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Robert Kennedy
  Robert Kennedy

Robert Kennedy, Emerging Economies Expert, Joins B-School

9/1/2003 --

Robert E. Kennedy, an expert on business strategy and industrial dynamics in emerging economies, has been appointed clinical professor of corporate strategy and international business and associate director of the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan Business School.

At WDI, Kennedy will be working with the directors of WDI's practitioner-oriented initiatives, including executive education, international technical assistance and institution building, International Multidisciplinary Action Projects and summer internships, and publications and external communications. Kennedy will work closely with WDI Director Jan Svejnar, who will continue to take the lead on the institute's research activities.

Kennedy is developing an Executive Education Center of Excellence on Managing in the Global Economy and teaching an MBA elective in business strategy and emerging markets. He also will work on broader course development issues in the Corporate Strategy and International Business area. "At most schools, corporate strategy and international business are separate. I've always thought they were complementary applications of the same underlying concepts. The fact that Michigan has grouped these together was a big attraction for me."

Kennedy comes to Michigan from Harvard Business School (HBS), where he served as associate professor of business administration. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty in 1995, Kennedy worked in more than a dozen countries as a management consultant and a venture capitalist. "I learned that economic liberalization creates huge turmoil but also creates rich opportunities for sharp businesses," Kennedy says. This led to a series of articles and case studies on post-liberalization business opportunities and industrial dynamics, and to a highly successful elective course at HBS.

Kennedy's current research interests include the globalization of service activities, such as software development and call centers that thrive regardless of location. "Globalization of services---from managing accounts payable to chip design and education---will create huge turmoil in the next decade," Kennedy predicts. "There will be tremendous opportunities for emerging firms, but also challenges for U.S. firms and policy-makers. About 70 percent of U.S. employment is in services, and these positions are being exposed to global competition for the first time."

Kennedy, who grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, is happy to return to the midwest. The Stanford University football fan enjoys the energy and culture associated with college towns. In his spare time, he enjoys scuba diving and playing tennis. He also is an instrument-rated private pilot.

The Stanford graduate holds BAs in economics and political science. He also earned an MS in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD in business economics from Harvard.

For more information, contact:
Mary Jo Frank
Phone: 734.647.4626