William P. Barnett

On leave until June 2021.
Affiliated Faculty, Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford
Academic Area: 
Organizational Behavior

Additional Administrative Titles

  • Director, Stanford Executive Program: Be a Leader Who Matters

Research Statement

William Barnett studies competition among people and organizations, as he explains the causes of exceptional performance and innovation. He is currently investigating competition among people and groups within organizations, especially noting the maladaptive consequences of intense competition within firms. By contrast, his previous work notes the often beneficial consequences of competition among companies – so-called “Red Queen competition” - investigated in his articles and in his book The Red Queen among Organizations: How Competitiveness Evolves. Barnett’s prior research includes studies of how strategic differences and strategic change among organizations affect their growth, performance, and survival. This research includes empirical studies of technical, regulatory, and ideological changes among organizations, and how these changes affect competitiveness over time and across markets across a wide range of industries and contexts. Barnett frequently speaks on strategy, innovation, and leadership. His views appear in the articles and videos on www.BarnettTalks.com. Follow Professor Barnett on Twitter @BarnettTalks.


William Barnett is the Thomas M. Siebel Professor of Business Leadership, Strategy, and Organizations at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. After receiving his PhD in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988, Barnett was an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison School of Business. In 1991, Barnett came to the Stanford Business School as an Assistant Professor. He became an Associate Professor in 1994 and received tenure in 1996, and has been a full professor since 2001. Barnett has also twice been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and is an affiliated faculty member of the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. Barnett serves as a senior or associate editor for several academic journals.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Business Administration, University of California, Berkeley, 1988
  • BA in Political Science and Economics, University of California, Berkeley, 1982

Academic Appointments

  • The Thomas M. Siebel Professor of Business Leadership, Strategy, and Organizations, Stanford GSB, 2004-present
  • Professor of Strategic Management and Organizational Behavior, Stanford GSB, 2001-2004
  • Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Organizational Behavior, Stanford GSB, 1996-2001
  • Associate Professor of Strategic Management, Stanford GSB, 1994-1996
  • Assistant Professor of Strategic Management, Stanford GSB, 1991-1994
  • Assistant Professor of Management, Graduate School of Business, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1988-1991


Journal Articles

William P. Barnett. Strategy Science. December 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 4, Pages 212-219.
Elizabeth Pontikes, William P. Barnett. Administrative Science Quarterly. March 1, 2017, Vol. 62, Issue 1, Pages 140-178.
William P. Barnett, Daniel Levinthal. Strategy Science. March 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 1, Pages i-v.
Elizabeth Pontikes, William P. Barnett. Strategy Science. March 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 1, Pages 64-82.
Elizabeth Pontikes, William P. Barnett. Organization Science. 2015, Vol. 26, Issue 5, Pages 1415-1431.
William P. Barnett, Mi Feng, Xaioqu Luo. Industrial and Corporate Change. 2013, Vol. 22, Issue 3, Pages 585-615.
William P. Barnett, Stanislav D. Dobrev. Academy of Management Journal. 2005, Vol. 48, Issue 3, Pages 433-449.
William P. Barnett, David G. McKendrick. Administrative Science Quarterly. December 2004, Vol. 49, Issue 4, Pages 535-571.
William P. Barnett, Michael Woywode. American Journal of Sociology. May 2004, Vol. 109, Issue 6, Pages 1452-1499.
William P. Barnett, Aimee‐Noelle Swanson, Olav Sorenson. Industrial and Corporate Change. 2003, Vol. 12, Issue 4, Pages 673-695.
William P. Barnett, Olav Sorenson. Industrial and Corporate Change. 2002, Vol. 11, Issue 2, Pages 289-325.
William P. Barnett, John Freeman. Organization Science . 2001, Vol. 12, Issue 5, Pages 539-558.
William P. Barnett, James N. Baron, Toby E. Stuart. American Journal of Sociology. 2000, Vol. 106, Issue 1, Pages 88-144.
William P. Barnett, Gary A. Mischke, William Ocasio. Organization Studies. 2000, Vol. 21, Issue 2, Pages 325-354.
William P. Barnett. Administrative Science Quarterly . 1997, Vol. 42, Issue 1, Pages 128-160.
William P. Barnett, Robert A. Burgelman. Strategic Management Journal. 1996, Vol. 17, Issue S1, Pages 5-19.
William P. Barnett, Morten T. Hansen. Strategic Management Journal . 1996, Vol. 17, Issue S1, Pages 139–157.
William P. Barnett, Henrich R. Greve, Douglas Y. Park. Strategic Management Journal. 1994, Vol. 15, Issue S1, Pages 11–28.
William P. Barnett, Glenn R. Carroll. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization . 1993, Vol. 9, Issue 1, Pages 98-126.
Terry L. Amburgey, Dawn Kelly, William P. Barnett. Administrative Science Quarterly . 1993, Vol. 38, Issue 1, Pages 51-73.
William P. Barnett. Industrial and Corporate Change . 1993, Vol. 2, Issue 2, Pages 249-278.
William P. Barnett, Anne S. Miner. Administrative Science Quarterly . 1992, Vol. 37, Issue 2, Pages 262-281.
William P. Barnett. Administrative Science Quarterly . 1990, Vol. 35 , Issue 1, Pages 31-60.
Charles A. O’Reilly, David F. Caldwell, William P. Barnett. Administrative Science Quarterly . 1989, Vol. 34, Issue 1, Pages 21-37.
William P. Barnett, Glenn R. Carroll. Administrative Science Quarterly. 1987, Vol. 32, Issue 3, Pages 400-421.


William P. Barnett Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008.

Book Chapters

William P. Barnett. Emerging Trends in the Behavioral and Social Sciences. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2017.
William P. Barnett, Elizabeth G. Pontikes. Research in Organizational Behavior. 2004, Vol. 26, Pages 351–371.
William P. Barnett, Glenn R. Carroll. Annual Review of Sociology . 1995, Vol. 21, Pages 217-236.
William P. Barnett. Evolutionary Dynamics of Organizations. Oxford University Press, 23, 1994, Pages 337-354.
William P. Barnett, Glenn R. Carroll. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Organizations. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 1993.
William P. Barnett, Terry L. Amburgey. Organizational Evolution: New Directions. Sage Publications, 1990, Pages 78-102.


Degree Courses


Why are some organizations more competitive than others? This is the defining questions of the interdisciplinary research field known as "strategic management." In this PhD seminar, we will survey the field of strategic management as seen from...

Many organizations are fundamentally committed to growth. This course examines how leaders and their organizations can create and sustain growth. Initially, entrepreneurial companies grow by discovering product-market fit, and then capitalize on...

Executive Education & Other Non-Degree Programs

Stanford Case Studies

A Tense Time with Happy Days | ETH28
William F Meehan III, Charles G Prober, Randi Zeeler2020
Beyond Binary: Gender in the Classroom | ETH27
William F Meehan III, Charles G Prober, Sheila Melvin2020
Boubyan Bank: Driving Digital Banking in the Middle East | SM338
William Barnett, Robert Siegel, Laila AlJasem2020
Divergent Viewpoints: The Professor and the Student | ETH25
William F Meehan III, Charles G Prober, Sheila Melvin, Bernadette Clavier2020
The Rise of Mercado Libre | IB109
William Barnett, Gary Mekikian, Christy Johnson2020
SK’s Double Bottom Line: Challenges and Way Forward | SM324
Yong Suk Jang, Mooweon Rhee, Tae-won Chey, William P. Barnett2019
The Rise of JTBC | SM317
Mooweon Rhee, Dongyoub Shin, William P. Barnett2019
Innovium 2018 | SM306
William Barnett, Christy Johnson, Morgan Salama2018
Tubular Labs 2018 | SM304
William Barnett, Adam Markovitz2018
Innovium 2017 | SM277
William Barnett, Christy Johnson2017
NetApp 2017 | SM289
William P. Barnett, Christy Johnson, Sahver Kaya2017
The Rise of AmorePacific | SM274
William P Barnett, Mooweon Rhee, Dongyub Shin2017
Global Fisheries: The Emergence of a Sustainable Seafood Movement | SI141
William Barnett, Pamela Matson, Julia Novy-Hildesley, Julia G. Mason, Alana F. Springer2016
The Rise of Apple | SM260
William P. Barnett, Debra Schifrin2016
SM Entertainment | IB108
William P. Barnett, Mooweon Rhee, Sang-Hoon Kim2015
Mercado Libre | IB105
William Barnett, Gary Mekikian2013
Facebook 2012 | E468
William Barnett, Arar Han2012
Taobao vs. Ebay China | IB88
William Barnett, Mi Feng, Xiaoqu Luo2010
User-Generated Content Systems at Intuit (A) | E381A
William Barnett, Sara Leslie2010
User-Generated Content Systems at Intuit (B) | E381B
William Barnett, Sara Leslie2010
Gazprom and the E.U. | GS72
Condoleezza Rice, William Barnett, Cameron Bell2009
NetApp and the Challenge of Global Leadership | IB89
William Barnett, Sara Leslie2009
The Dubai Ports Controversy | GS73
Condoleezza Rice, William Barnett, Cecilia Hyunjung Mo2009
Creating Qualcomm (A) | E301A
William Barnett, Gary Mekikian2008
Hyundai Motor Company in China | IB91
William Barnett, Jae-Gu Kim, Mooweon Rhee2008
Volantis | E224
William Barnett, Mike Harkey2006
UFSoft | SM92
William Barnett, Peter Lorentzen2005
Webvan | E77A
William Barnett, Keith Sigg2005
Bozeman, Montana & The Yellowstone Business Partnership | SI54
William Barnett, Dave Boennighausen2004
Montebello Capital (B) | E140B
William Barnett, Brad Wolfe2004
Napster 2.0 | SM128
William Barnett, Ilya Levtov2004
Seagate Technology 2004 | SM60B
William Barnett, David McKendrick, Kyra Gebhardt2004
Abercrombie & Kent, Pioneering Global Ecotourism | SI47
William Barnett, Terry Cumes, William Durham, Roderick Morris2003
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste | SI48
William Barnett, William Durham2003
Belize's Community Baboon Sanctuary | SI51
William Barnett, William Durham, Nathaniel Fisher2003
Network Appliance (B) | E55B
William Barnett, Jamie Earle2003
Network Appliance (C), The Growth of Network Appliance | E55C
William Barnett, Charles Holloway, Jamie Earle2003
Network Appliance (D) | E55D
William Barnett, Charles Holloway, Jamie Earle2003
The Wild Salmon Center | SI45
William Barnett, Erik Budde, William Durham2003
Hyundai Motor Company | SM122
William Barnett, James March, Mooweon Rhee2003
Montebello Capital | E140A
William Barnett, Janet Feldstein2002
SkyStream Networks, Inc. (A) | E135A
William Barnett, Andrea Higuera, Aimee Swanson2002
SkyStream Networks, Inc. (B) | E135B
William Barnett, Andrea Higuera, Aimee Swanson2002
The Environment for Entrepreneurship in China | E198
William Barnett, Peter Lorentzen2002
Touring In The Galapagos Islands | SI36
William Barnett, Brady Beaubien, William Durham2002
Agilent Technologies: Organizational Change (A) | OD1A
William Barnett, Glenn Carroll, Victoria Chang2001
Agilent Technologies: Organizational Change (B) | OD1B
William Barnett, Glenn Carroll, Victoria Chang2001
NextStage Entertainment | SM57
William Barnett, Christopher Flanagan, Jason Salgado2001
Apex PC Solutions, Inc. | E66
William Barnett, Jeff Chambers, Nathaniel Durant1999
Third Federal Savings and Loan | SM45
William Barnett, Heather MacDonald Stefanski1999
W.R. Hambrecht + Co. | E62
William Barnett, Jeff Chambers, Pratap Mukherjee1999
Establishing Network Appliance (A) | E55A
William Barnett, Lauren Dutton1998
Varian, 1997 | SM31
William Barnett, Jane Wei1997
Mendocino Brewing Company (A) | SM15
William Barnett, Glenn Carroll, Wendy Harrington1995
Newell Company (A) | SM16
William Barnett, Paul Reddy1995
Note on the U.S. Craft, Brewing Industry | SM11
William Barnett, Wendy Harrington1994
FITS Imaging Inc. (A) | SM12
William Barnett, Nicolas Vandenberghe1994

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