated with a range of positive, self-transcendent cognitive responses, such as a greater desire to help others, contribute to society, and make a more meaningful contribution in one's life and career. In this study, we provide evidence of a causal link between CEO mortality salience and a subsequent increase in prosocial behaviour, at both the individual and organisational levels. We find that CEOs experiencing a situation likely to trigger mortality salience (the death of a director at the same firm) engage in a series of actions reflecting a greater personal and professional focus on prosociality, including an increased presence on nonprofit boards, more frequent use of prosocial language, and higher levels of corporate social responsibility at both the CEOs' home firms and the outside firms on whose boards they sit. We further show that the impact of director deaths is amplified in situations where CEO mortality salience should be most acute (i.e. high CEO-director demographic similarity, and sudden director deaths). In supplementary analyses, we also find suggestive evidence that CEO prosociality is directed toward ingroups.

Speaker bio

Guoli Chen is an Associate Professor of Strategy at INSEAD. He received his PhD in Strategic Management from the Pennsylvania State University. He teaches Strategy, Value Innovation, Incentives Design, and Corporate Governance courses to the MBA, PhD, and Executive Education programme participants.

Guoli's research focuses on the influence of CEOs, top executives, and boards of directors on firms' strategic choices and organisational outcomes, as well as the interaction and dynamics in the top management team and CEO-board relationships. He is interested in organisational growth, renewal, and corporate development activities, such as IPOs, M&As, innovation, globalisation. He has published in several top academic journals, such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Business Venturing, Leadership Quarterly, and Strategic Organization. His papers have received awards at the Academy of Management Conference and Strategic Management Society Conference. He was a representative-at-large of the Corporate Strategy and Corporate Governance interest group of the Strategic Management Society and serves on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Journal.

Before starting his academic career, Guoli worked as an investment banker at Daiwa Securities SMBC. He provided financial consulting in the areas of IPOs, fundraising, and company restructuring.

Previous seminars

Lent Term 2018

Founder Industry Specific Experience: An Asset or a Liability? The case of International Expansion
Professor Niron Hashai, Arison School of Business

12:00-13:30, 5 March 2018
Room W2.02, Cambridge Judge Business School


Firms typically use their knowledge to achieve growth. In newly established firms, this knowledge initially comes from their founders’ experiences. We propose that founders’ industry specific prior experience facilitates new firm growth in the short run, but in the long run becomes an obstacle to experiential learning essential for continued growth. We further propose that founders possessing industry specific and general prior experiences are better positioned to facilitate growth in both the short and long runs. Finally, we propose that the combination of industry specific and general prior experience of founders positively affects firm growth. We test these propositions in the context of founders' international experience and the international expansion of high technology new firms. Our analysis shows that early in new firms’ international expansion, the more industry-specific the prior international experience of founders, the more positive its effect on international growth. Yet, once these firms gain international experience, the more industry specific the prior international experience of founders the more negative its effect on international growth. In parallel, we find that the more diverse are the prior international experiences of individual founders or founding teams, in terms of being industry specific or general, the more positive their effect on international growth.

Speaker bio

Niron Hashai is an Associate Professor at the Arison School of Business, the Interdisciplinary Center, Israel and the Albertson-Waltuch Chair in Business Administration at the School of Business Administration at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Professor Hashai obtained his BSc in Computer Sciences from the Technion and his MBA and PhD from Tel Aviv University. His research interests include: theory of the multinational corporation, technological innovation, diversification, and growth patterns of high technology firms. His research was published in top strategy, management, international business and innovation journals, including: Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management, Research Policy, Strategic Management Journal and Strategy Science.

Professor Hashai serves on the boards of the Journal of International Business Studies, and the Global Strategy Journal, among others. Niron is also a visiting Associate Professor at New York University, the Startup Nation visiting fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government, the University of Oxford, The Peter J. Buckley International Visiting Fellow at Leeds University Business School and an associate member at the John H. Dunning Research Centre, University of Reading.

Professor Hashai is co-founder of HUstart – the Hebrew University entrepreneurship center and the Israel Strategy Conference (ISC).

Towards a Theory of Ecosystems
Professor Michael G. Jacobides, London Business School

12:00-13:30, 23 January 2018
Room W2.02, Cambridge Judge Business School


The recent surge of interest in “ecosystems” in strategy research and practice has mainly focused on what ecosystems are and how they operate. We briefly review this literature and complement it, considering when ecosystems emerge, why they converge and what makes them distinct. We argue that modularity enables ecosystem emergence, as it allows a set of distinct yet interdependent organizations to coordinate without full hierarchical fiat. We propose that this interdependence is based on different types of complementarities, which can be supermodular or unique, unidirectional or bidirectional. We explain how different types of interdependencies map onto different types of ecosystems, and argue that at the core of ecosystems lie non-generic complementarities. We conclude with implications for mainstream strategy and suggestions for future ecosystem research.

Speaker bio

Michael G. Jacobides holds the Sir Donald Gordon Chair of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at London Business School, where he is Associate Professor of Strategy. He has held visiting appointments at Wharton, Harvard Business School, NYU-Stern, has visited Bocconi, University of Paris and Singapore Management University, and teaches in Columbia for the LBS/Columbia EMBA-Global. He has served on the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum on the Financial System and the Future of Investments, and is a Visiting Scholar with the New York Fed, focusing on changing business models in Financial Services. He studied in Athens, Cambridge, Stanford and Wharton, where he obtained his PhD.

Michael's focus is change, design and strategy: he studies industry evolution, value migration, new business models, and structural change in firms and sectors. He is also interested in organisational design and how firms cope with organisational pathologies. His research has earned him the Sloan Foundation Award for the best Industry Study, and he has raised over £1m in research funds. A Ghoshal Fellow in the Advanced Institute of Management, his research has been sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust, NATO, MBAA, the WEF and other private and public bodies. He has worked with McKinsey, PwC, KPMG, Airbus, Finmeccanica, Pirelli, Lufthansa, Vodafone, Telenor, DT, Nokia, Burberrys, Santander, Credit Suisse, BBVA, Goldman Sachs, Lloyds, RBS, Nordea, Rabobank, Zurich, if, MerckSerono, Chiesi Pharmaceutica, Roche and the NHS on executive development, thought-leadership and strategy.

Michael has given keynotes for corporate events and for industry associations, including Accenture, McKinsey, PwC, Winterthur, De Beers, the Innovation Roundtable, the British Bankers Association, the Mortgage Senate, the Institute of Sovereign Investors, the Healthcare Forum, FIDI, ACE, RICS, and has spoken on TEDx, as well as in sessions for the WEF meetings in Brussels, Vienna, Istanbul, New York, Rome, Dubai and in Davos, where he has facilitated public and private events. On policy, he is working with the WEF, the UK parliament (on the future of Financial Services), the European Council (a task-force advising President Van Rompuy on Innovation & Entrepreneurship) and has spearheaded the RedesignGreece initiative, which aims to help restructure the Greek public administration. His current degree teaching is on Managing Corporate Turnarounds, a popular phenomenon-driven strategy elective.

A former VP of the European Academy of Management and officer of the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society, Michael has published in academic journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Research Policy, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Financial Perspectives and Industrial & Corporate Change, where he serves as the Co-Editor. He writes for Harvard Business Review, Financial Times,, Huffington Post, Business Strategy Review, Greek dailies To Vima and Kathimerini, where he holds an op-ed column. He has been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, FT,, Reuters, Bloomberg, Radio 5, Radio France, El Pais, Dubai's The National, the Russian State TV24, SKAI and ANT1, and appears regularly on CNN.

Connecting and Creating: Tertius Iungens, Individual Creativity, and Strategic Decision Processes
Dr David Obstfeld, California State University

13:00-15:00, 15 January 2018
Room W2.01, Cambridge Judge Business School


In contrast to previous research that emphasised macro-to-macro relationships, this study investigates how strategic decision characteristics shape the creative process at the organisational micro-level. Whereas individual creativity thrives on novel combinations of diverse knowledge and perspectives, we argue that the characteristics of strategic decisions influence the extent to which employees’ combinatory activities enhance their creativity. Multilevel modeling results based on 638 employees from 34 organisations show that the positive relationship between tertius iungens (TI) orientation and creative performance is reinforced by strategic decision comprehensiveness, especially when coupled with low strategic decision speed. The results suggest that, paradoxically, when top managers consider a narrower range of options and act more quickly to respond to challenges in the external environment, they risk constraining creative processes within the organisation.

Dr Obstfeld will discuss the findings from the above paper in the context of the core ideas of social network brokerage as explored in his new book with Stanford University Press: "Getting New Things Done: Networks, Brokerage, and the Assembly of Innovative Action." Mobilising people to pursue action in the pursuit of innovation depends critically on the effective orchestration of social networks and knowledge sharing. This orchestration is vital to the pursuit of innovation, especially in a world increasingly reliant on collaborative projects that assemble actors with diverse interests, abilities, and knowledge. In the talk, Dr Obstfeld offers a conceptual framework along with brief original ethnographic data from an automotive design context for conceptualising how social network and knowledge processes combine to influence success in both routine and non-routine innovation. He integrates recent work to propose a theory of social skill with implications at the micro-, organisational-, and industry levels that speak directly to his Strategic Management Journal paper.

Article by Dr Olli-Pekka Kauppila, Dr Lorenzo Bizzi, and Dr David Obstfeld, forthcoming Strategic Management Journal.

Speaker bio

David Obstfeld is an Associate Professor of Management at The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton. His research examines how social network and knowledge processes interact to produce different forms of innovation in organisations, entrepreneurship, and collective action. His research has been funded by multiple grants including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Academy of Finland, and received the W. Richard Scott Award for Distinguished Scholarship for an outstanding contribution to the organisational discipline by an article published within a three-year period from the American Sociological Association. His book-length study, Getting New Things Done: Networks, Brokerage, and the Assembly of Innovative Action (Stanford University Press 2017), focuses on how brokers coordinate action for innovation and value creation in complex organisational contexts. His research has been published in leading management and the social science journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, and Industrial and Corporate Change, and widely cited across a diverse range of disciplines. Before joining Mihaylo, David was a visiting faculty member at the Stern School of Business, New York University and the Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine. He received his AB from the University of Chicago and his PhD from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Prior to his academic career, he was an executive at the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) for 10 years.

Michaelmas Term 2017

Limitations of Perceived Firm-Specific Human Capital as a Mobility Constraint: Stuck in Their Heads?
Professor Russell Coff, University of Wisconsin-Madison

14:00-15:00, 6 December 2017
Lecture Theatre 3, Cambridge Judge Business School


Strategy scholars emphasise firm-specific human capital as a source of sustained competitive advantage, in part, because it is thought to hinder mobility. We explore theoretically and empirically how perceptions of firm-specificity relate to turnover. Recent findings show that workers who perceive their skills as firm-specific tend to be dissatisfied and suggest that turnover could actually be more likely. Using two datasets (Korea and US), we find that perceptions of firm-specific skills are often associated with increased turnover. We found no evidence of lower wages for those who changed jobs and perceived their skills as specific – external opportunities did not appear constrained. Accordingly, perceptions of firm specificity may drive behaviour in ways not fully anticipated by existing theory. This, in turn, suggests the need for new theory about the relationship between human capital and competitive advantage.

Speaker bio

Russell Coff is the UW Foundation Chairman Orr Bascom Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research explores the role of human assets in innovation, creativity, and, ultimately in competitive advantage. For example, he studies management dilemmas associated with human capital including: the management of strategic investments in knowledge-based assets under great uncertainty; appropriating value (rent) from competitive advantages; creativity & innovation under conditions of asymmetric information and uncertainty; and how buyers cope in mergers and acquisitions that involve human assets.

Coff received his PhD from UCLA and has previously been a faculty member at Emory University and Washington University in St Louis. Russ has served the research community through his participation on a variety of editorial boards including Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, and Strategic Organization (where he was a co-editor). He also chaired the Business Policy and Strategic Division of the Academy of Management and the Strategic Human Capital Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society. He is currently the President of the Strategic Management Society.

The Liability of Opaqueness: State Ownership and the Likelihood of Deal Completion in International Acquisitions
Professor Jiatao (JT) Li, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

14:00-15:30, 8 November 2017
Lecture Theatre 2, Cambridge Judge Business School


State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are often less transparent and have more complex organisational structures than other types of firms. This opaqueness tends to generate political resistance when SOEs undertake cross-border acquisitions. Data on attempted foreign acquisitions by Chinese firms were analysed to compare the likelihood of deal completion between SOEs and firms with other forms of ownership. The SOEs’ completion rate was 14 per cent lower than that of other firms. Their disadvantage was shown to be less when they could provide credible signals by being publicly–listed (though only on an exchange in a well-developed economy and when they hired reputable auditors), having a better past record and hiring respected financial advisors. Overall, the evidence confirms that Chinese SOEs face greater resistance than other Chinese firms in international acquisitions, and their opaqueness aggravates the resistance.

Speaker bio

Professor Li is Chair Professor of Management, Lee Quo Wei Professor of Business, and Director of Center for Business Strategy and Innovation, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). He served as Head of the Management Department from 2006 to August 2017; Associate Dean (Faculty) of the HKUST Business School from 2009 to 2013; and Senior Associate Dean of the HKUST Business School from 2013 to July 2017.

JT is an elected Fellow of of the Academy of International Business (AIB), and has been elected as Vice President of the AIB and the Programme Chair of the 2018 AIB annual conference in the US. He is Editor of the Journal of International Business Studies, responsible for research related to strategy and policy in emerging economies. He has served as Associate Editor for the Strategic Management Journal, a leading journal in management, from 2009-2016. He is also on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Global Strategy Journal, Journal of Management, and Long Range Planning. He served as Programme Chair of the Strategic Management Society’s special conference held in Hong Kong in December 2016.

Professor Li is an expert on global business strategy. His current research interests are in the areas of organisational learning, strategic alliances, corporate governance, innovation, and entrepreneurship, with a focus on issues related to global firms and those from emerging economies. His research work has been published regularly in premier management journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, and Journal of International Business Studies, and several of which have won best paper awards.

A passionate teacher at the UG, MBA, EMBA, Executive Education, and PhD levels, he has repeatedly been recognised on the Teaching Excellence Honor Roll and with teaching excellence citations over the years. During his tenure as Head of the Management Department, the department has won the Franklin Department Teaching Excellence Award six times. At HKUST, Professor Li has served on various university-level committees, including as the Chair of the University Appointments and Substantiation Committee and a member of the University Administrative Committee. As Associate Dean (Faculty) of the HKUST Business School from 2009 to 2013, he was responsible for the School’s faculty development. As Senior Associate Dean from 2013 to 2017, he oversaw all aspects of the school’s research portfolio.

Professor Li has served the Hong Kong community in multiple roles. He writes regularly for the Hong Kong Economic Journal. He has served on the Business Panel of the University Grants Committee in its Research Assessment Exercise, and he has been a member on the Research Grants Council’s Business Panel. He has also served on the Human Resources Committee of the Fu Hong Society which provides homes for the handicapped in Hong Kong. Since 2016,Professor Li has been contributing actively to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hong Kong by serving as a faculty mentor for startup ventures at the Hong Kong X entrepreneurial platform.

JT received his PhD in strategy from the University of Texas. He joined the HKUST in 1997 as an Assistant Professor of Management. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2000, Full Professor in 2006, Chair Professor in 2009, and Lee Quo Wei Professor of Business in 2016. Before joining HKUST, he was with McKinsey & Company in Hong Kong, a global management consulting firm.

From Farms to Fuel Tanks: Influence of Stakeholder Framing Contests on Market Meaning and Firm Entry in the Emergent US Biodiesel Sector
Dr Shon Hiatt, University of Southern California

13:00-14:30, 21 November 2017
Castle Teaching Room, Cambridge Judge Business School


We explore how stakeholder framing contests can shape market settlement and influence venture entry into markets. Using data on all ventures founded in the US biodiesel industry, we present a framework to explain which frames will eventually win the contest, become engrained in the market meaning, and thereby affect entrepreneurial entry. The results show that market frames advanced by farm associations, market enthusiasts and environmental activists differentially influenced the settlement of market meaning and impacted entrepreneurial entry by focused and hybrid firms. The paper also highlights how stakeholder attempts to grow nascent markets can produce unintended consequences by attracting audiences with divergent goals that lead to changes in market meaning and consumer demand.

Speaker bio

Shon Hiatt is an assistant professor of Business Administration at USC Marshall School of Business. He explores issues related to entrepreneurship, new-market emergence, and business sustainability in developed and developing economies, and his award-winning research has been published in scholarly journals and featured in media outlets. An expert in the agribusiness and energy sectors, he serves as the Faculty Director of the Food Industry Executive Programme, is a faculty affiliate of the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and is a recipient of the 2015 Kauffman Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research and the 2016 Academy of Management Emerging Scholar Award. Prior to joining USC, Shon was a member of faculty at Harvard Business School.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Contact Luke Slater if you wish to arrange a meeting with Shon during his visit

Easter Term 2017

Why Resource-based Theory Must Adopt a Stakeholder Perspective
Professor Jay B. Barney, Eccles School of Business

11:00-13:00, 10 May 2017
Castle Teaching Room, Cambridge Judge Business School


The model of profit appropriation in resource-based theory has assumed that shareholders have a unique claim on the profits generated by a firm. This paper shows that if this is the case, access to all a firm’s other resources will occur through fixed claim or complete contingent claims contracts, and that the resources acquired through these contracts cannot be expected to be a source of economic profits for a firm. In this setting, it is not clear where the profits that are supposed to be distributed to shareholders come from. All this suggests that resource-based theory needs to adopt models of profit creation and appropriation that recognise the possibility of multiple claimants on a firm’s profits, for example, some sort of stakeholder perspective. The elements of this stakeholder resource-based theory are described, together with the implications of this theory for traditional resource-based theory and some current stakeholder theories.

Speaker bio

Professor Jay B. Barney has won several awards for his research and writing, including the Irwin Outstanding Educator Award for the Business Policy and Strategy Division of the Academy of Management, the Scholarly Contributions Award for the Academy of Management, and three honorary doctoral degrees - from Lund University, Sweden, the Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, and Universidad Pontifica Comillas, Spain. He has also been elected to the Academy of Management Fellows and the Strategic Management Society Fellows and has won teaching awards at UCLA, Texas A&M, and Ohio State.

Professor Barney has also served as an officer of the Business Policy and Strategy Division of the Academy of Management, as a member of the board and later an officer of the Strategic Management Society, as an Associate Editor at the Journal of Management, as a Senior Editor at Organization Science, as a Co-editor at the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, and currently serves as Editor at the Academy of Management Review.

Professor Barney consults with companies and other organisations to help identify and leverage their sources of sustained competitive advantage. He also works with boards of directors in evaluating the formulation and implementation of a firm’s strategies. His over 50 clients have included Honeywell, Hewlett Packard, Texas Instruments, Koch Industries, Nationwide Insurance, Cardinal Health, Bob Evan’s Restaurants, and Columbus Public Schools.

Co-opetition: The Role of Behavioural and Technological Uncertainties
Professor Giovanni Battista Dagnino, University of Catania

12:00-13:30, 23 May 2017
Room W4.05, Cambridge Judge Business School


This paper aims at understanding the interplay between technological and behavioural uncertainties in influencing partner behaviours in strategic alliance contexts. We speculate that, while technological uncertainty is likely to foster co-operative behaviours, behavioural uncertainty is expected to encourage competitive behaviour in alliances. Actually, identifying these uncertainty dimensions and their joint impact, respectively, on competitive, co-operative, and co-opetitive behaviours can help us capture the emergence of co-opetition in a much fine-grained fashion. In our conceptual appreciation, the presence of high technological and behavioural uncertainties and low technological and behavioural uncertainties bring about the emergence of co-opetition. This understanding may in turn facilitate to gain insights into alliance partner behaviours under other forms of uncertainty as well.

Speaker bio

Giovanni Battista Dagnino is Deputy Chair and Dean of Research in the Department of Economics and Business of the University of Catania, Italy, where he is Professor of Business Economics and Management. He is faculty member of the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management, fellow of the Strategic Planning Society, and friend of the European Investment Bank Institute. He has held visiting positions at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Wharton School, London Business School, IE Business School, IESE Business School, Grenoble Ecole de Management, the University of Mannheim, and IAE Business School, Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires and serves as Associate Program Chair of the Co-operative Strategies Interest Group at the Strategic Management Society. He received the Special Recognition for publishing influential work on co-opetition studies in the decade 2004-2014, and the CGIO Best Paper in International Corporate Governance from the Academy of Management. His current research revolves around co-opetition strategy dynamics, the management of temporary advantages, hubris-driven strategies, the relationships between strategy, governance and entrepreneurship, and the evolution of research methods. He has authored/edited 12 books and articles in leading journals, such as Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Perspectives, Organization Studies, and Global Strategy Journal. He has been Associate Editor of Long Range Planning and guest editor for special issues of Strategic Management Journal and other eight management journals.

The Role of CEOs' Personal Values in Strategic Decisions: Tour of a Research Programme
Professor Don Hambrick, Smeal College of Business, Institution

11:00-12:30, 11 July 2017
Room W2.02, Cambridge Judge Business School

Speaker bio

Don Hambrick is Evan Pugh Professor and the Smeal Chaired Professor of Management, Smeal College of Business, at The Pennsylvania State University. He is also Bronfman Professor Emeritus, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University. He holds degrees from the University of Colorado (BS), Harvard University (MBA), and The Pennsylvania State University (PhD).

An internationally recognised management scholar, Don is the author of numerous articles and books on strategy formulation, strategy implementation, executive psychology, executive staffing and incentives, the composition and processes of top management teams, and corporate governance. His book, <em>Navigating Change: How CEOs, Top Teams, and Boards Steer Transformation</em>, presents leading-edge thinking for executives who are embarking on corporate change initiatives. Another book, <em>Strategic Leadership: Theory and Research on Executives, Top Management Teams, and Boards</em>, is extensively used by scholars of executive leadership.

Don has received an array of major professional awards. The Academy of Management, the leading worldwide society of management scholars, has given Don its two highest lifetime achievement prizes: the Distinguished Scholar Award (2008) and the Distinguished Educator Award (2009). Additionally, he served as President of the Academy of Management (1992-93) and as Dean of the Fellows of the Academy (2008-11). He has received three honorary doctorates: the University of Paris, Panthéon-Assas (2010), University of Antwerp (2013), and Erasmus University Rotterdam (2013). Don also has won numerous teaching awards both at Columbia University and Pennsylvania State University.

Don is also an active consultant and instructor in corporate executive education programmes. His recent clients have included IBM, GE, Pearson, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Merck, SunLife Financial, FISERV, Vertafore, the <em>New York Times</em>, ThomsonReuters, and McKinsey.

Lent Term 2017

The Contingent Value of the Dedicated Alliance Function
Professor Dovev Lavie, Technion: Israel Institute of Technology

Time tbc, 14 March 2017
Room W2.02, Cambridge Judge Business School


The alliance literature has underscored the merits of a dedicated alliance function that promotes standardisation, formalisation, and centralisation of alliance management practices. However, some recent studies reveal that this function does not create value. We shed light on this debate in the literature by distinguishing the contribution of the firm's dedicated alliance function from that of its partner's alliance function, and contending that the firm's alliance can benefit more from the partner's dedicated function. We further conjecture that the contribution of the firm's dedicated alliance function is contingent on both partner-specific experience that the firm gains in recurrent alliances with the same partner and on general partnering experience that is accumulated with all of the firm's prior partners. We claim that the value of the dedicated alliance function increases with general partnering experience but at the same time declines with partner-specific experience. Our analysis of more than 15,000 alliances involving US-based software firms supports these assertions. Our findings suggest that instituting organisational practices that are meant to enhance a firm's ability to leverage its experience can in fact restrict its gains from experience. We further conclude that by appropriately leveraging its alliance function, the firm can manage conflicting routines and overcome the tradeoff between efficient use of alliance management practices and responsiveness to partners in its alliance portfolio.

Speaker bio

Dovev Lavie is a Full Professor and Vice Dean of MBA Programs at the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion. He earned his PhD in Management at the Wharton School and served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He also held visiting positions at London Business School and Bocconi University. Lavie is a Sloan Industry Studies Fellow, a recipient of the Strategic Management Society's Emerging Scholar Award, and winner of the INFORMS TMS Best Dissertation Award and the Academy of Management Newman Award. His research interests include the evolution and performance implications of alliance portfolios, the balancing of exploration and exploitation, and applications of resource-based theory in interconnected technology-intensive industries. His work has been published in leading journals, such as the Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, and Organization Science. Lavie has served as an associate editor at the Academy of Management Journal and a special issue editor of the Strategic Management Journal.

Hostile Principals: Managerial Response to Short Sellers
Professor Brian L. Connelly, Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, Auburn University

13:00-14:30, 17 February 2017
W4.05, Cambridge Judge Business School

in association with the Cambridge Corporate Governance Network (CCGN)


Agency theory describes the relationship between agents and principals, but there are some principals who profit from downward stock price movement. These are "short sellers", and they are hostile in the sense that they temporarily own shares of the firm, but are obligated to return the shares at a set price, so their value is maximised when firm value is minimised. Short-selling has increased considerably among publicly traded North American firms in recent years, making them an important component of the corporate governance landscape. Building on threat rigidity theory, we develop arguments about how managerial agents respond to short-sellers. We theorise that when firms have a high level of short interest shareholdings, managers will adopt a defensive stance by undertaking a smaller number of growth-oriented competitive actions and a larger number of consolidation initiatives. We then invoke the awareness, motivation, capability (AMC) perspective to help uncover scenarios where managers might be less likely to respond to the threat of short sellers. Specifically, we find that managers are less reactionary when (1) analysts are bullish on the firm, (2) CEOs are financially incented for growth and (3) the firm has ample financial slack.

Speaker bio

Professor Brian L. Connelly is Luck Eminent Scholar at Habert College of Business Auburn University. His research explores how corporate governance structures, such as shareholders and boards, affect competition and strategic outcomes. Some of the key theoretical mechanisms that underlie his work include signalling theory, social network theory, and tournament theory. Professor Connelly is Associate Editor at the Academy of Management Journal and has published in journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, and the Journal of Management.

Contact us

Get in touch with the Strategy & International Business subject group via their Administrator, Luke Slater:

Seminars are added as they are arranged.

View a list of all Cambridge Judge research seminars