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Member Spotlight: Henry Chesbrough, recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Scholar-Practitioner Award

20 Dec 2022
“The intellectual environment was enormously stimulating, and it was the first time I felt that I was part of a much larger scholarly community.  I even met another young PhD student there, Chris Tucci, who had grown up in Michigan like me. This summer, in 2022, he was the one who presented this award to me!” —Henry Chesbrough, reflecting on his first Annual Meeting after joining AOM in 1995.

Chesbrough, Henry

Henry Chesbrough is the winner of the 2022 Distinguished Scholar-Practitioner Award for his significant, long-term contributions to management through his original research on open innovation and continual work in bridging the gap between management scholars and practitioners. He says on winning the award:

“I am transitioning towards retirement now, and receiving this award comes at a wonderful time, when I am starting to reflect on my work and my career. Don't worry, I don't plan to stop, but I might slow down a bit.  I sincerely value the award itself, and the focus it brings to those who bridge both theory and practice.”

Originally from Michigan, Henry holds a BA in Economics from Yale University, an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a PhD from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently the Educational Director of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation at Berkeley Haas and the Maire Tecnimont Professor of Open Innovation at Luiss University in Rome, Italy.

Henry’s career has had considerable impact in the world of management, most notably with his book Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology. The book was published in 2003 and introduced the practice of “open innovation” to the world, which urges firms to look outside themselves for knowledge, and license and share their own innovations as well.

Following the success of his original work on open innovation, Henry started a group called the Berkeley Innovation Forum (BIF) at UC Berkeley in 2005 that created a club of companies who met to share their experience with innovation in a safe space. This helped him remain connected to innovation practice, even as he contributed to the academic literature. In 2014, Henry launched the World Open Innovation Conference which brings together a global community of scholars and practitioners. He also holds a weekly Open Innovation seminar online at Berkeley.

In 2004 at the Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Henry led a Professional Development Workshop on open innovation alongside his colleagues Wim Vanhaverbeke and Jens-Froslev Christensen. More than 60 members attended the PDW, and it was then that Henry first realized his work might make a positive impact in academia. Nearly 20 years later, Henry looks forward to the 2023 Annual Meeting in Boston, where he will unveil the very first Oxford Handbook on Open Innovation, targeted to that same group of scholars that first gathered in New Orleans back in 2004. Wim and Joel will be co-authors of this Handbook along with Henry and Agnieszka Radziwon.

Henry cites that on top of all his achievements in the academic and practitioner world, the most meaningful contributions he makes come from hosting visiting scholars and post-doctoral students and writing papers with them. He says he has been privileged to co-author with dozens of young scholars, and that is the best long-term investment he can make. As for his broader impact in the world of management, he says:

“I first published my book titled Open Innovation almost 20 years ago. I have had considerable time to observe what impact, if any, this work has had. Fortunately for me, the impact has been substantial within academia, and has made some impact in the management field more generally. I've received over 100,000 citations on Google Scholar, and there are more than 600,000 people on LinkedIn who have open innovation somewhere in their profile.”

The Distinguished Scholar-Practitioner Award is an all-Academy award presented annually to a candidate who demonstrates long-term, significant contributions in one or more of the following areas: successful application of theory or research in practice and/or contribution to knowledge through extraction of learning from practice; authorship of scholarly works which have substantively affected the practice of management; and integration of research and practice that is respected by peers (both practitioner and academic).

Watch the 2022 Distinguished Scholar-Practitioner Award Program

Learn more about the 2022 Career Achievement Awards.