Photo of Ian MacMillan

Ian MacMillan

The Dhirubhai Ambani Professor

Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Director, Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center

Research Interests: entrepreneurship, new venture management, organizational competence, strategic management

Contact Information

Address: 407 Vance Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 898-9472



DBA, University of South Africa, 1975; MBA (cum laude), University of South Africa, 1972; BS, University of Witwatersrand, 1963


Merck, Microsoft, Air Products, Citibank, Greenwich Pharmaceuticals, Chubb and Sons, NYSE, Dupont, General Electric, GTE, IBM, Metropolitan Life, American Re-Insurance, Panasonic (Japan), Olympus (Japan), L.G. Group (Korea), Texas Instruments, KPMG, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Fluor Daniel; Workout initiative, GE, 1989-92

Academic Positions Held

Wharton: 1986-present (named Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 2005; named Fred R. Sullivan Professor, 1999-2005; Director, Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center, 1986-present; Director, Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program, 1998-2003; George W. Taylor Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies, 1986-99; Academic Director, Advanced Management Program, 1988-89). Previous appointments: New York University; Columbia University; University of South Africa. Visiting appointment: Northwestern University

Other Positions

Chief Chemical Engineer, Consolidated Oil Products, Republic of South Africa, 1965-70; Scientist, Atomic Energy Board, Government Metallurgical Labs, Republic of South Africa, 1963-64

Professional Leadership

Academy of Management Fellows, 1997-present; Editorial Board, Strategic Management Journal, 1980-present; Editorial Board, Human Resource Management, Long Range Planning


  • Ian MacMillan, R. G. McGrath (2005), Marketbusting: Strategies For Exceptional Business Growth, Harvard Business Review, 80-92.  Abstract
  • Ian MacMillan, M. Boisot (2004), Crossing Epistemological Boundaries: Managerial and Entrepreneurial Approaches to Knowledge Management, Long Range Planning, 37(6): 505-524.  Abstract
  • Ian MacMillan, A. B. van Putten (2004), Making Real Options Really Work, Harvard Business Review, 134-141.  Abstract
  • Ian MacMillan, R. G. McGrath (2004), Nine Integrated Roles of Technology Development Managers, Research-Technology Management, 47(3): 6-26.  Abstract

In The News

Knowledge @ Wharton



  • MGMT802 - Change, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

    This course will provide you with a theoretical foundation and a set of practical tools for the management of innovation, and the change associated with it, both in corporate settings and start-up situations. For the purposes of the course, innovation is defined as the profitable commercialization of a new idea: product, market, process or technology. The theoretical background will be provided by multiple readings, your knowledge of which will be tested in a readings report. The practical tools will be provided via lecture/discussion sessions, your skills at which will be demonstrated in an innovation assessment for an actual innovation opportunity. In addition the teams will be required to present a proposed game-changing innovation that reconfigures the basis of competition in a selected industry.

  • MGMT810 - Social Entrepreneurship

    This is a course on creating a business to attack a social problem and thereby accomplish both social impact and financial sustainability. For this course, social entrepreneurship is defined as entrepreneurship used to profitably confront social problems. This definition therefore views social entrepreneurship as a distinct alternative to public sector initiatives. The basic thesis is that many social problems, if looked at through an entrepreneurial lens, create opportunity for someone to launch a venture that generates profits by alleviating that social problem. This sets in motion a virtuous cycle - the entrepreneur is incented to generate more profits and in so doing, the more the profits made,the more the problem is alleviated. Even if it is not possible to eventually create a profit-making enterprise, the process of striving to do so can lead to a resource-lean not-for-profit entity.

  • MGMT893 - Advanced Study Project for Entrepreneurial Management