Professor James E. Henderson

Strategic Management


James E. Henderson is Professor of Strategic Management at IMD.

Prior to joining IMD, he was an Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Babson College and Babson School of Executive Education, based in Boston, MA.

His areas of special interest are:

  • Strategy under uncertainty

  • Competitive strategy

  • Corporate strategy

  • Strategy execution

Professor Henderson helps companies achieve and sustain their competitive advantage either at a business unit, corporate or global level through directing custom specific executive programs, facilitating strategy workshops, or teaching MBAs and executives. While at Babson and IMD, he has designed, delivered and/or directed programs for a number of companies in a variety of different industries including healthcare: Serono, UCB Pharma, Novartis, Blue Cross Blue Shield; capital intensive industries; OMV, UPM Kymmene, Metso; professional and financial services: Deloitte, Royal Bank of Scotland, Zurich Financial Services; high technology: EMC, France Telecom, Battelle Memorial Institute; consumer products: Estée Lauder, Carlsberg and economic development agencies: Scottish Enterprise.

James E. Henderson main research interest concerns developing and implementing strategy under uncertainty. Specific topics include piloting (an emerging research interest), investment timing, corporate entrepreneurship and supply chain competitiveness.

Professor Henderson has published several important articles on investment timing in the Strategic Management Journal and Academy of Management Journal. He has also authored numerous papers on supply chain and cluster competitiveness including one in the Strategic Management Journal. Many of his ideas have been incorporated in the 2005 Strategic Management Society Book Series, titled Restructuring Strategy, co-edited with Professor Karel Cool, INSEAD and Réné Abate, Boston Consulting Group. In the area of corporate entrepreneurship, his research has appeared in Management Decision (best paper for 2008), Frontiers of Entrepreneurship and Journal of Business Venturing, leading research journals in the field.

Professor Henderson has also developed over 30 published IMD, INSEAD and Babson cases, of which one, Heineken Buckler Beer, won the Best Selling Case in Europe. Furthermore, he sits on the Editorial Board of the Strategic Management Journal as well as the Annual Conference on Corporate Strategy.

In addition to his PhD in Strategic Management at INSEAD, France, he holds an MBA and undergraduate degree in Economics and French from the University of Western Ontario in Canada.


Fabrice Lumineau, James Henderson (2012) “The Influence of relational experience and contractual governance on the negotiation strategy in buyer-supplier disputes,” Journal of Operations Management. p. 382-395.

Gonçalo Pacheco-De-Almeida, James E. Henderson, Karel O. Cool (2008) “Resolving the Commitment Versus Flexibility Trade-Off: The Role of Resource Accumulation Lags,” Academy of Management Journal.Vol. 51 no. 3, 517-536.

Benoit Leleux, James Henderson, Ian White (2006) “Service-for-Equity Arrangements: Untangling Motives and Conflicts" Journal of Business Venturing. Volume 21, 2006, pages 886-909.

James Henderson, Karel Cool (2003) “Learning to time capacity expansions: an empirical analysis of the worldwide petrochemical industry,” Strategic Management Journal. Vol. 24, No. 5, pp. 909-926.

James Henderson, Karel Cool (2003) “Corporate governance, investment bandwagons and overcapacity: an analysis of the worldwide petrochemical industry 1975-95,” Strategic Management Journal. Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 349-373.

Karel Cool and James Henderson (1998) “Power and Firm Profitability in Supply Chains: French Manufacturing Industry in 1993,” Strategic Management Journal. Vol. 19, No. 10, pp. 909-926.