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Gary Pisano

Harry Figgie Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School

Gary Pisano is the Harry Figgie Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School where he currently serves as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development (promotions and tenure). He joined the Harvard faculty in 1988 after completing a Ph.D. at the University of California Berkeley.

Over the course of his career, Pisano has explored fundamental questions about how organizations innovate, learn, compete, and grow. His research and consulting experience has spanned a broad range of industries including aerospace, automobiles, apparel, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, entertainment, financial services, health care, restaurants, semiconductors, software, specialty chemicals, and web services.

He has published over 100 scholarly articles and case studies on such topics as technology and operations strategy, competitive strategy, intellectual property, the management of innovation, organizational learning, commercializing science, business model design and innovation, global competitiveness, and corporate growth. His article “Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management” (with David Teece and Amy Shuen, Strategic Management Journal, 1997) is one of the most highly cited papers in the field of management and was instrumental in launching a new capability-based theory of strategy. His article “Restoring American Competitiveness” (with Willy Shih) won the 2009 McKinsey Award for best publication in the Harvard Business Review. Thinkers50 has twice nominated Pisano as one of the world’s top eight thought leaders on innovation.

Pisano has written six books, including: The Development Factory; Strategic Operations; Operations, Strategy and Technology; Science Business; and Producing Prosperity. His latest book, Creative Construction: The DNA of Sustained Innovation (Public Affairs 2019) examines how larger enterprises can leverage scale to become transformational innovators.

Pisano is currently conducting new research on corporate growth strategies, the economics of organizational culture, and the geography of innovation. At Harvard, Pisano has taught MBA, executive, and doctoral courses, and has mentored a number of doctoral students. He has created and currently teaches a new MBA electric course “Managing Growth” based on his current research on the drivers and impediments to organizational scaling and growth. He is also the co-creator and co-chair of a new executive program called “Driving Profitable Growth."

In addition to his academic research and teaching, Pisano serves as an advisor to senior leaders at leading companies around the world and has been a director of both public and private company boards. He currently serves on the board of directors of Axcella Health and Celixir.