Kamal Munir

Professor of Strategy & Policy

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (University Community and Engagement)

Professorial Fellow of Homerton College

PhD (McGill University)

My research interests include institutional change and stasis, a subject on which I have published many papers. I am also interested in strategy in highly turbulent and disruptive competitive environments, positioning in ecosystems, platform-based strategy, business models, economic development and national competitiveness.

I have served as a consultant to several blue-chip organisations as well as to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, among others. I’m a member of the Strategy and International Business subject group at Cambridge Judge Business School, and along with my colleagues I actively contribute to both academic and business communities.

Kamal Munir.

Professional experience

Kamal Munir is Pro-Vice-Chancellor (University Community & Engagement) and Professor of Strategy and Policy at the University of Cambridge. In addition, he is a Professorial Fellow of Homerton College, and serves on the syndicates of the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens and the University Library. In the past, he has served as the Founding Academic Director of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, Acting Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge, and Dean of the Humanities and Social Sciences School at the Lahore University of Management Sciences.

Professor Munir has published several articles on issues ranging from organisational inequality to institutional change in leading organisational and management journals, including the Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Management, Annals of the Academy of Management, and Organization Studies. At the same time, he has published in economics, history and policy journals. He is frequently invited to give keynotes and plenaries at major conferences and universities. He has won several teaching awards and his courses on strategy in the face of disruption enjoy global popularity.

Professor Munir’s work is cited frequently in the media – including the BBC, CNN, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Wired, Financial Times, The Guardian, The Tribune and several others. In management, he is frequently invited to consult with, and run strategy off-site workshops for corporations ranging from Airbus Industries to HSBC. In policy circles, he has served as a consultant to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and State Bank of Pakistan. He was part of the team that developed the 2010 Industrial Policy of Pakistan.

Professor Munir has served as a Senior Editor of Organization Studies, and as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Management Inquiry. He is the founder of OTREG, an international discussion forum for organisational theorists, and serves on the Editorial Board of Academy of Management Review.

Previous appointments

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


Selected publications

Journal articles

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 and case studies

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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).

Book chapters

  • 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, pp.705-736
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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.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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Conference papers

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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

Awards and honours

  • Runner-up, Best Published Paper Award (for “From Patañjali to the ‘gospel of sweat’: yoga’s remarkable transformation from a sacred movement into a thriving global market” with K. Munir and D. Brown), Organization & Management Theory (OMT) Division, Academy of Management, Seattle, USA and Online, 2022
  • First Henry Mintzberg Distinguished Alumni Award, bestowed by McGill University for outstanding career accomplishments, 2021
  • Cambridge Judge Business School Faculty Award for Research Impact, 2021
  • Listed on #ThinklistAmplify, a list of the top influential thinkers in the domain of responsible business, University of Bath, 2020
  • 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

News and insights

People waiting in long queues outside a Kolkata Corporation-run community health clinic for the COVID-19 vaccine.

New Cambridge University Press book, edited by 3 academics at Cambridge Judge Business School, showcases innovation in Global South philanthropy.

Kamal Munir.

Professor Kamal Munir of Cambridge Judge Business School, granted a state honour by Pakistan for achievements in education, talks about educational ecosystems, philanthropy and equality.

Shekhar Karia.

Shekhar Karia, Cambridge EMBA 2019 alumnus, uses his Individual Project as a drive for inclusivity in the financial sector where the workforce is less than diverse.

Media coverage

Forbes China | 8 March 2022

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge – What are the biggest challenges facing CEOs today?

Kamal Munir, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge Judge Business School, says changing technology has redefined the industry landscape and created new challenges for business leaders across industries when it comes to business.

“Different industries are rapidly integrating into the larger ecosystem. Your competitors aren’t just people who share the same capabilities, provide the same services, or produce the same products as you, they may have a completely different set of capabilities. This makes it difficult for CEOs to navigate because it is asymmetrical competition.” Kamal says.

Forbes | 28 February 2022

Today’s biggest challenges for CEOs according to Cambridge Pro Vice Chancellor Kamal Munir

Kamal Munir, Pro-Vice Chancellor at Cambridge Judge Business School, speaks about how the ever-shifting technologies have redefined the industry landscape, creating new contemporary challenges for business leaders across sectors. “The whole concept of industry has become dangerously misleading. Threats that organisations face are not coming from within their industry.” Munir says.

Forbes | 28 July 2021

Newly appointed Cambridge Pro Vice Chancellor Kamal Munir on equity, diversity and inclusion

An interview with Dr Kamal Munir, as he’s preparing for his new role as University of Cambridge Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Community and Engagement.

“The university as an organisation could support everyone rather than a few people,” Dr Munir said. “It could become a more supportive place for everyone, and nurture more talent, rather than just some talent. Try to bring people to the same level where they get access to similar opportunities and make it part of everyone’s university life. I think everyone needs to be doing something to make the university a more equal, better, and more supportive place.”

Cambridge Independent, 30 June 2021
From AI dysfunctions to privatisation debate

Daily Pakistan, 2 May 2021
Pakistan-born professor appointed Pro-VC of Cambridge University

Financial Times, 5 March 2021
Yoga influencers have stretched themselves

City AM, 8 February 2021
We need to ‘Change the Race Ratio’

Financial Times, 14 January 2021
Pakistan’s opposition circles floundering Khan

Third Sector, 15 December 2020
Pandemic has uncovered ‘deep sense of dissatisfaction’ with global philanthropy, report finds

Financial Times, 28 August 2020
Pakistan army muscles in on Belt and Road project

Financial Times, 24 July 2020
The new rules on what you can say in the office

BBC Radio 4, 23 July 2020
The Bottom Line: How to build a racially diverse business

Alliance Magazine, 7 July 2020
Interview: Badr Jafar

Financial Times, 26 June 2020
Pakistan seeks relief from China over Belt and Road

UK Fundraising, 26 June 2020
Centre for Strategic Philanthropy opens at University of Cambridge

Khaleej Times, 25 June 2020
Philanthropy centre comes up at University of Cambridge, to focus on high-growth markets including UAE

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

The National, 24 June 2020
Cambridge University philanthropy school to focus on Middle East, Asia and Africa

Third Sector, 24 June 2020
New Centre for Strategic Philanthropy is launched

Forbes, 3 June 2020
Confronting Racism: Five must-read articles for every business leader

The Conversation, 13 March 2020
Four reasons Netflix should expand into video games

Cambridge Independent, 28 February 2020
From Hollywood ‘logic’ to ‘highly institutionalised myths’ of the workplace

The Conversation, 27 September 2019
Traditional banks are struggling to stave off the fintech revolution

The Independent, 6 September 2019
‘Google has entered the videogaming industry. Its competitors should be scared’

The Conversation, 19 August 2019
Four reasons Huawei’s new Harmony OS won’t solve its problems

Dawn, 24 March 2019
To fix the economy, start with the power sector

The Conversation, 19 December 2018
Pakistan’s privatisation dilemma as it seeks IMF bailout

The Malaysian Reserve, 12 November 2018
The point when Islamic bankers are willing to break the code

Dawn, 11 August 2018
Creating a sovereign wealth fund

BBC Radio 4, 14 June 2018
The Bottom Line