About > Bio

Johann Peter Murmann is Professor of Strategic Management  and a director of the Institute of Management at the University of St.Gallen in Switzerland.

He is also AGSM Fellow at the UNSW Business School in Australia.

He was Visiting Associate Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania during the academic years 2011/12 and 2012/13. Most recently he was a visiting scholar at Cass Business School in London and Fudan University in Shanghai.

At UNSW Business School, he served as the head of the Strategy & Entrepreneurship faculty unit from January 2007 to May 2011 and as the academic director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship from April 2008 until November 2011. He was also the academic director of the Strategic Management Year of the AGSM MBA (Executive) from October 2006 to December 2011, leading a major redevelopment of the program.

Before joining the AGSM @ the UNSW  Business School in January 2006, he was on the faculty of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management (from 1997 to 2005). In 2009 he was a visiting fellow at Harvard Business School and the University of Paris East. Murmann also served as a visiting professor at  Alto University (then Helsinki University of Technology) and the University of Lille 1. In 2001-2, he was a research fellow at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) as well as the Max Planck Institute of Economics in Germany.

Professor Murmann received a BA in Philosophy with honors from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters and PhD degree with distinction in Management of Organizations (1998) from Columbia University.

Murmann's research is mainly focused on studying systematically how firms gain and lose competitive advantage over long periods of time. His award-winning comparative study of the early history of the synthetic dye industry was published in 2003 by Cambridge University Press under the title Knowledge and Competitive Advantage: The Coevolution of Firms, Technology and National Institutions.

He is continuing his study of the synthetic dye industry, now focusing on the period from 1914 to the present. In this period Japan, China, and India entered the industry, which was previously dominated by entirely European producers. He is presently investigating the development of solar technologies in Australia, China, Germany and the United States. He has also investigated the evolution of the global paper and pulp industry and the U.S. advertising industry.

Murmann's research is driven by the conviction that managers, whose experience is focused by necessity on the firms they have worked for, can benefit greatly from learning how all players that make up an industry gained or lost competitive advantage over longer periods of time. By collecting data not only on successful firms but also on failed companies across many industries he strives to develop robust, evidence-based insights into what determines the competitive success of firms. Most recently Professor Murmann founded EEpedia (www.eepedia.net) to create an international, open-source encyclopaedia on the Internet, focusing on the history of firms, technologies, and industries.

Professor Murmann has published his research in books as well as in many scholarly journals such as Strategic Management Journal,  Organization Science, Industrial & Corporate Change, Research Policy, Research in Organization Behavior, and the Journal of Evolutionary Economics.

Professor Murmann received numerous awards for his research on industrial and technological change. His book Knowledge and Competitive Advantage received the 2004 Joseph Schumpeter Prize and 2004 Stanley Reiter Best Paper Award at the Kellogg School of Management. He also received with Michael Tushman the 1998 Stefan Schrader Best Paper Award of the Academy of Management's Technology and Innovation Management Division. Most recently he was awarded with Guido Bünstorf the K. William Kapp Prize by the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy.

Professor Murmann has lectured to diverse audiences all over the world. He has taught core MBA and Executive MBA courses in Strategic Management and the Management of Organizations. His portfolio of Executive teaching includes courses on General Management and Corporate Growth. He has also developed a Ph.D. course on Evolutionary Theories of Organization. While at the Kellogg School of Management, he won the Chair's Core Course Teaching Award.
Professor Murmann is a member of many scholarly societies and edits websites on Evolutionary Theories in the Social Sciences (etss.net) and on Economic Evolution (economic-evolution.net). He also serves as an associate editor of Management and Organization Review.

He has consulted with companies in Australia, USA and China as well government agencies in Australia.


Johann Peter Murmann is Professor  Management and  AGSM Fellow at the UNSW Australia Business School.  He received a BA in Philosophy with honors from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters and PhD degree with distinction in Management and Organizations (1998) from Columbia University. Professor Murmann's award winning research focuses mainly on studying systematically how firms gain and lose competitive advantage over long periods of time. He has lectured at prestigious universities around the world. 


Professor of Strategic Management & AGSM Fellow

UNSW Australia Business School

B.A. 1990, Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley; M.Phil. 1997, Ph.D. 1998 Management of Organizations, Columbia University

Associate Professor of Strategy & Entepreneurship
AGSM - UNSW Australia Business School

Visiting Associate Professor of Management
Wharton - University of Pennsylvania, Academic Years 2011/12 and 2012/13

R. Graham Whaling Visiting Professor of Management
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA, January-June, 2012

Visiting Scholar
Harvard Business School, USA, October-December, 2009

Visiting Scholar
Max Planck Institute for Research into Economic Systems, Germany
February - August 2002

Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1997 to 2005

Courses / Topics Taught

Strategic Management 1 AGSM MBA (Executive)

Strategic Management 4 AGSM MBA (Executive)

Strategy Implementation Wharton School

Leadership in Organizations (Kellogg Day MBA & Evening MBA)

Managing Individuals & Groups in Organizations Kellogg (Executive MBA)

PHD Course: Evolutionary Theories of Organization

PHD Course: Industry Evolution

PHD Course: Intellectual Foundations of Social Science

Career and Recent Professional Awards; Teaching Awards

Team Teaching Award, Australian School of Business, 2010

Carolyn Dexter Award, Academy of Management, 2009

Joseph Schumpeter Award, 2004

Stanley Reiter Best Paper Award at the Kellogg School of Management,

Chairs' Core Course Teaching Award at the Kellogg School of Management, 2002-3

Research Areas

Coevolution of Firm Capabilities, Technology, and National Institutions such as Universities and Patent Laws; Firm Strategies over the Industry Life Cycle; Alliances in Global Industries, China

Current Projects

Innovation in of Chinese Firms

Development of Energy Technologies

Evolution of Competitive Advantage in the International Synthetic Dye Industry, 1850-Present;

How Can Small Economies Create Globally Competitive Firms in New High-Tech Industries (Australian Research Council Project)

Institutional Theory of Competitive Advantage;

Relationship between Headquarter and Business Units