Christoph H Loch

Professor of Operations & Technology Management

Co-Director of the Cambridge Centre for Chinese Management

Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing. (Darmstadt Institute of Technology), MBA (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), PhD (Stanford Graduate School of Business)

My research interests include how organisations make innovation happen, concurrent engineering and coordination in complex systems, managing novel, uncertain and ambiguous initiatives, resource allocation, portfolio management, performance measurement in R&D, behavioural economics, and manufacturing management and strategy deployment.

I’m a member of the Operations and Technology Management subject group at Cambridge Judge Business School, which focuses on practice-based research through partner organisations to address a wide spectrum of management challenges.

Research interests

Research interests span 6 broad areas:

  1. concurrent engineering and coordination in complex systems
  2. managing highly novel, uncertain and ambiguous initiatives
  3. resource allocation, portfolio management, and strategy deployment
  4. performance measurement in R&D and uncertain projects
  5. incentives, motivation and cultural evolution (behavioural economics)
  6. manufacturing management and strategy deployment.

Professional experience

Professor Christoph H Loch is Professor of Operations & Technology Management at Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS), and from 2011-2021 he served as the Director (Dean) of the School. A university business school combines academic activities (published research and degree teaching) with commercial activities in competitive markets (programmes and executive education). Under his leadership since 2011, Cambridge Judge grew in revenue from £24 million in 2011/12 to £60 million in 2019/20, breaking even every year while continuing to make a financial contribution to the University of Cambridge. On the teaching side, CJBS’s ranked programmes (MBA, EMBA, Master of Finance and Executive Education) were in 2021 all ranked in the FT Global Top 20 (up from only one programme in 2011). On the research side, the 2021 Research Evaluation Framework (REF) exercise that the UK government conducts every 6 years ranked Cambridge Judge as the best research school of all UK business schools (after a second place in 2014). This performance was enabled by a research strategy emphasising problem-solving engagements with organisations (commercial or non-profit) to connect knowledge creation with practical impact, fostering a positive reinforcement between teaching and research.

For example, Cambridge Judge has 20 research centres that are thought leaders in their areas and reach out to organisations to help them. In this context, the Business School has become a leader in entrepreneurship impact and education (both technology and social ventures), supporting the Cambridge Cluster (the largest entrepreneurial cluster in Europe). 

As an academic, Professor Loch has continued to teach and conduct research. His experience lies in the management of innovation in organisations, project management, and the emotional side of motivation of professional personnel. He was identified as one of the top 10 innovation researchers worldwide in the Journal of Product Innovation Management in 2012, and he was identified as one of the top 10 researchers worldwide in operations management in the journal Decision Sciences in 2020.

Professor Loch has been the Chairman of the Behavioral Operations Management section of INFORMS (2008-2010), Department Editor for both Management Science (R&D and Innovation department) (2004-2009) and Production and Operations Management (2003-2007, and the special issue on behavioural operations management in 2011), and Associate Editor of Management Science, (2000-2004, 2009-2011), Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (M&SOM) (2003-2011) and Operations Research (1998-2004). He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Management Science.

Previous appointments

Prior to joining the Business School, Professor Loch was the GlaxoSmithKline Chaired Professor of Corporate Innovation (2006-2011), Professor of Technology and Operations Management (2001-2011) and Assistant and Associate Professor (1994-2001) at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France. From 2009 to 2010 he was Visiting Professor of Operations Management at the Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden, and in 2002 and 2003 was Visiting Professor in the Information Dynamics Lab at Hewlett Packard Labs in Palo Alto, California.


Selected publications

Journal articles

  • Feduzi, A., Runde, J., Cabantous, L., Faulkner, P. and Loch, C. (2018) “Updating ‘small world representations’ in strategic decision-making under extreme uncertainty.” Academy of Management Proceedings, 2018(1) (DOI: 10.5465/AMBPP.2018.141)
  • Loch, C., Mähring, M. and Sommer, S. (2018) “Supervising projects you don’t (fully) understand lessons for effective project governance by steering committees.” California Management Review, 59(2): 45-67 (DOI: 10.1177/0008125617697944)
  • Loch, C.H. (2017) “Creativity and risk taking aren’t rational: behavioral operations in MOT.” Production and Operations Management, 26(4): 591–604 (DOI: 10.1111/poms.12666)
  • Kavadias, S., Ladas, K. and Loch, C. (2016) “The transformative business model: how to tell if you have one.” Harvard Business Review, 94(10): 91-98
  • Loch, C.H. and Kavadias, S. (2015) “Innovation strategy.” European Business Review, January-February: 62-66
  • Sting, F.J. and Loch, C.H. (2015) “Implementing operations strategy: how vertical and horizontal coordination interact.” Production and Operations Management, 25(7): 1177-1193 (DOI: 10.1111/poms.12537)
  • Sting, F., Loch, C.H. and Stempfhuber, D. (2015) “Accelerating projects by encouraging help.” MIT Sloan Management Review, 56(3): 33-41 (Winner of the Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize)
  • Kim, Y.H., Sting, F.J. and Loch, C.H. (2014) “Top-down, bottom-up, or both? Toward an integrative perspective on operations strategy formation.”Journal of Operations Management, 32(7-8): 462-474 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jom.2014.09.005)
  • Loch, C., Sengupta, K. and Ghufran Ahmad, M. (2013) “The microevolution of routines: how problem solving and social preferences interact.” Organization Science, 24(1): 99-115 (DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1110.0719)
  • Urda, J. and Loch, C.H. (2013) “Social preferences and emotions as regulators of behavior in processes.” Journal of Operations Management, 31(1), 6-23
  • Kim, Y.H., Sting, F.J. and Loch, C.H. (2014) “Top-down, bottom-up, or both? Toward an integrative perspective on operations strategy formation.” Journal of Operations Management, 32(7-8): 462-474 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jom.2014.09.005)
  • Cui, Z., Loch, C., Grossmann, B. and He, R. (2012) “How provider selection and management contribute to successful innovation outsourcing: an empirical study at Siemens.” Production and Operations Management, 21(1): 29-48 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1937-5956.2011.01237.x)
  • Loch, C.H, Sting, F., Huchzermeier, A. and Decker, C. (2012) “Finding the profit in fairness: in an industry widely viewed as exploitative, Germany’s TeamBank has built a brand on being equitable.” Harvard Business Review, 90(9): 111-115
  • Wu, Y., Loch, C.H. and Ahmad, G. (2011) “Status and relationships in social dilemmas of teams.” Journal of Operations Management, 29(7-8): 650-662 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jom.2011.03.004)
  • Lenfle, S. and Loch, C.H. (2010) “Lost roots: how project management came to emphasize control over flexibility and novelty.” California Management Review, 53(1): 32-55
  • Loch, C.H., Sting, F.J., Bauer, N. and Mauermann, H. (2010) “How BMW is defusing the demographic time bomb.” Harvard Business Review, 88(3): 99-104
  • Mihm, J., Loch, C.H., Wilkinson, D. and Huberman, B.A. (2010) “Hierarchical structure and search in complex organizations.” Management Science, 56(5): 831-848
  • Loch, C.H., Solt, M.E. and Bailey, E. (2009) “Diagnosing unforeseeable uncertainty in a new venture.” Journal of Product Innovation Management, 25(1): 28-46 (Winner of an Emerald top 50 citation award in 2009)
  • Qu, C., Loch, C.H. and Kavadias, S. (2009) “Product positioning in a two-dimensional market space.” Production and Operations Management, 18(3): 315-332
  • Sommer, S.C. and Loch, C.H. (2009) “Incomplete incentive contracts under ambiguity and complexity.” Production and Operations Management, 18(2): 185-196
  • Sommer, S.C., Loch, C.H. and Dong, J. (2009) “Managing complexity and unforeseeable uncertainty in startup companies: an empirical study.” Organization Science, 20(1): 118-133
  • Loch, C.H. and Wu, Y. (2008) “Social preferences and supply chain performance: an experimental study.” Management Science, 54(11): 1835-1849
  • Wu, Y., Loch, C.H. and Van Der Heyden, L. (2008) “A model of fair process and its limits.” Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 10(4): 637-653
  • Loch, C.H. and Wu, Y. (2007) “Behavioral operations management.” Foundations and Trends in Technology, Information and Operations Management, 1(3): 121-232 (DOI: 10.1561/0200000009)
  • Loch, C.H., Galunic, D.C. and Schneider, S. (2006) “Balancing cooperation and competition in human groups: the role of emotional algorithms and evolution.” Managerial and Decision Economics, 27: 217-233
  • Krishnan, V. and Loch, C.H. (2005) “A retrospective look at Production and Operations Management articles on new product development.” Production and Operations Management, 14(4): 433-441
  • Loch, C.H. and Terwiesch, C. (2005) “Rush and be wrong or wait and be late? Seven principles of when to commit to real time information.” Production and Operations Management, 14(3): 331-343
  • Demeester, L., Eichler, K. and Loch, C. (2004) “What the biological cell can teach us about manufacturing.” Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 6(2): 115-132
  • Huberman, B., Loch, C. and Önçüler, A. (2004) “Status as a valued resource.” Social Psychology Quarterly, 67(1): 103-114
  • Sommer, S.C. and Loch, C.H. (2004) “Selectionism and learning in projects with complexity and unforeseeable uncertainty.” Management Science, 50(10): 1334-1347
  • Terwiesch, C. and Loch, C. (2004) “Collaborative prototyping and the pricing of customized products.” Management Science, 50(2): 145-148
  • Kavadias, S. and Loch, C. (2003) “Optimal project sequencing with recourse at a scarce resource.” Production and Operations Management, 12(4): 433-444
  • Loch, C., Mihm, J. and Huchzermeier, A. (2003) “Concurrent engineering and design oscillations in complex engineering projects.” Concurrent Engineering Research and Applications, 11(3): 187-200
  • Lovejoy, W. and Loch, C. (2003) “Minimal and maximal characteristic path lengths in connected sociomatrices.” Social Networks, 25(4): 333-347
  • Mihm, J., Loch, C. and Huchzermeier, A. (2003) “Problem solving oscillations in complex engineering projects.” Management Science, 49(6): 733-750
  • Loch, C. and Kavadias, S. (2002) “Dynamic portfolio selection of NPD programs using marginal returns.” Management Science, 48(10): 1227-1241
  • Loch, C. and Tapper, S. (2002) “Implementing a strategy-driven performance measurement system for an applied research group.” Journal of Product Innovation Management, 19(3): 185-198
  • von Branconi, C. and Loch, C. (2002) “Contracting for major projects: eight business levers for top management.” International Journal of Project Management, 22(2): 119-130
  • Huchzermeier, A. and Loch, C. (2001) “Project management under risk: using the real options approach to evaluate flexibility in R&D.” Management Science, 47(1): 85-101
  • Loch, C. and Bode-Greuel, K. (2001) “Evaluating growth options as sources of value for pharmaceutical research projects.” R&D Management, 31(2): 231-248
  • Loch, C., Pich, M., Terwiesch, C. and Urbschat, M. (2001) “Selecting R&D projects at BMW: a case study of adopting mathematical programming models.” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 48(1): 70-80
  • Loch, C., Terwiesch, C. and Thomke, S. (2001) “Parallel and sequential testing of design alternatives.” Management Science, 47(5): 663-678
  • Loch, C., Huberman, B. and Stout, S. (2000) “Status competition and performance in work groups.” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 43(1): 35-55
  • Loch, C. and Huberman, B. (1999) “A punctuated equilibrium model of technology diffusion.” Management Science, 45(2): 160-177
  • Loch, C.H. and Terwiesch, C. (1999) “Accelerating the process of engineering change orders: capacity and congestion effects.” Journal of Product Innovation Management, 16: 145-159
  • Terwiesch, C. and Loch, C.H. (1999) “Managing the process of engineering change orders.” Journal of Product Innovation Management, 16(2): 160-172 (DOI: 10.1111/1540-5885.1620160)
  • Terwiesch, C. and Loch, C. (1999) “Measuring the effectiveness of overlapping development activities.” Management Science, 45(4): 455-465
  • Loch, C.H. and Terwiesch, C. (1998) “Communication and uncertainty in concurrent engineering.” Management Science, 44(8): 1032-1048 (DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.44.8.1032)
  • Terwiesch, C., Loch, C.H. and Niederkofler, M. (1998) “When product development performance makes a difference: a statistical analysis in the electronics industry.” Journal of Product Innovation Management, 15: 3-15 (DOI: 10.1111/1540-5885.1510003)
  • Huberman, B.A. and Loch, C.H. (1996) “Collaboration, motivation, and the size of organizations.” Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, 6(2): 109-130 (DOI: 10.1080/10919399609540272)
  • Loch, C.H., Stein, L. and Terwiesch, C. (1996) “Measuring development performance in the electronics industry.” Journal of Product Innovation Management, 13(1): 3-20 (DOI: 10.1111/1540-5885.1310003)

Books, monographs, reports and case studies

  • Davies, A., Lenfle, S., Loch, C. and Midler, C. (eds.) (2023) Handbook of project and innovation management. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Jimoh, I.F., Loch, C.H. and Sengupta, K. (2022) How megaprojects are damaging Nigeria and how to fix it: a practical guide to mastering very large government projects. London: Palgrave MacMillan, (DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-96474-0)
  • Loch, C.H., Chick, S. and Huchzermeier, A. (2008) Management quality and competitiveness: lessons from the Industrial Excellence Award. Berlin, Germany: Springer.
  • Loch, C.H. and Kavadias, S. (eds.) (2007) Handbook of new product development management. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann Elsevier.
  • Loch, C.H., De Meyer, A. and Pich, M.T. (2006) Managing the unknown: a new way of managing high uncertainty and risk in projects. New York, NY: John Wiley.

Book chapters

  • Loch, C., Kavadias, S. and Sommer, S. (2023) “A cultural evolution theory of balancing innovative and routine projects.” In: Davies, A., Lenfle, S., Loch, C. and Midler, C. (eds.) Handbook of project and innovation management. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
  • Loch, C., Sommer, S. and Jiang, M. (2023) “Managing unforeseeable uncertainty through learning.” In: Davies, A., Lenfle, S., Loch, C. and Midler, C. (eds.) Handbook of project and innovation management. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
  • Jimoh, I.F., Loch, C.H. and Sengupta, K. (2022) “Corruption in large government projects not only inflates the budget but reduces managerial effectiveness.” In: Lee, H., Huchzermeier, A., Cui, S. and Ernst, R. (eds.) Creating values with operations and analytics: a tribute to the contributions of Professor Morris Cohen (Springer Series in Supply Chain Management). Cham: Springer, pp.105-132
  • Loch, C.H. (2017) “Has megaproject management lost its way? Lessons from history.” In Flyvbjerg, B. (ed.) The Oxford handbook of megaproject management. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.21-38
  • Loch, C.H. (2016) “It’s not just others: conquering the hubris in yourself.” In: Garrard, P. and Robinson, G. (eds.) The intoxication of power. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, pp.101-116
  • Loch, C.H. and Kavadias, S. (2011) “Implementing strategy through projects.” In: Morris, P., Pinto, J. and Söderlund, J. (eds.) The Oxford handbook on the management of projects. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.224-251

Awards and honours

  • Research Achievement Award, Project Management Institute (PMI), 2011
  • Elected Fellow of the POMS Product Innovation and Technology Management College, 2010
  • Emerald Excellence Award for one of the 50 most cited papers, 2008
  • ECCH Best Case Award for the case “Gemstone”, 2000

News and insights

Mental health.

Articles on helping employees in distress and meeting strategic goals through innovation appear in the September-October issue of the HBR magazine.

A young pharmacist assists a customer.

Conference at Cambridge Judge Business School explores the development of Health Care Utilities that scale up innovations to reduce the cost of medicines and other health care products. 

Couple working in their family cafe.

The Family Firm Institute Global Conference featured keynote addresses from Christoph Loch and Stelios Kavadias of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Media coverage

TechRound | 30 May 2022

New programme launched by Emeritus & Cambridge Judge Business School to train the next generation of Chief Technology Officers

Academics at Cambridge Judge Business School are launching a new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Programme, to support the next generation of tech leaders in the UK and around the world.

Cambridge Independent | 1 August 2021

Cambridge Judge Deans: ‘Climate change and inequality must be tackled’

Past, present and future Deans of Cambridge Judge Business School address business education and grand societal challenges at the Cambridge Union in July.

Poets & Quants | 14 July 2021

At Cambridge, three Deans tackle burning questions

Past, present and future Deans of Cambridge Judge Business School address business education and grand societal challenges at the Cambridge Union.

Harvard Business Review, 15 June 2021
Circular supply chains are more sustainable. Why are they so rare?

Startups Magazine, 8 November 2020
Barclays launches back to business toolkit for UK SMEs

Zawya, 24 June 2020
Centre for Strategic Philanthropy established at University of Cambridge dedicated to high-growth markets including the UAE

Find MBA, 23 June 2020
Blended physical and digital classes the norm for MBA programmes this fall

The Economist, 15 May 2020
The pandemic increases the challenges facing business schools

Business Because, 18 April 2020
Implications of coronavirus on business, according to top business schools’ deans

Business Weekly, 7 April 2020
AstraZeneca scoops coveted Cambridge Judge Business School Award

Cambridge Independent, 19 June 2019
Cambridge Judge launches inaugural Recognition Awards

Cambridge News, 12 October 2017
How can your business scale-up?

Metro MBA, 6 October 2017
Cambridge Judge announces new Barclays partnership course

Management Today, 1 May 2017
Funding growth

Eco Business, 20 March 2017
Uberising the global goals: breakthrough business models hold the key

Chartered Management Institute, 21 February 2017
Eight reasons why you should love your middle manager

Cambridge Business Magazine, 1 November 2016
Six elements feature in business transformation

The transformative business models, 8 September 2016
Harvard Business Review

The Economist, 19 August 2016
Academic view: Small business should not mean small-minded

Cambridge Business Magazine, 1 July 2016
Fighting the ‘scale-up’ problem for British entrepreneurs

The Guardian, 30 June 2016
Never mind start-ups, it’s scale-ups that urgently need funding

The Huffington Post, 11 May 2016
How to ensure UK start-ups get the finance to scale

Forbes, 28 April 2016
Twelve ways to turn great British start-ups into fast-growing scale-ups

Financial Times, 25 April 2016
Start-ups struggle to nurture rapid growth, report warns

The Telegraph, 24 April 2016
We need to help more UK start-ups become scale-ups

Cambridge News, 4 March 2016
Christoph Loch draws on integrative power of football at Cambridge United

Financial Times, 19 October 2015
Christoph Loch of Cambridge found inspiration from Jacques Delors

Forbes, 18 August 2015
Hubris – how to recognize and how to deal with it

Business Because, 29 July 2015
B-Schools innovate in life sciences sector with biotechnology start-ups

Chartered Association of Business Schools
Adventure and continuity: Dean Christoph Loch of Cambridge Judge Business School on the School’s 25th anniversary

Poets and Quants, 1 July 2015
Cambridge Judge Business School: Go out and do something extraordinary

Financial Times, 7 June 2015
Business Education: Playing field antics score academic points

Cambridge Business Magazine, 1 June 2015
‘Psychological safety’ needed for project development

Business Because, 25 May 2015
UK employer visa cap puts international MBAs under pressure

Cambridge Business Magazine, 1 February 2015
China is getting smaller

Business Weekly, 2 December 2014
Cambridge Judge Business School takes tech tyros in hand

The Sunday Times, 19 October 2014
When you believe your own PR…

Financial Times, 16 October 2014
FT MBA Challenge winner announced

TopMBA, 8 October 2014
Interview with Cambridge Judge Dean Christoph Loch

Financial Times, 3 October 2014
Hubris and the City

Christoph Loch’s blog, 1 October 2014
Culture clash: what a CEO’s style says about their business

Business Weekly, 15 September 2014
Leading entrepreneurs make up judging panel

Business Weekly, 11 September 2014
Cambridge Judge Business School – an entrepreneur’s dream

Financial Times, 1 August 2014
An opportunity for innovation rather than a challenge

Christoph Loch’s blog, 4 June 2014
Don’t fall for the EU fearmongering

Christoph Loch’s blog,
16 May 2014
The real value of deep engagement

Christoph Loch’s blog, 21 March 2014
Relatively speaking

The Economist, 17 March 2014

Berenberg Equities Highlights, 20 February 2014
In conversation: Creativity rarely falls from the sky

Christoph Loch’s blog, 10 February 2014
What CEOs are really saying about the sustainability agenda

Cambridge News, 3 December 2013
Bodgers bunfight for biz

Spiegel Online, 7 November 2013
Das gewisse Extra

Financial Times, 25 October 2013
The leading lights of business education

Financial Times (Letters), 15 April 2013
Factors of success hard to identify

Cambridge Network, 25 March 2013
Featurespace wins CfEL-sponsored Graduate Business of the Year Award

Business Weekly, 27 February 2013
Loch to address awards presentation, 10 December 2012
Long Day Sin’s new song ‘American Made’ tackles imbalance of fairness and profitability in American financial services