Robert A. Burgelman

Professor, Organizational Behavior
+1 (650) 723-4488
CV

Robert A. Burgelman

The Edmund W. Littlefield Professor of Management

Academic Area:

Research Statement

Robert Burgelman carries out longitudinal field-based research on the role of strategy in firm evolution. He has examined how companies enter into new businesses (through corporate entrepreneurship and internal corporate venturing as well as through acquisition) and leave others (through strategic business exit), and how success may lead to co-evolutionary lock-in with the environment. His research has focused on organizations where strategic action is distributed among multiple levels of management. He has written some 145 case studies of companies in many different technology-based industries. He currently focuses on the challenges posed by nonlinear strategic dynamics.

Teaching Statement

Professor Burgelman teaches several second-year MBA courses. These include S371 Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation (co-taught with Robert E. Siegel), S381 Leading Strategic Change in Health Care (co-taught with Dr. Robert Pearl), S573 Strategic Thinking in Action - In Business and Beyond (focused on the evolution of the global semiconductor industry and co-taught with George W. Cogan), and S574 Strategic Thinking in Action - In Business and Beyond (focused on the evolution of the global automotive industry and co-taught with Dr. Sven Beiker). He also teaches the "Strategic Leadership in Dynamic Environments" course in the Stanford Executive Program (SEP), and participates in several other of the School's executive programs.

Bio

Professor Burgelman is the Edmund W. Littlefield Professor of Management and the Executive Director of the Stanford Executive Program (SEP). He joined the Stanford Business School as an Assistant Professor in 1981. He obtained a Licenciate degree in Applied Economics from Antwerp University (Belgium), an MA in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Management of Organizations from Columbia University, where he studied with doctoral fellowships from the Ford Foundation (US) and ICM (Belgium). He was elected a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society and a Fellow of the Academy of Management.

His research has focused on the role of strategy-making in firm evolution. In particular, he has studied the strategy-making processes involved in how companies enter into new businesses and exit from existing ones to secure continued adaptation.  In 2003 he received an honorary doctorate from the Copenhagen Business School for his contributions to the study of corporate innovation and entrepreneurship. Professor Burgelman has been on the faculty of Antwerp University, New York University, Harvard Business School (as a Marvin Bower Fellow), and Cambridge University (as a Visiting Professor of Marketing Strategy and Innovation at the Judge Business School). He has been elected a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society and a Fellow of the Academy of Management. He has published many articles in leading academic and professional journals, as well as some 145 case studies of companies and organizations in many different industries.

He has published articles in leading academic and professional journals, and his books include Inside Corporate Innovation: Strategy, Structure, and Managerial Skills (Free Press, 1986), Research of Technological  Innovation, Management and Policy (JIA Press, Elsevier; Volume 4, 1989; Volume 5, 1993; Volume 6, 1997; and Volume 7, 2001), Strategy is Destiny: How Strategy-Making Shapes a Company’s Future (Free Press, 2002), Strategic Dynamics: Concepts and Cases (McGraw-Hill, 2006), and Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation (5th edition, McGraw-Hill-Irwin, 2009). Professor Burgelman has served as an Associate Editor of the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal from 2007 till 2014. He has taught executive programs and led senior and top management seminars for major companies worldwide. He has also served on boards of directors and boards of advisors of several private companies.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Management of Organizations, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, 1980
  • MPhil in Management of Organizations, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, 1978
  • MA in Sociology, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, 1978
  • Licenciate, Applied Economic Sciences, Antwerp University (UFSIA), 1969

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford University since 1981
  • Instructor–Assistant Professor, New York University, 1978–81
  • Visiting Lecturer, State University of New York, 1976–77
  • Instructor, Antwerp University, 1970–73

Awards and Honors

  • Honorary Doctorate in Economics (Doctor Honoris Causa), University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, May 2017
  • BP Faculty Fellow in Global Management for 2015–16
  • Elected Fellow of the Academy of Management, 2012
  • Elected a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society (2008) and of the Academy of Management (2012)
  • 2012-13 BP Faculty Fellow in Global Management, Stanford Business School
  • Visiting Professor, Judge Business School, and Visiting Scholar, Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge University, 2009
  • Dr. Mercaturae Honoris Causa, Copenhagen Business School, 2003
  • Marvin Bower Fellow, Harvard Business School, 1992
  • Outstanding Paper Award, Division of Business Policy and Planning, Academy of Management, 1984
  • Certificate of Distinction for Outstanding Research in the Field of Strategic Management, Academy of Management and General Electric Company, 1980

Publications

Journal Articles

Books

Working Papers

Teaching

Degree Courses

Executive Education & Other Non-Degree Programs

Develop best practices and insights to generate and lead innovation in your organization; then put theory into practice with real-world projects.
Guide your organization through growth with innovative CFO training that blends financial expertise, strategic thinking, and leadership skills.
Discover business growth strategies and build a stronger company designed to sustain progress, scale management, and facilitate market expansion.
Explore the intersection of innovation, technology, and business, and learn to drive strategic change across your organization.
Leverage diverse research, proven methodologies, and design thinking for change management in this collaboration between Stanford and Harvard.

Stanford Case Studies

Stanford GSB Affiliations

Service to the Profession

  • Editorial Board, California Management Review
  • Fellow, Academy of Management
  • Fellow, Strategic Management Society
  • Associate Editor, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal - 2007-2014.

In the Media

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