Antonio Davila

Visiting Professor of Business Administration

Antonio Dávila is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Accounting and Control at IESE Business School. Furthermore, he is the head of IESE's Department of Entrepreneurship and holder of the Alcatel-Lucent Chair of Management of Technology.  Prof. Dávila is currently the MBA Class of 1961 Visiting Professor at Harvard Business School.  From 1999 to 2006, he was part of the faculty at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where he still teaches periodically. 

Prof. Dávila earned his Ph.D. from Harvard Business School and his MBA from IESE. His teaching and research interests focus on management systems in entrepreneurial firms, new product development and innovation management, and performance measurement.

In 2005, he was awarded IESE's Research Excellence Award. He was also granted the Ramón y Cajal Scholarship awarded by the Spanish government (2004). Other prizes and awards he has received include the Carlos Cubillo Valverde Accounting Research Paper Award (2003), the Management Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association Best Dissertation Runner-Up Award (1999) and the McKinsey Best Paper Award from the Strategic Management Society (1998).

Prof. Dávila is co-author of Making Innovation Work: How to Manage It, Measure It, and Profit from It (2006) and Performance Measurement and Management Control Systems to Implement Strategy (2000). He has also edited a third book, The Creative Enterprise (2007). He has contributed several book chapters and published various research articles in academic journals including The Accounting Review, Accounting Organizations and Society, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Research Policy, and Harvard Business Review.

Prof. Dávila is a prolific author of cases. He has developed teaching cases with companies such as Checkpoint, Logitech, Siebel Systems, CitiBank and Salesforce.com. Prof. Dávila has been invited to give presentations on accounting and control systems at, among others, the AAA Management Accounting Section Meeting, the Management Accounting Conference, the Strategic Management Society Meeting, and the European Accounting Meeting.

He is a member of the editorial boards of Accounting, Organizations and Society, The Journal of Management Accounting Research and Advances in Management Accounting.

Journal Articles

  1. How High Is Your Return on Management?

    Keywords: Management;

    Citation:

    Simons, R., and Antonio Davila. "How High Is Your Return on Management?" Harvard Business Review 76, no. 1 (January–February 1998): 71–80. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Compagnie du Froid, S.A. (TN)

    Teaching Note for (9-197-085).

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., Antonio Davila, and Kathryn Rosenberg. "Compagnie du Froid, S.A. (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 198-035, November 1997. (Revised June 2010.) View Details
  2. Compagnie du Froid, S.A.

    The owner of an ice cream company must evaluate the performance of three regional businesses. To do the analysis, students must flex the budget by seasonal temperature; calculate revenue, volume, price, and efficiency variances; analyze the effects of transfer prices; and calculate return-on-investment. In addition, the owner considers how to set strategic boundaries and how to compensate his managers.

    Keywords: Analysis; Investment Return; Performance Evaluation; Revenue; Budgets and Budgeting; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Compagnie du Froid, S.A." Harvard Business School Case 197-085, March 1997. (Revised February 2010.) View Details
  3. Siebel Systems: Organizing for the Customer

    Siebel Systems is one of the fastest growing companies in America. Tom Siebel, the company's founder, has organized the business to accommodate growth and focus on the customer. Innovative information technology systems and clear accountability prove to be essential to this new approach to organization design. For example, a new employee must successfully pass an online test to demonstrate her understanding of Siebel's management systems and practices.

    Keywords: Organizational Structure; Software; Business Growth and Maturation; Information Technology; Performance Evaluation; Performance Expectations; Innovation and Management; Technological Innovation; Customer Focus and Relationships; Management Teams; Information Technology Industry; North and Central America;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert, and Antonio Davila. "Siebel Systems: Organizing for the Customer." Harvard Business School Case 103-014, September 2002. (Revised January 2013.) View Details
  4. Becton Dickinson--Designing the New Strategic, Operational, and Financial Planning Process

    Describes management's attempts to design and install a sophisticated planning and control system in an international company as it changes its strategy. Issues of strategy implementation, accountability, and performance measurement are at the core of the analysis, as managers confront difficulty and resistance in using the system for "strategic, operational, and financial" control.

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Strategy; Business or Company Management; Corporate Accountability; Governance Controls; System; Performance Evaluation;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., Antonio Davila, and Afroze A Mohammed. "Becton Dickinson--Designing the New Strategic, Operational, and Financial Planning Process." Harvard Business School Case 197-014, July 1996. (Revised December 2001.) View Details
  5. Birch Paper Company TN

    Teaching Note for (9-158-001).

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Birch Paper Company TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 199-057, June 1999. (Revised December 2001.) View Details
  6. Cafes Monte Bianco: Building a Profit Plan

    Using an income statement, balance sheet, and projected demand and cost schedules, students are required to build a profit plan for a closely-held coffee manufacturer in Italy. Students must estimate cash flow and ROE and use this analysis to evaluate the attractiveness of a new strategy.

    Keywords: Strategic Planning; Cash Flow; Investment Return; Profit; Financial Statements; Food and Beverage Industry; Italy;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Cafes Monte Bianco: Building a Profit Plan." Harvard Business School Case 198-088, January 1998. (Revised November 2000.) View Details
  7. Microsoft Latin America

    Mauricio Santillan, regional vice president for the Latin American division of Microsoft, has introduced a new performance measurement system to help his country managers formulate and control strategy. Microsoft Latin America's priorities are rolling out of an entirely new corporate database software package and devising a strategy to combat software piracy. Santillan uses the measurement system to motivate country managers to establish locally-relevant strategies that will be aligned with the region's global priorities. This case shows how a Balanced Scorecard system can be useful to help managers in emerging markets learn about the importance of strategy and become better general managers. Also illustrates that a strategic measurement system can be implemented even in an environment where reliable data may be difficult to acquire.

    Keywords: Balanced Scorecard; Software; Emerging Markets; Crime and Corruption; Motivation and Incentives; Management Skills; Global Strategy; Strategy; Information Technology Industry; Latin America;

    Citation:

    Kaplan, Robert S., Alberto Ballve, and Antonio Davila. "Microsoft Latin America." Harvard Business School Case 100-040, February 2000. (Revised August 2000.) View Details
  8. Guidant Corporation: Shaping Culture Through Systems

    Guidant is a successful IPO start-up selling pacemakers and defibrillators. The case describes how managers install systems to balance innovation and control. Three parts of a shareholder value strategy are described. Controls include incentive systems, beliefs systems, and risk management systems.

    Keywords: Innovation Strategy; Corporate Strategy; Motivation and Incentives; Planning; Risk Management; Management Systems; Business Strategy; Value Creation; System; Service Industry; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Guidant Corporation: Shaping Culture Through Systems." Harvard Business School Case 198-076, April 1998. (Revised May 2000.) View Details
  9. Purity Steel Corporation, 2012

    Managers introduce a new performance evaluation system based on sales growth and return-on-investment (ROI). A branch manager wonders whether his new warehouse should be leased to mitigate the impact on ROI. Formulas and performance calculations are provided. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Investment Return; Judgments; Motivation and Incentives; Performance Efficiency; Compensation and Benefits; Salesforce Management; Performance Consistency; Performance Productivity; Steel Industry;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Purity Steel Corporation, 2012." Harvard Business School Case 197-082, March 1997. (Revised November 2013.) View Details
  10. Hamilton Financial Investments: A Franchise Built on Trust

    Provides a vehicle for students to evaluate risk management in the fast-paced mutual funds industry. A new risk manager has been hired to install new management controls and procedures. A series of decisions will determine how much business and franchise risk the business will assume.

    Keywords: Risk Management; Management Teams; Managerial Roles; Forecasting and Prediction; Investment Funds; Performance Evaluation; Corporate Strategy; Change Management; Financial Services Industry; Banking Industry;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Hamilton Financial Investments: A Franchise Built on Trust." Harvard Business School Case 198-089, April 1998. (Revised November 1999.) View Details
  11. Kidder, Peabody & Co.: Creating Elusive Profits

    On April 17, 1994, Kidder, Peabody & Co. announced a $350 million charge against earnings resulting from the discovery of false trading profits. That same day, the termination of Joseph Jett's employment with the company was made public. By illustrating the mechanics of bond accounting, this case describes the trading strategy that led to the creation of false profits. Failures of internal control are also discussed. The case ends by asking who was to blame.

    Keywords: Bonds; Governance Controls; Crime and Corruption; Financial Reporting; Profit; Financial Strategy;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Kidder, Peabody & Co.: Creating Elusive Profits." Harvard Business School Case 197-038, December 1996. (Revised October 1999.) View Details
  12. Citibank: Performance Evaluation

    Citibank has introduced a new, comprehensive performance-scorecard system. A regional president struggles with a tough decision: how to evaluate an outstanding branch manager who has scored poorly on an important customer satisfaction measure. This case provides a scoring sheet to be completed by the reader and an explanation of the ramifications of the decision for the business's strategy.

    Keywords: Performance Evaluation; Balanced Scorecard; Business Strategy; Customer Satisfaction; Performance Expectations; Decisions; Motivation and Incentives; Quality; Banking Industry;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Citibank: Performance Evaluation." Harvard Business School Case 198-048, December 1997. (Revised October 1999.) View Details
  13. Asea Brown Boveri: The ABACUS System TN

    Teaching Note for (9-192-140).

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Asea Brown Boveri: The ABACUS System TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 198-055, June 1998. (Revised July 1999.) View Details
  14. Citibank: Performance Evaluation TN

    Teaching Note for (9-198-048).

    Keywords: Performance Evaluation;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Citibank: Performance Evaluation TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 199-047, March 1999. (Revised June 1999.) View Details
  15. Asea Brown Boveri and ABB: Accountability Times Two (A) and (B) TN

    Teaching Note for (9-192-139), (9-192-141), and (9-192-142).

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Asea Brown Boveri and ABB: Accountability Times Two (A) and (B) TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 198-054, June 1998. (Revised June 1999.) View Details
  16. Purity Steel Corporation, 1995 TN

    Teaching Note for (9-197-082).

    Keywords: Steel Industry;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Purity Steel Corporation, 1995 TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 198-038, November 1997. (Revised June 1999.) View Details
  17. Hamilton Financial Investments: A Franchise Built on Trust TN

    Teaching Note for (9-198-089).

    Keywords: Financial Services Industry; Banking Industry;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Hamilton Financial Investments: A Franchise Built on Trust TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 199-059, June 1999. View Details
  18. Kidder, Peabody & Co.: Creating Elusive Profits TN

    Teaching Note for (9-197-038).

    Keywords: Profit;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Kidder, Peabody & Co.: Creating Elusive Profits TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 198-036, December 1997. (Revised June 1999.) View Details
  19. Becton Dickinson: Designing the New Strategic, Operational, and Financial Planning Process TN

    Teaching Note for (9-197-014).

    Keywords: Business Strategy; Planning; Finance;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Becton Dickinson: Designing the New Strategic, Operational, and Financial Planning Process TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 198-034, November 1997. (Revised June 1999.) View Details
  20. Guidant Corp.: Shaping Culture Through Systems TN

    Teaching Note for (9-198-076).

    Keywords: Service Industry; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Guidant Corp.: Shaping Culture Through Systems TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 199-056, June 1999. View Details
  21. Chemalite, Inc. (B) TN

    Teaching Note for (9-195-130).

    Keywords: Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Chemalite, Inc. (B) TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 198-120, June 1998. View Details
  22. IBM and Siemens: Revitalizing the Rolm Division (A)

    The case opens with a discussion of the evolution of the private branch exchange industry in the 1970s and 1980s. It follows the path of Rolm from an independent company to an IBM acquisition and its problem as an IBM division. Then describes Siemens' growing interest in the U.S. PBX market. At the end IBM and Siemens are negotiating over Rolm's future.

    Keywords: Communication Technology; Restructuring; Joint Ventures; Negotiation Participants; Business Divisions; Problems and Challenges; Acquisition; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Nanda, Ashish, Antonio Davila, and Georgia Levenson. "IBM and Siemens: Revitalizing the Rolm Division (A)." Harvard Business School Case 397-058, January 1997. (Revised November 1997.) View Details
  23. IBM and Siemens: Revitalizing the Rolm Division (B)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Citation:

    Nanda, Ashish, Antonio Davila, and Georgia Levenson. "IBM and Siemens: Revitalizing the Rolm Division (B)." Harvard Business School Case 397-061, January 1997. (Revised November 1997.) View Details
  24. IBM and Siemens: Revitalizing the Rolm Division (C)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Citation:

    Nanda, Ashish, Antonio Davila, and Georgia Levenson. "IBM and Siemens: Revitalizing the Rolm Division (C)." Harvard Business School Case 397-062, January 1997. (Revised November 1997.) View Details
  25. Preparing and Using the Statement of Cash Flows

    Explains the concepts and procedures behind the statement of cash flows. Presents an overview of the reporting objectives of this report, and describes in detail the preparation of the cash flow statement using both the indirect method and the direct method. A complete numerical example is presented. Financial analysis techniques using the cash flow statement are also described. A rewritten version of an earlier note.

    Keywords: Financial Statements; Cash Flow;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Preparing and Using the Statement of Cash Flows." Harvard Business School Background Note 196-108, September 1995. (Revised June 1996.) View Details
  26. Chemalite, Inc. (B): Cash Flow Analysis

    Students are asked to use actual and pro forma financial statements to prepare a statement of cash flows under both the direct and indirect method.

    Keywords: Analysis; Cash Flow; Financial Statements;

    Citation:

    Simons, Robert L., and Antonio Davila. "Chemalite, Inc. (B): Cash Flow Analysis." Harvard Business School Case 195-130, September 1994. (Revised August 1995.) View Details