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Faculty & Research

James Utterback

  • David J. McGrath jr (1959) Professor of Management and Innovation
  • Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management
  • E62-467
  • (617) 253-2661
  • (617) 253-2660

James Utterback is the David J. McGrath jr (1959) Professor of Management and Innovation and a Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Utterback delves into the emergence of dominant product designs and studies how to develop products in keeping with a company’s overall strategy. He also probes how to move concepts effectively to market. His book, Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation (Harvard Business School Press, 1994), looks at the creative and destructive effects of technological change on the life of a company.

Utterback holds a BS and an MS in industrial engineering from Northwestern University, a PhD in industrial management from MIT, and an ScD from the Chalmers Institute of Technology.

  • "Technology Cycles." Utterback, James M. In Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management, edited by David Teece, Mia Augier, London, England : Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
  • "Radical Innovation from the Confluence of Technologies: Innovation Management Strategies for the Emerging Nanobiotechnology Industry." Maine, Elicia, V. J. Thomas and James M. Utterback. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management Vol. 32, (2014): 1-25.
  • "The Emergence of the Nanobiotechnology Industry." Maine, Elicia, V.J. Thomas, Martin Bliemel, Armstrong Murira and James M. Utterback. Nature Nanotechnology Vol. 9, (2014): 2-5.
  • Design-Inspired Innovation. Utterback, James M., Bengt-Arne Vedin, Eduardo Alvarez, Sten Ekman, Susan Walsh Sanderson, Bruce Tether and Roberto Verganti. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2006.
  • "Beyond Disruptive Technology." Utterback, James M. and Happy J. Acee. International Journal of Innovation Management Vol. 9, No. 1 (2005): 1-17.
  • "Sources of Innovative Environments: a Technological Evolution Perspective." Afuah, Allan and James M. Utterback. In Regional Innovation, Knowledge and Global Change, edited by Zoltan J. Acs, 169-186. London, England: Routledge, 2001.
  • "A Systematic Strategy for Optimizing Manufacturing Operations." Kerkhoff, Jonell, Thomas Eagar and James Utterback. Production and Operations Management Vol. 7, No. 1 (1998): 67-85.
  • "Strategies for Survival in Fast-Changing Industries." Christensen, Clayton M., Fernando F. Suárez and James M. Utterback. Management Science Vol. 44, No. 12 (1998): S207-S220.
  • "The Dynamic ‘Diamond’: A Technological Innovation Perspective." Utterback, James M. and Allan N. Afuah. Economics of Innovation and New Technology Vol. 6, No. 2-3 (1998): 183-199.
  • "A Survival Analysis of Firms in the Rigid Disk Drive Industry." Clayton M. Christensen, Fernando F. Suárez and James M. Utterback. In Sixth Annual Conference of the Joseph A. Schumpeter Society, edited by Gunnar Eliasson, Stockholm, Sweden: May 1997.
  • "Multi-Mode Interaction Among Technologies." Pistorius, Carl and James M. Utterback. Research Policy Vol. 26, No. 1 (1997): 67-84.
  • "Responding to Structural Industry Changes: A Technological Evolution Perspective." Afuah, Allan N. and James M. Utterback. Industrial and Corporate Change Vol. 6, No. 1 (1997): 183-202.
  • "Metrics for Managing Research and Development in the Context of the Product Family." Meyer, Marc, Peter Tertzakian and James M. Utterback. Management Science Vol. 43, No. 1 (1997): 88-111.
  • "A Lotka-Volterra Model for Multi-Mode Technological Interaction." Carl W. J. Pistorius and James M. Utterback. In Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on the Management of Technology, New York, NY: February 1996.
  • "Dominant Designs and the Survival of Firms." Suárez, Fernando and James M. Utterback. Strategic Management Journal Vol. 16, No. 6 (1995): 415-430.
  • "Product Development Cycle Time and Commercial Success." Meyer, Marc and James M. Utterback. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management Vol. 42, No. 4 (1995): 297-304.
  • "The Death Knells of Mature Technologies." Pistorius, Carl and James M. Utterback. Technological Forecasting and Social Change Vol. 50, No. 3 (1995): 133-151.
  • "Developing Technologies: the Eastman Kodak Story." Utterback, James M. The McKinsey Quarterly, January 1995.
  • Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation. Utterback, James M. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1994.
  • "The Product Family and the Dynamics of Core Capability." Meyer, Marc and James M. Utterback. MIT Sloan Management Review, April 1993.
  • "Innovation, Competition and Industry Structure." Utterback, James M. and Fernando F. Suárez. Research Policy Vol. 22, No. 1 (1993): 1-21.
  • "Patterns of Industrial Evolution, Dominant Designs, and Firms’ Survival." Utterback, James M. and Fernando F. Suárez. In Research on Technological Innovation, Management and Policy, 47-87. Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press, 1993.
  • "When Speeding Concepts to Market Can Be A Mistake." Utterback, James M., Marc Meyer, Timothy Tuff and Lisa Richardson. TIMS Interfaces Vol. 22, No. 4 (1992): 7-13.
  • "The Emergence of a New Supercomputer Architecture." Afuah, Alan and James M. Utterback. Technological Forecasting and Social Change Vol. 40, No. 4 (1991): 315-328.
  • "Current Status and Future of Structural Panels in the Wood Products Industry." Montrey, Henry and James Utterback M. Technological Forecasting and Social Change Vol. 39, No. 4 (1990): 15-35.
  • "U.S. Research and Development: an International Comparative Analysis." Slaughter, Sarah and James M. Utterback. Business in the Contemporary World, January 1990.
  • "Invasion of a Stable Business by Radical Innovation." Utterback, James M. and Linsu Kim. Asian Economies No. 69 (1989): 5-39.
  • "Corporate Renewal." Utterback, James M. International Journal of Technology Management Vol. 4, No. 6 (1989): 625-630.
  • "The Evolution of Organization Structure and Technology in a Developing Country." Linsu, Kim and James M. Utterback. In Management behind Industrialization: Readings in Korean Business, edited by Dong-Ki Kim, Linsu Kim, 194-214. Seoul, South Korea: Korea University Press, 1989.
  • "Technology and Industrial Innovation in Sweden: A Study of Technology-Based Firms Formed Between 1965 and 1980." Utterback, James M., Marc Meyer, Edward B. Roberts and Goren Reitberger. Research Policy Vol. 17, No. 1 (1988): 15-26.
  • "Innovation and Industrial Evolution in Manufacturing Industries." Utterback, James M. In Technology and Global Industry: Companies and Nations in the World Economy, edited by Bruce R. Guile, Harvey Brooks, 16-48. Washington, DC: National Academy of Engineering, 1987.
  • "Innovation and Corporate Strategy." Utterback, James M. International Journal of Technology Management Vol. 1, No. 1 (1986): 119-132.
  • "Uncertainty and Technical Communication Patterns." Brown, James and James M. Utterback. Management Science Vol. 31, No. 3 (1985): 301-311.
  • "Invasion of a Stable Business by Radical Innovation." Utterback, James M. and Linsu Kim. In The Management of Productivity and Technology in Manufacturin, edited by Paul R. Kleindorfer, 113-151. New York, NY: Plenum Press, 1985.
  • "The Effects of Communication on Technology Innovation." Ebadi, Yar and James M. Utterback. Management Science Vol. 30, No. 5 (1984): 572-585.
  • "A Review of Literature and Hypotheses on New Technology-Based Firms." Bollinger, Lynn, Katherine Hope and James M. Utterback. Research Policy Vol. 12, No. 1 (1983): 1-14.
  • "Comparison of New Technology-Based Firm Formation in Sweden and Massachusetts." Utterback, James M. and Edward B. Roberts et al. In Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 1983, 519-528. Wellesley, MA: Babson College, 1983.
  • "The Evolution of Organizational Structure and Technology in a Developing Country." Kim, Linsu and James M. Utterback. Management Science Vol. 29, No. 10 (1983): 1185-1197.
  • "Environmental Analysis and Forecasting." Utterback, James M. In Readings in the Management of Technology, edited by M. L. Tushman, W. L. Moore, 299-310. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1982.
  • "Government and the Innovation Process." Hollomon, Herbert and James M. Utterback et al. In Readings in the Management of Technology, edited by M. L. Tushman, W. L. Moore, 29-41. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ballinger, 1982.
  • "Innovation in Industry and the Diffusion of Technology." Utterback, James M. In Readings in the Management of Technology, edited by M. L. Tushman, W. L. Moore, 29-41. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ballinger, 1982.
  • "Patterns of Industrial Innovation." Utterback, James M. In Readings in the Management of Technology, edited by M. L. Tushman, W. L. Moore, 97-108. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ballinger, 1982.
  • Microprocessor Applications - Cases and Observations. Lund, Robert, Marvin A. Sirbu, Jr., James M. Utterback with Michael J. Brand, Matthew L. Lazarewicz, Clinton S. Stanovsky and John C. Stewart. London, England : Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1980.
  • "Systems of Innovation: MACRO/MICRO." Utterback, James M. In Innovation and U. S. Research, edited by Charles F. Larson, W. Novis Smith, 73-94. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society, 1980.
  • "The Dynamics of Product and Process Innovation." Hill, Christopher and James M. Utterback. MIT Sloan Management Review, January 1980.
  • "Government and the Innovation Process." Hollomon, Herbert, James M. Utterback and et al. MIT Technology Review, May 1979.
  • "Innovation in American Industry: What Went Wrong?" Utterback, James M. The Center Magazine, December 1979.
  • "Product and Process Innovation in a Changing Competitive Environment." Utterback, James M. In Industrial Innovation: Technology, Policy, Diffusion, edited by Michael Baker, 135-147. London, England : MacMillan Press, 1979.
  • "Patterns of Industrial Innovation." Abernathy, William J. and James M. Utterback. MIT Technology Review, July 1978.
  • "Government Influence on the Process of Innovation in Europe and Japan." Allen, Thomas, James M. Utterback, Marvin A. Sirbu, Jr., Nicholas A. Ashford and J. Herbert Hollomon. Research Policy Vol. 7, No. 2 (1978): 124-149.
  • "A General Model: Innovation and Process Change in a Productive Unit." Utterback, James M. and William J. Abernathy. In The Productivity Dilemma: Roadblock to Change in the Auto Industry, edited by William J. Abernathy, 147-182. Baltimore, Maryland: The John Hopkins University Press, 1978.
  • "Environmental Analysis and Forecasting." Utterback, James M. In Business Policy and Planning: A New View, edited by Charles Hofer, Dan Schendel, 134-143. Boston, Massachusetts: Little-Brown and Co., 1978.
  • "Management of Technology." Utterback, James M. In Studies in Operations Management, edited by Arnoldo Hax, 137-160. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: North-Holland Publishing Co., 1978.
  • "Recent Findings and Hypotheses About the Dynamics of Product and Process Change." Utterback, James M. In Innovation, Economic Change, and Technology Policies, edited by Karl A. Stroetmann, 251-265. Basel, Switzerland: Birkhauser Verlag, 1977.
  • "The Process of Innovation in Five Industries in Europe and Japan." Utterback, James M., Thomas J. Allen, J. Herbert Hollomon and Marvin A. Sirbu, Jr. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management Vol. EM-23, No. 1 (1976): 3-9.
  • "The Role of Applied Research Institutes in the Transfer of Technology to Latin America." Utterback, James M. World Development Vol. 3, No. 6 (1975): 665-673.
  • "A Longitudinal Study of Communication in Research: Technical and Managerial Influences." Taylor, Robert and James M. Utterback. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management Vol. EM-22, No. 2 (1975): 80-87.
  • "A Dynamic Model of Product and Process Innovation." Utterback, James M. and William J. Abernathy. Omega Vol. 3, No. 6 (1975): 639-656.
  • "Identification of Technological Threats and Opportunities by Firms." Utterback, James M. and Elmer H. Burack. Technological Forecasting and Social Change Vol. 8, No. 1 (1975): 7-21.
  • "Successful Industrial Innovation: A Multivariate Analysis." Utterback, James M. Decision Sciences Vol. 6, No. 1 (1975): 65-77.
  • "Innovation and the Diffusion of Technology." Utterback, James M. Science Vol. 183, No. 4125 (1974): 620-626.
  • "Adoption of Innovations by Industrial Organizations." O’Neal, Charles, Hans B. Thorelli and James M. Utterback. Industrial Marketing Management Vol. 2, No. 3 (1973): 235-250.
  • "The Process of Technological Innovation Within the Firm." Utterback, James M. In Organizational and Managerial Innovation: A Reader, edited by Lloyd A. Rowe, William B. Boise, 241-252. Pasadena, California: Goodyear Publishing Company, Inc., 1973.
  • "Monitoring for Technological Opportunities." Utterback, James M. and James W. Brown. Business Horizons, October 1972.
  • "The Process of Technological Innovation Within the Firm." Utterback, James M. Academy of Management Journal Vol. 14, No. 1 (1971): 75-88.
  • "The Process of Innovation: A Review of Some Recent Findings." Utterback, James M. In Technological Development and Economic Growth, edited by George A. Wilson, 139-160. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University, Graduate School of Business, Division of Research, 1971.
  • "The Process of Innovation: A Study of the Origination and Development of Ideas for New Scientific Instruments." Utterback, James M. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management Vol. EM-18, No. 4 (1971): 124-131.