Gary P. Pisano

Harry E. Figgie, Jr. Professor of Business Administration

Gary Pisano is the Harry E. Figgie Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He has been on the Harvard faculty since 1988. Pisano’s research, teaching, and consulting have focused on technology strategy, the management of innovation and intellectual property, competitive strategy, and manufacturing and outsourcing strategy. His work on these issues spans a range of science and technology based industries including aerospace, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, health care, nutrition, computers, software, telecommunications, and semiconductors.

Pisano is the author of over 70 articles and case studies. His "Restoring American Competitiveness" (co-authored with Willy Shih) won the McKinsey Award for best article published in Harvard Business Review in 2009. He is also co-author of the award winning article, "Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management" (Strategic Management Journal, 1997), one of the most widely cited publications in economics and business since 1995.  His article "How to Capture Value from Innovation: Shaping Intellectual Property and Industry Architecture" (California Management Review) was a finalist for the 2008 Accenture Award. He has also written case studies on such companies as Amazon, BMW, Fiat-Chrysler, IBM, Intel, Jet Blue, Merck, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Vertex, Teradyne, Flextronics, Virgin Group, and VF Brands. He is an author of six books including The Development Factory; Operations, Strategy, and Technology; Science Business: The Promise, The Reality and The Future of Biotech and, most recently, Producing Prosperity: Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance.

Professor Pisano serves as an advisor to senior executives at leading companies throughout the world and has served on the Board of Directors and Advisory Boards of a number of start-up companies. He is a co-founder along with chemistry Nobel Laureate Richard Schrock and others of XiMo AG, a developer of specialty catalysts for the pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industries ( He also recently co-founded an importer of fine European textiles for the home decoration market ( He speaks widely at industry conferences and to senior executive audiences. Professor Pisano holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and B.A. in economics from Yale University.

Press / Media

Thought Leader: Gary Pisano

by Amy Bernstein, strategy+business, Summer 2007

A leading student of the biotech business describes the problems holding the industry back, and how it can overcome them.

Swapping scalpel for healthcare consulting

By Rebecca Knight, Financial Times, May 11 2007

Robert Huckman has spent a good portion of his career working to improve medical care in the US. As a consultant in the private sector, he advised healthcare companies on their merger and acquisition strategies. And as an academic, he has done groundbreaking work on the efficacy of surgeons and surgical teams. 

"There's a lot we can do in terms of thinking about improving medical care that doesn't have to do with adding technology," says Prof Huckman. "We can organise existing practices more efficiently and more productively."

Huckman's most important finding – about the importance of teamwork in the operating room – came in a paper he wrote with a Harvard colleague, Gary Pisano.

The two professors analysed the work of heart surgeons in Pennsylvania who practice at more than one hospital. They found that the death rates from comparable procedures performed by the same surgeon can differ as much as fivefold at different hospitals. The majority of the time, patients did better in the hospital where their surgeon performed more operations.

He says the results indicate that the surgeon's interactions with his or her team of nurses, profusionists, anaesthetists and technicians are critical to the outcome of the surgery.

Bigtime losses, but cash still flows in

by Stephen Heuser, Boston Globe, May 6, 2007

Biotechnology proponents rarely talk about the fact that the industry loses huge quantities of money. According to a new report from accountants Ernst & Young, the public biotechnology companies in New England collectively lost $1.3 billion in 2006, the highest loss of any region in the country.

Harvard Business School professor Gary Pisano, author of the recent book ‘‘Science Business: The Promise, the Reality, and the Future of Biotech,’’ set out to answer a question that had long intrigued him: How could an industry invented and staffed by brilliant, capable people have such a dismal long-term financial record? And why do investors keeping throwing money into the ring? Pisano spoke to Globe biotechnology reporter Stephen Heuser.