Shahzad (Shaz) Ansari

Professor of Strategy & Innovation

Professorial Fellow of St Edmund’s College

MPhil, PhD (University of Cambridge)

My research interests include framing and social movements, technological and management innovations, platform ecosystems, new markets, social and environmental challenges, creation of commons, identity and reputation, institutional change, and the diffusion of practices.

I’m Head 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.

Professional experience

Professor Ansari has published in several leading academic journals including Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Management Studies, Strategic Organization, Research Policy, Industrial and Corporate Change, Journal of Management Inquiry, Administrative Science Quarterly and Organization Studies. He serves on the editorial boards of Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, Organization Science, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies and Research in the Sociology of Organizations, is a high-performing member of the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and is a Honorary Professor of UCL, London. He is also a consultant at Thinfilms, a New Jersey firm providing thin film services (in particular coating services) to over 150 corporations in the hybrid microelectronics, semiconductor, optical, medical and sensor industries.

Professor Ansari’s areas of expertise in executive education include strategic management, technological and business model innovation, social innovation, and corporate social responsibility. He has contributed to executive education programmes in many organisations, including McKinsey, Mastercard, Roche, Infosys, Airbus, Tencent, Everbright Group, Shell, British Telecom, China Development Bank, China Life, Nokia, Ericsson, Laing O’Rourke, Barclays Bank, Stonehage Fleming, Chaucer insurance, UNICEF, ICBC, China Minsheng Bank, Essex County Council, KLEC (Kuala Lumpur Education City) IIM, Calcutta, Karachi School of Business and Leadership (KSBL), Vodafone, Saudi Awwal Bank, The Nature Conservancy, and the Nigerian Ministry of Education and Development. He has consulted with several organisations including Shell, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and ABN-Amro (senior executives) and for various companies in Europe, India, Pakistan and China including finance, insurance, telecoms, FMCGs, and e-commerce/platform.

Previous appointments

Prior to joining the School, Professor Ansari was an Assistant Professor at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where he now has a Visiting Assistant Professorship. He previously held a Visiting Research Associate position at Cambridge Judge Business School.


View Shahzad Ansari’s profiles on ResearchGate and Google Scholar.

Selected publications

Journal articles

Special issues of journals

  • Kumaraswamy, A., Garud, R. and Ansari, S. (eds.) (2018) “Special issue on managing in the age of disruptions.” Journal of Management Studies, 55(7)

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. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.85-103
  • Wiedner, R. and Ansari, S. (2018) “Appreciating emergence and serendipity in qualitative research: resisting the urge to follow set plans.” In: Mir, R. and Jain, S. (eds.) The Routledge companion to qualitative research in organization studies. New York: Routledge, pp.343-357
  • Reinecke, J. and Ansari, S. (2016) “Time, temporality and process studies.” In: Langley, A. and Tsoukas, H. (eds.) The SAGE handbook of process organization studies. London: Sage, pp.402-416
  • Ansari, S., Reinmoeller, P. and Reinecke, J. (2015) “Excellence and intelligence: managing practice adaptation in organizations and fields.” In: Örtenblad, A. (ed.) Handbook of research on management ideas and panaceas: adaptation and context. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp.285-301
  • 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
  • Ansari, S.M., Sidhu, J.S., Volberda, H.W. and Oshri, I. (2010) “Managing globally disaggregated teams: the role of organizational politics.” In: Contractor, F.J., Kumar, V., Kundu, S.K. and Pedersen, T. (eds.) Global outsourcing and offshoring: an integrated approach to theory and corporate strategy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.297-324
  • 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.M. and Garud, R. (2008) “Inter-generational transition in technological ecosystem: the case of mobile telephony.” In: Benzoni, L. and Geoffron, P. (eds.): A collection of essays on competition and regulation with asymmetries in mobile markets. Paris: Quantifica Publishing, pp.127-140

Conference papers

Download Professor Ansari’s CV for a full list of conference papers

Awards and honours

  • Finalist, Outstanding Publication in OB (Organisational Behaviour) (for “From sheltered to included: the emancipation of disabled workers from benevolent marginalization” with P. Hein, Academy of Management Journal), Academy of Management, 2023
  • Responsible Research in Business & Management Honor Roll (for “From ‘publish or perish’ to societal impact: organizational repurposing towards responsible innovation through creating a medical platform” with M. Rauch, Journal of Management Studies), which recognises academics serving the larger good through rigorous and relevant research offering credible insights for society, 2023
  • Responsible Research in Business & Management Honor Roll (for “From sheltered to included: the emancipation of disabled workers from benevolent marginalization” with P. Hein, Academy of Management Journal), which recognises academics serving the larger good through rigorous and relevant research offering credible insights for society, 2022
  • Winner, EGOS Best Paper 2021 (for “Experiencing time like Groundhog Day? Uncovering the morality of time and temporality in end-of-life care” with P.H. Hein), EGOS (European Group for Organizational Studies) Colloquium, Vienna, Austria, 2022
  • 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
  • Winner, Best Paper Award (for “Drones in military warfare: the moral and emotional implications of an emerging technology” with M. Rauch), Organization & Management Theory (OMT) Division, Academy of Management, Online, 2021
  • Winner, Best Student Paper Award (for “From shelter to emancipation: how disabled workers found their own voice through identity work” with P.H. Hein, Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings), EGOS (European Group for Organizational Studies), 2020
  • Top 3 Finalist, Best Paper Award (for “The fog of strategy: how to shape the emergence of a new platform ecosystem by drafting off another” with S. Khanagha, S. Paroutis and L. Oviedo), SIG Strategy-as-Process at Strategic Management Society (SMS), Paris, France, 2018
  • Winner, “That’s Interesting!” Best Paper Award (for “Targets as allies or adversaries: an interactional framing perspective on the activist’s dilemma” with J. Reinecke), EGOS Colloquium, 2018
  • Nominee, Best PhD Paper (for “Understanding latecomer’s strategy from an innovation ecosystem’s perspective” with X. Shi and X. Liang), SMS 27th Annual Conference, 2017
  • Finalist (top 3) (for “Framework for organizational transition into hybridity: a case study of a nonprofit in India” with A. Ghosh), SIG: Strategy as Process, SMS 36th Annual Conference, 2016

u003culu003ern tu003cliu003eWinner, Best Paper Award (for “Managing multiple statuses: a case study of open access” with T. Thananusak), SIG Strategic Management (General Track), EURAM, 2016u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eFinalist (top 3), Routledge Best Paper in Social Partnerships Award, for “Maintenance work in cross-sector partnerships: frame plurality as key to solving complex social issues” (with E.J. Klitsie and H. Volberda), Cross-sector Partnerships for Systemic Change (CSSI2016), 2016u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eWinner, Best Paper Award for “Towards a theory of organizational decision making for transitioning into new hybrid form” (with A. Ghosh and S. Ray), u003ca class=u0022campl-externalu0022 title=u0022undefined (Link to an external website)u0022 href=u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003e3rd Pan-Indian Institute of Management (IIM) World Management Conferenceu003c/au003e, 2015u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eSecond Prize Winner, Best Paper Award, Innovation Management Competition (for “Sponsoring a disruptive innovation: TiVo and the US television value-net” with R. Garud and A. Kumaraswamy), Strascheg Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SIIE), EBS Business School, 2015u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eWinner, Best Paper Award (for “Creating a socially disruptive category: a case study of ‘conflict-free’ gold” with J. Reinecke), EURAM 2015 Warsaw, Business for Society Strategic Interest Group, 2015u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eNominee, Best Paper Award, EGOS Annual Colloquium, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2014u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eWinner, Best International Paper (for “When times collide: temporal brokerage at the intersection of markets and development”), Organization u0026amp; Management Theory (OMT) Division, Academy of Management, Philadelphia, USA, 2014u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eTUM Research Excellence in Innovation u0026amp; Leadership Award (for the paper “Incumbent performance in the face of a radical innovation”), 2014u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eDistinguished Scholar – World Famous Scholars Series, Minzu University, Beijing, China, 14-15 September 2013u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eWinner, Best Environmental and Social Practices Paper (for “Be fair or care? Fairtrade and the standardization of ethical practices”), Organization u0026amp; Management Theory (OMT) Division, Academy of Management, Orlando, USA, 2013u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eWinner, Best International Paper (Caroline Dexter Award) (for “Averting the tragedy of the commons”), Organization u0026amp; Management Theory (OMT) Division, Academy of Management, Chicago, USA, 2009u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eSelected to attend the 42nd Annual International Achievement Summit in Washington, DC, USA, 2003u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eGates Scholarship, Gates Cambridge Trust, for doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge, 2001u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eChevening Scholarship, British Council, for MPhil Studies at the University of Cambridge, 2000u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eWinner of the Claydon Prize for outstanding students in economics and related areas for MPhil dissertation at the University of Cambridge, 2001u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eLundgren Research Award, University of Cambridge, 2001u003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003e

News and insights

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi developed a derivative ecosystem to Google’s Android operating system by tapping into Chinese patriotism and a dedicated userbase of young customers, says study co-authored by Shahzad (Shaz) Ansari of Cambridge Judge.

Disruptive innovation theory has been pivotal to management strategy for 3 decades, but Professor Shahzad (Shaz) Ansari of Cambridge Judge Business School outlines a new way of thinking.

Global strategy and international business

Can 3 academic theories help tackle the world’s problems?

Insights from a symposium featuring Professor Shahzad Ansari of Cambridge Judge, exploring academic theories and perspectives on the ‘grand challenges’ of our era including climate change and inequality.

Media coverage

Financial Times | 21 March 2021

Yoga influencers have stretched themselves

A study by co-authored Dr Kamal Munir and Professor Shahzad Ansari from Cambridge Judge Business School on how yoga transformed from spiritual to commercial is featured in the FT. 

Strategy + Business | 23 March 2017

How TiVo confronted the disruptor’s dilemma

A study on digital video recorder (VDR) company TiVo and its disruptive innovation, co-authored by Shaz Ansari, Professor of Strategy & Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School, is featured.

Business Info Magazine | 1 March 2017

Staff more likely to back changes implemented by middle management

Change initiated by middle managers rather than top managers wins greater employee support, says study co-authored by Shahzad Ansari, Professor of Strategy and Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Cambridge Business Magazine, 1 February 2017
‘Co-opetition’ rather than rivalry can enlarge a market

Yahoo Finance, 27 October 2016
‘Fame’ in creative industries: Critics really do matter

Cambridge Business Magazine, 1 August 2015
Common-sense solutions to ethical maze

Biz Ed Magazine, 29 April 2015
Spy games

Cambridge Business Magazine, 1 January 2015
An award-winning study of ‘time’