30 Jun 2008
Professor Michael Tushman Receives Honorary Doctorate from University of Geneva
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Professor Michael Tushman
Photo: Stuart Cahill

BOSTON — Michael L. Tushman, the Paul R. Lawrence MBA Class of 1942 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and an expert in the field of organizational change, leadership, organization design, and innovation, has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Geneva.

Tushman was commended by the university as a scholar internationally recognized for his work on the relationships between technological change and organizational evolution. A pioneering researcher on the punctuated equilibrium model, which examines bursts of radical change that last for only a short period of time between periods of calm in organizations, he is perhaps best known today for his work on what he calls the "ambidextrous organization."

In an influential 2004 article in the Harvard Business Review, Tushman, along with coauthor Charles A. O'Reilly III of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Administration, says that general managers and corporate executives must constantly look both backwards and forwards, "attending to the products and processes of the past, while also...preparing for the innovations that will define the future. This mental balancing act," they write, "can be one of the toughest of all managerial challenges-it requires executives to explore new opportunities even as they work diligently to exploit existing capabilities…."

Each year, the University of Geneva presents its honorary degrees on a special day dedicated to recognizing "the most important achievements in the area of scientific research. The event provides an annual opportunity to celebrate the determination and brilliance of those who contribute, by the quality and high level of their research, to the building of a freer and more responsible society. The university salutes their contributions, which have pushed the boundaries of knowledge."

Tushman is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and books, including Winning through Innovation: A Practical Guide to Leading Organizational Renewal and Change (Harvard Business School Press, 1997, 2002); Navigating Change: How CEOs, Top Teams, and Boards Steer Transformation (Harvard Business School Press, 1998); Competing by Design: A Blueprint for Organizational Architectures (Oxford University Press, 1998); and Managing Strategic Innovation: A Collection of Readings (Oxford University Press, 1997, 2004).

At Harvard Business School, Tushman teaches MBA, Doctoral, and Executive Education courses on managing organizations, innovation, and strategic change. He is currently faculty chair of the School's Advanced Management Program for senior executives as well as of the focused program Leading Change and Organizational Renewal.

He has also serve on the boards of many scholarly journals, including Administrative Science Quarterly, Management Science, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Human Relations, and the Journal of Management Studies.

Tushman was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Management in 1996 and received the Academy's Distinguished Scholar Award in both the Technology and Innovation Management and Organization Management and Theory Divisions in 1999 and 2003, respectively.

A graduate of Northeastern University, where he received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, Tushman earned a master's degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. form the MIT Sloan School of Management.

He resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife, Marjorie. They are the parents of Jonathan and Rachel.

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 200 offers full-time​ programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well as more than 80 open enrollment Executive Education programs and more than 60 custom programs. For more than a century, HBS faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching to educate leaders who have shaped the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.​​​​