David J. Collis

Adjunct Professor

For the past thirty years David J. Collis has been a professor at the Harvard Business School, where he is the Thomas Henry Carroll Ford Foundation Adjunct Professor of Business Administration within the Strategy Unit—only the second full-time Adjunct Professor appointed at HBS. Previously, he was the MBA Class of 1958 Senior Lecturer and an Associate Professor in the Strategy group at the Harvard Business School, having also completed five years as the Frederick Frank Adjunct Professor of International Business Administration at the Yale School of Management and two years as a professor at Columbia Business School. The winner of the 50th Anniversary McKinsey Award for the best article in the Harvard Business Review in 2008, and a Harvard Business Review best-selling author, he is an expert on corporate strategy and global competition, and is the author of the recent books International Strategy: Context, Concepts and Choices; Corporate Strategy (with Cynthia Montgomery); and Corporate Headquarters (with Michael Goold and David Young). Professor Collis is on the faculty for several HBS Executive Education programs, including Strategy: Building and Sustaining Competitive Advantage, and chairs Corporate Level Strategy and Global Strategic Management.  As the author of over thirty articles and book chapters, his work has been frequently published in the Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, and in many books including Managing the Multibusiness Company, International Competitiveness, and Beyond Free Trade. The more than sixty-five cases he has authored have sold over 1 million copies worldwide and his articles over a quarter of a million copies, with over 8,000 citations.

David Collis received an M.A. (1976) with a Double First from Cambridge University where he was the Wrenbury Scholar of the University. He graduated as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School, MBA (1978), and received a Ph.D. (1986) in Business Economics at Harvard University where he was a Dean's Doctoral Fellow. From 1978 to 1982 he worked for the Boston Consulting Group in London. He is currently a consultant to several major U.S. corporations, and on the Board of Directors of Cambridge in America, the Board of Trustees of the Hult International Business School, and the Advisory Boards of Walter Scott, Vivaldi Partners, Muzzy Lane and formerly of PICIS, Ocean Spray, and WebCT. He is also the cofounder of the elearning company E-Edge, and the advisory firm Ludlow Partners.

  1. “Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?” (with Michael G. Rukstad, April 2008) was selected by the editors at Harvard Business Review for the 2013 HBR OnPoint issue entitled, “Turn Smart Strategy into Winning Performance,” due to the article’s timely relevance in today’s workplace.

  2. Elected a fellow of The International Academy of Management in 2013 in recognition of an outstanding international contribution to the science and art of management.

  3. In 2012, Harvard Business Review ranked “Competing on Resources: Strategy in the 1990s” (with Cynthia Montgomery) as one of the top twenty-five most cited articles of all time.

  4. Harvard Business Review Best Selling Author in 2010 with over one quarter of a million reprints sold.

  5. Named first-place co-winner of the 50th Anniversary McKinsey Award for the best article in Harvard Business Review during 2008 for the paper (with the late Michael G. Rukstad) "Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?"

  6. Selected as the Outstanding Reviewer for Business Policy and Strategy Division of the Academy of Management in 2008.

  7. Named 1986 Dean's Doctoral Fellow at Harvard Business School.

  8. Selected as a 1978 Baker Scholar at Harvard Business School.

  9. Named the 1976 Wrenbury Scholar at University of Cambridge (top academic economist of the class).

  10. Selected as a 1976 Downing Scholar at University of Cambridge.