Memorial Prize Awarded to London Business School Professor

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Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School, was awarded the Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize for an article called “Combining Purpose with Profits,” according to a press release from the school. The award is presented by MIT Sloan Management Review and recognizes their most outstanding article dealing with the subjects of planned change and organizational development. The prize was given to Birkinshaw along with his two co-authors, Nicolai J. Foss, Professor of Strategy and Organisation at Copenhagen Business School and Siegwart Lindenberg, Professor of Cognitive Sociology at University of Groningen.

The winning article addressed an important and timeless question for managers: how can the tension between purpose and profits be best managed? The authors looked at the types of structures that companies can put in place that help provide purpose and direction for their employees, while also motivating individuals and drawing a group of people together in mutual pursuit. The judges praised the article for being in line with the beliefs of the late Richard Beckhard, organizational theorist and former MIT adjunct professor, for whom the award is named. The panel for the ward consisted of professors from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Birkinshaw was glad that his work was recognized in an official capacity. “It’s really pleasing to win this prize. Our intention in writing this article was to shift the debate towards how businesses can deliver on their purpose without sacrificing profit, and it’s great that the judges liked this perspective,” he said in a press release from the school.


About the Author

Ben Smolin

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for L.A., San Francisco, and London.

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