Bala Chakravarthy

Professor Emeritus of Strategy and Leadership

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Bala Chakravarthy is Professor Emeritus of Strategy and Leadership. He held the Shell Chair in Sustainable Business Growth at IMD from 2003 to 2012. His research, teaching, and consulting interests cover three related areas: managing the global enterprise (with a focus on companies from BRIC countries), strategies for sustainable business growth and their execution, and mastering leadership dilemmas.

Chakravarthy has published four books, several case studies, and numerous articles on these topics in various journals. His book, Profit or Growth?: Why You Don’t Have to Choose, was published in 2007. He is a mechanical engineer by training and worked as an executive at Tata Motors in his native India before taking his doctorate at Harvard Business School. He has taught at the Wharton School and at INSEAD, where he was director of its corporate renewal initiative from 1993-94, and he held the Edson Spencer Chair in Technological Leadership at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota from 1994-2000.

As well as being an active top management consultant and executive education specialist, he has worked with a number of leading multinationals around the world and has won numerous awards for excellence in teaching throughout his career.

Chakravarthy has also served, or currently serves, on the editorial boards of Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, Long Range Planning Journal, and Strategy and Leadership. In addition, he is an inaugural Fellow of the International Strategic Management Society (SMS), where he served as a member of the Board of Directors from 1999-2004.

Academic publications
Article
The process of transformation: In search of Nirvana
Models of corporate transformation typically distinguish a sequence of three stages: Restructuring, Revitalization, and Renewal. The last one comes closest to corporate Nirvana. However, there are ...
Published 1 December 1996
Article
Adaptation: A promising metaphor for strategic management
A manager uses strategic management as a process for ensuring the long-term growth and survival of an organization. Strategic management is needed to cope with changes in a firm's external environm...
Published 1 January 1982
Article
Management systems for innovation and productivity
Innovation and productivity should be balanced differently in multi-business firms depending on their context. The management system appropriate to each context differs in its degree of centralisat...
Published 1 July 1990
Article
Strategy process research: Focusing on corporate self-renewal
Strategy process research, a subfield of strategic management, is concerned with how effective strategies are shaped within the firm and then validated and implemented efficiently. Strategy process...
Published 1 June 1992
Article
On tailoring a strategic planning system to its context: Some empirical evidence
An attempt is made to operationalize the notion of fit between a formal strategic planning system (FSPS) and its context and to examine whether such a fit is an important determinant of how a plann...
Published 1 December 1987
Article
The persistence of knowledge-based advantage: An empirical test for product performance and technological knowledge
Resource-based theory maintains that intrinsic characteristics of resources and capabilities, such as their tacitness, complexity, and specificity, prevent imitation and thereby prolong exceptional...
Published 1 April 2002
Article
Becoming global leaders: Innovation challenges for five large Chines firms
In order to be a true global leader, Chinese firms must be able to be trailblazers in both emerging and advanced markets. Five major Chinese companies are studied: Each of the five leaders has show...
Published 1 April 2017
Article
Flexible commitment: A key to strategic success
To achieve competitive success today, commitment to a desired future must be tempered with a healthy dose of flexibility. How can a firm's strategy be designed to manage the dilemma created by thes...
Published 1 June 1996
Article
Measuring strategic performance
Traditional profitability measures for evaluating a firm's strategic performance are analyzed and found to be inadequate at discriminating excellence. In addition, such accounting data measure past...
Published 1 October 1986
Article
Should leading emerging market companies chase globalization?
Leading local companies in emerging markets often aspire to global expansion as the ultimate affirmation of their success. The global journeys of Lenovo, Tata Motors, Cemex, Vale and Gazprom are in...
Published 2 January 2020
Article
Continuous renewal, and how Best Buy did it
As an alternative to the two extremes of protecting and extending the core business versus transforming it, the article aims to propose two other renewal strategies, “leverage” and “build,” that to...
Published 1 January 2007
Article
The sharing imperative
This paper aims to explain how undue emphasis on unit accountability can foster parochial behaviors and silo thinking that drive out inter-unit cooperation. It also aims to warn that growth strateg...
Published 5 January 2010
Article
Strategic self-renewal: A planning framework for today
Fewer new growth opportunities and increased global competition will render ''star'' businesses a rarity in the late 1980s. Moreover, divesting ''dog'' businesses may become difficult as a result o...
Published 1 July 1984
Article
Maintaining leadership legitimacy in the transition to new organizational forms
Numerous new organizational forms have been proposed for ensuring the continuous strategic renewal of a firm. In essence, these forms are distinguished by: 1. their emphasis on bottom-up entreprene...
Published 1 July 1998
Insight for Executives
Article
Achieving success in dynamic markets
Companies have their work cut out for them in trying to deliver high growth profitably.¦Delivering high growth profitably and on a sustained basis is difficult in any market - profit and growth pul...
Published 3 October 2013
Article
Innovating for the Indian market
Making managers think beyond the comfort of their functional silos is the key to success. Innovating for the Indian market needs to touch every element of the value chain ¦Despite spluttering growt...
Published 28 May 2012
Article
Innovating for the Indian market
Making managers think beyond the comfort of their functional silos is the key to success. Innovating for the Indian market needs to touch every element of the value chain ¦Despite spluttering growt...
Published 28 May 2012
Article
Driving renewal: The entrepreneur-manager
The article focuses on renewal strategies, a means to protect and extend the core business of a firm. Renewal strategies transform the core through a series of leverage and building of business str...
Published 1 January 2008
Article
Sponsoring renewal
Entrepreneur-managers are highly desired in the corporate world. But few are successful unless they have an executive sponsor. The context that he/she sets for the shaping and implementation of a r...
Published 1 November 2007
Article
If it ain't broke, fix it
When Brad Anderson became CEO of US electronics chain Best Buy, he could have rested on his laurels. Instead, he unveiled a radical, targeted selling experiment.
Published 1 August 2005
Article
A new strategy framework for coping with turbulence
In turbulent environments, market leaders must repeat innovations, establish customer networks, sense the flow of new products, and share responsibility for new strategy throughout the firm. They m...
Published 1 February 1997
Article
The federal initiative in industrial innovation: The automotive case
Product regulation, recall programs, and unlimited product liability have been the basis for past federal policy to reshape the automobile. However, federal investments or incentives for research a...
Published 1 July 1979
Article
Government intervention and innovation in industry: A policy framework
Government intervention in industrial activity has intensified in the last 10 years. Frequently, intervention is applied only in the narrow sense of regulation. At least 2 other aspects of governme...
Published 1 April 1979