31 Oct 2013

HBS Professor Michael Tushman Receives Academy of Management’s Highest Award

Innovation expert honored for his many scholarly contributions to the study and practice of management
Michael Tushman

BOSTON—Harvard Business School professor Michael L. Tushman, an authority on senior teams and organizational innovation and the author of more than 100 articles, books, and chapters, has received the Academy of Management's highest honor, the Distinguished Award for Scholarly Contributions to Management. The award recognizes a scholar who has made significant contributions over the course of a career. Tushman’s research has been cited in scholarly works more than 41,000 times, and his impact on management practice is similarly far-reaching.

In addition, Tushman’s paper “Exploitation, Exploration, and Process Management: The Productivity Dilemma Revisited” (coauthored with Mary J. Benner), which appeared in the April 2003 issue of The Academy of Management Review, has been named that publication’s Paper of the Decade. Benner and Tushman suggest that popular process management activities (such as Total Quality Management, or TQM) facilitate incremental innovation but impede exploratory innovation. If a firm’s capacity for innovation is rooted in its ability to both explore new domains and exploit existing capabilities, then process management activities must be separated from efforts to generate completely new ideas.

A member of the HBS faculty since 1998, Tushman is Harvard Business School’s Paul R. Lawrence MBA Class of 1942 Professor of Business Administration and chair of HBS Executive Education’s Program for Leadership Development, which aims to accelerate the careers of high-potential leaders. He is internationally recognized for his work on the relationship between technological change and innovation, executive leadership, and organizational adaptation. His work on “ambidextrous” organizational designs, for example, including his June 2011 Harvard Business Review article, “The Ambidextrous CEO,” co-written with Wendy Smith and Andy Binns, examines the characteristics of firms and senior leadership teams that enable organizations to make the most of current capabilities while recognizing the need to explore new businesses and markets.

In announcing the award, Professor Karen Golden-Biddle of the Boston University School of Management praised Tushman as “an eminent scholar who has made noteworthy, distinctive, sustained, and highly recognized contributions to how management researchers understand central questions about change, leadership, innovation, and design….He is passionate and systematic in his investigation of how technological change affects organizational performance and survival, and more generally how organizational design and innovation are achieved and contribute to organizational effectiveness over time.”

Tushman’s other honors include the Sumantra Ghoshal Award for Rigour & Relevance in the Study of Management from the London Business School in 2011 and an honorary doctorate from the University of Geneva in 2008. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Management in 1996.

An alumnus of Northeastern University, where he studied electrical engineering, Tushman earned a master’s degree in organizational behavior from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in technology management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.


Jim Aisner

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 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.