Stylianos (Stelios) Kavadias

Margaret Thatcher Professor of Enterprise Studies in Innovation & Growth

Co-Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre

Diploma (National Technical University of Athens), MSc, PhD (INSEAD)

My research interests include strategy operationalisation, deployment, and execution through innovative business models and processes. I study larger corporates as well as smaller companies and startups, utilising different methodologies ranging from qualitative case research to lab experiments, econometric analysis, and mathematical economic modelling.

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.

Stylianos (Stelios) Kavadias.

Research interests

More specific research interests (in no preference order):

  • cascading and translation of strategy to functional strategies, objectives and goals
  • strategy implementation through the the definition of the “right” portfolio of new projects and products
  • transformative and innovative business models
  • effective ideation, search (pivoting) and experimentation processes for innovation and growth
  • effective organisational design and the associated incentive schemes for innovation outcomes

Engaging different methodologies ranging from qualitative case research to lab experiments, econometric analysis and mathematical economic modelling to understand the above management challenges and derive managerially relevant insights.

Professional experience

Professor Kavadias currently serves as the Department Editor for Management Science’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Department (previously he held an Associate Editor position for the same department), and as an Associate Editor for Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, and for Production and Operations Management. Previously he served as the department Editor for the R&D, New Product Development and Project Management department of Production and Operations Management.

Since he joined Cambridge Judge Business School he has founded its Entrepreneurship Centre, where he still serves as its Academic Co-Director alongside Professor Matthew Grimes.

At Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education Professor Kavadias directs its Advanced Leadership Programme alongside directing and contributing to several other programmes (indicative clients: HSBC, Barclays, the Prime Minister’s Office of the UAE, The TTP Group, etc). During 2019 he served as a visiting researcher at AstraZeneca’s Global Portfolio and Project Management (GPPM) unit. He has authored several case studies through close collaboration with major firms across multiple industries. He also serves as a non-executive director in new ventures, and he delivers keynotes in industry and company specific events.

Previous appointments

Professor Kavadias was the Steven A. Denning Professor of Technology & Management, as well as an Associate Professor of Operations Management, at the College of Management at Georgia Tech. He has also been a Batten Fellow at the Batten Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Darden School of Business. At Georgia Tech he directed the Denning T&M Programme as well as the GE Energy PLMP programme.


Selected publications

View Stelios Kavadias’s profile on the Social Science Research Network

Journal articles

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
  • Kavadias, S. and Hutchison-Krupat, J. (2021) “A framework for managing innovation.” In: Druehl, C. and Elmaghraby, W. (eds.) Pushing the boundaries: frontiers in impactful OR/OM research (INFORMS TutORials in Operations Research). Catonsville, MD: INFORMS, pp.202–228 (DOI: 10.1287/educ.2020.0219)
  • Kavadias, S. and Ladas, K. (2020) “Rethinking risk management cultures in organisations: insights from innovation.” In: Tuveson, M., Ralph, D. and Alexander, K. (eds.) Beyond bad apples: risk culture in business. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.103-138 (DOI: 10.1017/9781316996959.005)

Awards and honours

  • Teaching Award as an Academic Programme Director in Executive Education, Cambridge Judge Business School, 2019, 2022
  • Best Published Paper Award, Technology, Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship Society (TIMES), INFORMS, 2020
  • Best Working Paper Award Technology, Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship Society (TIMES), INFORMS, 2018
  • Meritorious Service Award, Management Science, 2014
  • Professor of the Year Award from EMBA Management of Technology, 2012
  • Professor of the Year, EMBA Management of Technology, 2012
  • Honorable Mention, Advisor for Best Student Paper Competition, Service Science Section, INFORMS, 2011
  • Meritorious Service Award, Management Science, 2009
  • Brady Family Award in Research Excellence, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009
  • 1st Prize for the “Dragonfly” case, ECCH, Best Case Study Award, 2003
  • 2nd Prize, George B. Dantzig Award, 2001

News and insights

Alumni winning TBF Prize 2024.

3 biotech businesses founded by alumni of Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship Centre programmes have been awarded the top three spots at the prestigious Trinity Bradfield Prize competition run by the Bradfield Centre and Trinity College, University of Cambridge.

Man entering lines of code in a cool office.

Firms are wrestling with how to convince staff to use artificial intelligence (AI) and other new technologies. A study led at Cambridge Judge, focusing on social comparisons among employees, cautions against a false dichotomy between full and no adoption.

Mental health.

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

Media coverage

Financial Times | 27 June 2022

Business leaders feel pressure to keep their skills up to date

Stelios Kavadias, Margaret Thatcher Professor of Enterprise Studies in Innovation & Growth, Vice-Dean for Faculty and Co-Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School, comments on executives going back to the classroom, as they try to keep up with new technologies and geopolitical shifts. “They reflect on the context so they can implement reform within their own organisation rather than trying to take ideas from elsewhere, which often doesn’t work and develops cynicism.”, Stelios says.

Forbes India | 21 December 2020

How drug companies can increase their R&D effectiveness

A study co-authored by Professor Stylianos Kavadias and Dr Nektarios Oraiopoulos at University of Cambridge Judge Business School, is featured in the Forbes article. The study demonstrates “how pharmaceutical executives can impact the success of their research and development” programs by carefully assessing and acting on information signals from their competitors. | 14 September 2020

Helpful techniques for getting company-wide buy-in with new technology

A study on six patterns of innovation co-authored by Stelios Kavadias, Margaret Thatcher Professor of Enterprise Studies in Innovation & Growth at Cambridge Judge Business School, is featured in the article. According to the study “a technology that fulfils one or more of these “degrees” is considered innovative and worth investing in.

Strategy & Business, 12 August 2020
The shifting nexus of retail banking

East Anglia in Business, 17 January 2019
Why getting your hands dirty is imperative for growth

Friday out of the Box, 14 November 2018
Directors: this is how you select the best innovative ideas

Belfast Telegraph, 9 November 2018
Prince Andrew hails the success of his Pitch@Palace entrepreneurs

Cambridge News, 1 May 2018
These nine leading Cambridge businessmen are here to help you