CK Prahalad Distinguished Scholar-Practitioner Award

The CK Prahalad Distinguished Scholar-Practitioner Award, introduced in 2011, was created to honor the legacy of CK Prahalad. The award recognizes excellence in the application of theory and research in practice. These include but are not limited to contributions to knowledge through the extraction of learning from practice; authored scholarly works that have substantively affected the practice of management; and/or the integration of research and practice.

A scholar-practitioner who has used applied learning to influence how theory and research guide practice is honored by this award. Special attention will be given to a scholar-practitioner whose contributions have shaped the understanding of global strategic leadership.

The recipient of this award is selected by a committee presided over by the SMS past president. Nominations are accepted throughout the year. The deadline for this award is March 31st of each year. To submit a nomination, please send an email with your nominee and recommendation text to the SMS Executive Office at


Deadline for Nominations
Announcement of Award Recipient
SEPT. 22-25
SMS Annual Conference

Past CK Prahalad Distinguished Scholar-Practitioner Award Recipients

picture of Richard Rumelt
Richard Rumelt
University of California-Los Angeles

Learn More About CK Prahalad's Life

CK Prahalad reached across boundaries and expanded possibilities with his uncompromising emphasis on impactful research. Although his academic career was stellar, his work had an even greater impact on corporate leaders. Through a series of breakthrough ideas, his research changed the business world and helped improve people's lives.

2018 Award Recipient: David Teece

We are honored to present this year's CK Prahalad Distinguished Scholar-Practitioner Award to David Teece of the University of California-Berkeley.

David Teece is the Thomas W. Tusher Professor and director of the Tusher Center for the Management of Intellectual Capital, University of California, Berkeley. He is also chairman and cofounder of Berkeley Research Group, an expert services and advisory firm with offices in 40 locations globally. David Teece is an authority on subjects including corporate strategy, innovation, strategic management, economics of technological change, technology transfer, and antitrust economics.

David Teece has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, has held positions at Stanford University and Oxford University, and has eight honorary doctorates. He has testified before Congress on regulatory and competition policy, is author of over 200 books and articles, and is the editor of Industrial & Corporate Change (Oxford University Press). According to Science Watch, he is the lead author on the most cited article in economics and business worldwide (1995–2005). He is an SMS Fellow and is an active angel investor in technology startups.

David will be presented with this award at the Awards Luncheon, Tuesday afternoon at the SMS Annual Conference in Paris. As a recipient of the award, he will also be organizing a session on Monday at the conference! Click here to view the session details.

David Teece is the Tusher Professor of Global Business at the Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley, and Director of the Tusher Center on Intellectual Capital. He received his masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania Department of Economics. He says he didn’t target an academic career, rather he envisioned working for an organization like the World Bank doing public policy and public management.

At the University of Pennsylvania, he encountered economists like Edwin Mansfield and Oliver Williamson and developed an interest in industrial organization and the economics of technical change, subfields which he had not come across before (and didn’t know existed) when he was an undergraduate. He was deeply interested in firm level issues, and, at that time, economic theory did not include anything about industrial innovation or competitiveness. He felt fortunate to have Mansfield as his thesis advisor, as he was the first economist to systematically study industrial R&D.

Earlier in his career, David was more an applied industrial organization economist with a specialization in anti-trust and public policy. He was not doing strategy work although internal organization and firm performance were central to his research interest. He was looking at firms through the lenses of industrial economics and the theory of the multinational enterprise.

He was influenced early on by the work of Stephen Hymer who studied international economics and direct foreign investment. Hymer studied why firms move abroad and how they build competitive advantage in order to do so.

Early on Teece recognized that firm level decisions could not be explained by traditional economic theories. There was heterogeneity across industries and firms, and economic theory didn’t have plausible constructs to explain observed phenomena.

David made it to full professor at UC-Berkeley after only 6 years post degree. It was only once he was at Berkeley that he started thinking about the strategy field. As a full professor, he saw the opportunity to renovate the economic theory of the business of enterprise going beyond transaction cost economics.

It was a time when Japanese firms were competitive threats to American firms in the market place. These firm behaviors and performance could not be explained with standard economic tools, and Teece started recognizing strategic management as a field providing insights into this phenomenon. Michael Porter was using standard industrial organization economics but Teece believed organizational economics and evolutionary economics and transaction cost economics had more to offer.

About this time, he met Prof. Dan Schendel and went to his first SMS conference in Singapore in 1986. He later met with Birger Wernerfelt, and Cynthia Montgomery and talked about elements of what became the resource-based view. Dick Rumelt was also someone he met who had a sharp mind and asked provocative questions which helped shape his own thinking.

One year after joining the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, he was appointed the Director of the moribund Center for Research in Management (CRM) which he was able to grow into about a $10 million research center with a $20 million endowment. This enabled him to engage with and support a growing number of talented doctoral students who he was able to       co-op into innovation studies and the strategic management field.

Teece later created a consulting firm (LECG) focused on economic analysis and public policy. In 1997, he took it public on the NYSE. Since then, he has started several other research centers, consulting firms, and new enterprises. He has authored more than 200 books and articles. According to Science Watch, he is the lead author on the most cited article in economics and business worldwide (1995-2005). He is an SMS Fellow, has eight honorary doctorates, and is an active angel investor in technology startups. Next year, he will be the second Adam Smith Scholar at Adam Smith’s recently restored house in Edinburgh. The first resident scholar was Adam Smith himself.

Teece continues to publish, consult and grow businesses. He is working on a new theory of the firm which he thinks is necessary to foster better decisions not only by firms themselves but by policy makers in Washington. This aims to be a robust economic theory that can contribute to better recognition of the real value of the role of the manager. He hopes to get policy makers to recognize that theories of firm based on recognizing how capabilities are built, maintained and transformed should be important to them. His research agenda is animated by a grand hope to see the field of economics craft policies grounded in an understanding of organizational capabilities.

Teece has most recently created a new program in partnership with Cambridge University (UK), which is called the Berkeley-Cambridge Innovation Infrastructure Initiative which is designed to inform technology policy in today’s fragmented world order, where global rules for value creation and value capture are poorly specified and poorly crafted. He is also augmenting his business consulting role by becoming a CEO coach, and mentor, to CEOs in the US and abroad.

As a renowned academic, a prolific author, an active consultant, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and CEO mentor, Teece brings honor and new stature to the SMS CK Prahalad Award with his continued devotion to assisting and improving the work of practitioners, academics, and policy makers.