William P. Barnett

Professor, Organizational Behavior

William P. Barnett

The Thomas M. Siebel Professor of Business Leadership, Strategy, and Organizations

Affiliated Faculty, Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford
Academic Area:

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, 2001–04
  • Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Organizational Behavior, Stanford GSB, 1996–2001
  • Associate Professor of Strategic Management, Stanford GSB, 1994–96
  • Assistant Professor of Strategic Management, Stanford GSB, 1991–94
  • Assistant Professor of Management, Graduate School of Business, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1988–1991


Journal Articles


Book Chapters


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