Sendil Ethiraj

Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship; Deputy Dean (Faculty)

PhD (Pennsylvania)

Sendil Ethiraj received his PhD in Management and Strategy from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and was on the faculty at The Ross School, University of Michigan for over a decade before joining London Business School. His research and teaching focuses on competitive strategy in large and small corporations and has spanned a variety of industries such as software products and services, semiconductor, pharmaceutical drugs, sports, insurance, mutual funds, and airlines. Specifically, his research focuses on unpacking the implications of viewing firms as bundles of interdependent choices for strategy or decision making under complexity. Complexity is a salient managerial challenge since it hampers an efficient identification of alternatives, their ranking, and thus limits a complete understanding of the trade-offs among decisions and their performance implications.


  • MBA core course, Understanding General Management, C122 D AUT14

  • EMBA core course, Understanding General Management, C031 AUT14 and SPR15 (2 streams)

  • Elective course, Advanced Competitive Strategy, E492 SUM15

  • Effects of interdependence in decisions on choice of strategy and organisation structure
  • Firm heterogeneity and industry structure
  • Innovation and technology strategy


Surplus Division between Labor and Capital: A Review and Research Agenda

Sevcenko V; Wu L; Kacperczyk A; Ethiraj S

Academy of Management Annals 2022 Vol 16:1


Fight or flight? Market positions, submarket interdependencies, and strategic responses to entry threats

Ethiraj S; Zhou M Z

Strategic Management Journal 2019 Vol 40:10 p 1545-1569


Do product architectures affect innovation productivity in complex product ecosystems?

Ethiraj S K; Posen H E

Advances in Strategic Management 2013 Vol 30 p 127-166


Does complexity deter customer-focus?

Ethiraj S K; Ramasubbu N; Krishnan M S

Strategic Management Journal 2012 Vol 33:2 p 137-161

The division of gains from complementarities in human-capital-intensive activity

Ethiraj S. K; Garg P

Organization Science 2012 Vol 23:3 p 725-742


Hoping for A to Z while rewarding only A: Complex organizations and multiple goals

Ethiraj S K; Levinthal D

Organization Science 2009 Vol 20:1 p 4-21


Performance effects of imitative entry

Ethiraj S K; D H Zhu

Strategic Management Journal 2008 Vol 29:8 p 797-817

The dual role of modularity: Innovation and imitation

Ethiraj S K; D A Levinthal; R R Roy

Management Science 2008 Vol 54:5 p 939-955


Allocation of inventive effort in complex product systems

Ethiraj S K

Strategic Management Journal 2007 Vol 28:6 p 563-584


Where do capabilities come from and how do they matter? A study in the software services industry

Ethiraj S. K; P Kale; M S Krishnan; J V Singh

Strategic Management Journal 2005 Vol 26:1 p 25-45

Modularity and innovation in complex systems

Ethiraj S. K; D. A Levinthal

Management Science 2004 Vol 50:2 p 159-173

The distribution of R&D effort in systemic industries: Implications for competitive advantage

Ethiraj S K; P Puranam

Advances in Strategic Management 2004 Vol 21

Teaching portfolio

Our teaching offering is updated annually. Faculty and programme material are subject to change.