Christian H.M. Ketels

Principal Associate

Dr. Christian Ketels is a member of the Harvard Business School faculty at Professor Michael E. Porter’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness. He holds a PhD (Econ) from the London School of Economics and further degrees from the Kiel Institute for World Economics and Cologne University. He is President of TCI, a global network of professionals in the field of competitiveness, clusters, and innovation, Honorary Professor at the European Business School Oestrich-Winckel, and Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm School of Economics. In 2009 he served as a Visiting Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore. Dr. Ketels has led cluster and competitiveness projects in many parts of the world, has written widely on economic policy issues, and is a frequent speaker on competitiveness and strategy in Europe, North America, and Asia.

Dr. Ketels is the chair of the academic advisory board of ORKESTRA The Basque Competitiveness Institute and currently serves on the advisory boards of The Baltic Development Forum, the Center for Strategy and Competitiveness at the Universidad de los Andes, the Center for Competitiveness at the University Fribourg, and is a special advisor to the Asia Competitiveness Institute. He is a member of the selection committee for the Spitzencluster-Initiative launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany), served on the European Commission's European Cluster Policy Group and  2011 RegioStars jury, and is currently part of its Mirror Group for the  S3 Smart Specialization Platform.

  1. Strategy and Location

    An increasing number of companies finds that their individual success is more and more not only a function of their own decisions but also of the local business environment they operate in. In a globalized world economy, these geographically bound factors are among the few remaining sources of differentiation for companies. Building on Michael Porters framework of competitiveness, the research in this areas tries to understand better the linkages between business environments and companies' strategic options. It looks at case studies, like the decision of Novartis to move its Global Research Headquarter from Basel to Boston, as well as larger datasets. The goal is to develop actionable advice for companies on how to mobilize the full potential of their locations for strategic purposes and how to make locational decisions in line with strategy.
  2. Competitiveness of particular countries and regions

    Michael Porter's framework of competitiveness has provided a structured way for regions, countries, and groups of neighboring countries to analyze their competitiveness and identify priorities for competitiveness upgrading. My research applies these concepts to particular geographies, especially Europe and its regions, to develop actionable advice and support further developments of the conceptual framework.