Both of us grew up in Germany but pursued (for Germans) uncommon education paths. Christian studied at INSEAD in France to receive his PhD in management while Nicolaj went to Stanford University as an undergraduate and then on to Harvard to receive a PhD in business economics. We both joined the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 as faculty members, Christian in the Operations, Information and Decisions Department and Nicolaj in the Management Department. By now, we both hold endowed chairs. Christian is the Andrew M. Heller Professor and also holds a faculty appointment in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Nicolaj is the David M. Knott Professor and a former department chair of Wharton’s Management Department.
Our research has appeared in many of the leading academic journals in our fields—Christian focusing on operations management and innovation management, and Nicolaj on strategy and organizational design—including Management Science, the Strategic Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, and the New England Journal of Medicine. We are also members of the editorial boards of key academic journals. Christian is the coauthor of Matching Supply with Demand, a widely used textbook in operations management, and of Innovation Tournaments, a guide for creating and selecting exceptional opportunities within organizations.
Both of us very much enjoy teaching in our MBA and executive MBA programs. Together, we have won more than fifty teaching awards in the Wharton classroom. One key perk of working at a top business school is the opportunity to present our work in front of many executive audiences. Nicolaj serves as academic director at Wharton Executive Education for two open-enrollment courses on strategy (Creating and Implementing Strategy for Competitive Advantage and Effective Execution of Organizational Strategy), while Christian is academic director for a program on innovation management (Mastering Innovation: From Idea to Value Creation). We have researched with and consulted for more than one hundred different organizations, from small startups to Fortune 500 companies.