Steven C. Wheelwright

Professor, Emeritus

Steve Wheelwright is the Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus at Harvard Business School.

From 2003-2006, Professor Wheelwright was a Baker Foundation Professor and Senior Associate Dean, Director of HBS Publication Activities. In that role, he oversaw the HBS Publishing Company (including HBR, HBS Press books, HBS cases, e-Learning products, and newsletters/conferences). He also oversaw the major on-campus construction projects. From 2000-2003, after retiring from the faculty, he and his wife fulfilled a full-time voluntary assignment as the President of the London, England Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From 1995-1999, Professor Wheelwright served as Senior Associate Dean responsible for the MBA Program. He then served as Senior Associate Dean and Director of Faculty Hiring and Planning and had oversight responsibility for distance learning. Professor Wheelwright last taught the required first-year course in Technology and Operations Management and in a number of HBS Executive Education Programs.

Professor Wheelwright first taught at Harvard from 1971-1979 and was the Thomas Henry Carroll-Ford Foundation Visiting Professor from 1985-1986. He rejoined the Harvard faculty in 1988. In his years away from Harvard, he was the Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers Professor of Management at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. In his position at Stanford, he directed the strategic management program and was instrumental in initiating the manufacturing strategy program. In his research, Professor Wheelwright examines product and process development and their connection with competitive advantage and operations excellence. His most recent book, developed with HBS colleague Clayton Christensen and Stanford colleague, Robert Burgelman, is Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, 4th ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2004).

Along with Harvard colleagues Bob Hayes, Gary Pisano and Dave Upton, Professor Wheelwright published Operations, Strategy and Technology - Pursing the Competitive Edge (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2004), a complementary volume to the highly regarded books, Dynamic Manufacturing: Creating the Learning Organization (New York: Free Press, 1988) and Restoring Our Competitive Advantage-Competing Through Manufacturing (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1980). He has also co-authored several works with Harvard Business School colleague Kim Clark, including Leading Product Development: The Senior Manager's Guide to Creating and Shaping the Enterprise (Free Press, 1995). Professor Wheelwright is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen other books.

Professor Wheelwright has a B.S. degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and an M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. In addition to his Harvard and Stanford positions, Professor Wheelwright served on the faculty of INSEAD (European Institute of Management) in Fontainebleau, France. He was Vice President of Sales in a family-owned printing company and has consulted in the areas of business/operations strategy and improving product development capabilities.

  1. Program on Case Method and Participant-Centered Learning (PCMPCL)

    photo of participants

    More than 70 educators from a number of prominent business schools in the People's Republic of China and Taiwan, including Fudan University, National Taiwan University, Peking University, Renmin University, and Tsinghua University, recently participated in the first Harvard Business School (HBS) Program on Case Method and Participant-Centered Learning (PCMPCL) on the HBS campus in Boston.

    As Asia's economic power grows, so does the need for quality MBA programs that prepare students to be effective managers and leaders in the global marketplace. To help meet this demand, Harvard Business School introduced the PCMPCL Program to provide guidance and support regarding best practices in management education. The Program focuses, in particular, on the case study method of instruction and the participant-centered learning model, which, unlike lectures, places students at the center of the learning experience.

  2. Genentech¬óCapacity Planning

    While facilitating a complex clinical approval process over the next two to three years for a family of new cancer drugs, Genentech must develop a long-term capacity plan for a major class of new cancer products. Adding to the complexity and uncertainty is the fact that the lead time for planning, building, and certifying a new $600 million plus production-scale facility is five years. In addition, ensuring that the best process technology is incorporated into such a new plant makes the task facing David Ebersman, the senior vice-president of products operations, and his management team a daunting one. Frames the issues Ebersman and his team face and outlines the approach to date.