Batten Institute

Donald Hambrick



Bio: Donald Hambrick joined Penn State University in the fall of 2002 as a chaired professor. Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, he served as the Samuel Bronfman Professor of Democratic Business Enterprise at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business, where he taught strategy, top management processes, and executive leadership for 23 years. He won all three of the school’s honors for teaching in the M.B.A. Program, the M.B.A. core, and the Executive M.B.A. Program. Professor Hambrick is an active consultant and instructor in corporate executive-education programs whose recent clients have included Pfizer, IBM, General Electric, ARAMARK, PepsiCo, the New York Times, and Dow Jones.

An internationally recognized scholar in the field of top management, he has written extensively on strategy formulation, strategy implementation, executive staffing and incentives, and the composition and processes of top management teams. His works include: “Top Management Teams: Key to Strategic Success,” which won the award for best article in California Management Review. His book Strategic Leadership: Top Executives and Their Effects on Organizations is extensively used by scholars of executive leadership, while his widely noted global study of executive leadership is included in Reinventing the CEO. He is also an acknowledged leader in his field, serving as President of the prestigious Academy of Management from 1992 to 1993. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Strategic Management Society and on the editorial boards of almost all the major scholarly journals in his field.

He holds a Ph.D. in organizational strategy and policy from Penn State University. His M.B.A. in marketing and planning/control is from Harvard Business School, and his B.S. in finance is from the University of Colorado.

Expertise: Strategy and Economic Rationality 


Fellowship Focus: Donald Hambrick’s Batten Fellowship will involve collaboration with his faculty host, Ming-Jer Chen. Together they will engage in a critical review of the field of strategy, tracking its growth and development from the field's start in the late 1970s to the present. The findings of this review will be articulated in a paper tentatively entitled, “Whatever Happened to the ‘Management’ in Strategic Management?”Significant progress has been made in both academic theory and business practice, generating new analytical frameworks and quantitative approaches. This project will embark upon a critique of the current state of the strategy field, highlighting the trend toward economic rationality over consideration of human and organizational factors. Following this review, Professor Hambrick and Professor Chen will offer suggestions as to how the field as it enters the next stage of intellectual development, might benefit from a more balanced and encompassing orientation. This timely and thought-provoking review should have broad implications for both academic thought and business practice. They will present their analysis and findings to the Darden community in April 2003.

Contact Info

Appointment: 2003 

Publications & News


Strategic Leadership: Top Executives and Their Effects on Organizations

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