Photo of Nicolaj Siggelkow

Nicolaj Siggelkow

David M. Knott Professor

Co-Director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management

Research Interests: competitive strategy, evolution of fit, firms as systems of interconnected choices

Links: CV, Mack Institute for Innovation Management, Strategic Thinking and Management for Competitive Advantage

Contact Information

Address: 2211 SH-DH, 3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 573-7137
Office Fax: (215) 898-0401


Nicolaj Siggelkow is the David M. Knott Professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is a Co-Director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at Wharton. He studied Economics at Stanford University and earned an M.A. in Economics from Harvard University. He received a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University and the Harvard Business School. Professor Siggelkow has been the recipient of multiple MBA and Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Awards, including the Class of 1984 Award presented to the faculty member with the highest teaching rating in the MBA classroom, the Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Teaching Award, the Wharton Award, and the Wharton Graduate Association Student Choice Award. His research has been published in the leading management journals, including Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Industrial Economics, Management Science, Organization Science, and Strategic Organization. In 2008, he received the Administrative Science Quarterly Scholarly Contribution Award for the most significant paper published in ASQ five years earlier. Nicolaj is a member of the Editorial Review Boards of Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Strategic Organization, and Academy of Management Perspectives.

His current research focuses on the strategic and organizational implications of interactions among a firm’s choices of activities and resources. In particular, his research has focused on three broad questions: How do firms develop, grow and adjust their set of activities over time? How does organizational design affect a firm’s ability to find high-performing sets of activities? What role do interactions among a firm’s activities play in creating and sustaining competitive advantage? To address these questions, he has employed a range of methodological approaches, including in-depth field studies of individual firms, econometric methods for large-scale data sets, formal modeling, and simulation models.



Mack Institute for Innovation Management

Strategic Thinking and Management for Competitive Advantage


  • Dirk Martignoni, Anoop Menon, Nicolaj Siggelkow (Under Review), Consequences of Misspecified Mental Models: Contrasting Effects and the Role of Cognitive Fit.  Abstract
  • Oliver Baumann, Nicolaj Siggelkow (Forthcoming), Dealing with Complexity: Integrated vs. Chunky Search Processes. Organization Science.    Abstract
  • Vikas Aggarwal, Nicolaj Siggelkow, Harbir Singh (2011), Corporate Development Choices and Interdependence: Strategic Tradeoffs and Performance Implications, Strategic Management Journal, 32: 705-730.  
  • Nicolaj Siggelkow (2011), Firms as Systems of Interdependent Choices, Journal of Management Studies, 48: 1126-1140.  
  • Dirk Martignoni, Nicolaj Siggelkow (Working), When it Pays to be Neurotic or to Have Blind Spots: The Value of Understanding External and Internal Contingencies.
  • Felipe Csaszar, Nicolaj Siggelkow (2010), How much to copy? Determinants of Effective Imitation Breadth, Organization Science, 21: 661-676.    Abstract  Related Materials
  • Nicolaj Siggelkow, Jan W. Rivkin (2009), Hiding the Evidence of Valid Theories: How Coupled Search Processes Obscure Performance Differences among Organizations, Administrative Science Quarterly, 54: 602-634.    Abstract
  • Michael E. Porter, Nicolaj Siggelkow (2008), Contextual Interactions within Activity Systems and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage, Academy of Management Perspectives, 22(2): 34-56.    Abstract
  • Nicolaj Siggelkow (2007), Persuasion with Case Studies, Academy of Management Journal (translated in Chinese in: 2008. Management World, 6, pp. 156-160), 50: 20-24.    Abstract
  • Jan W. Rivkin, Nicolaj Siggelkow (2007), Patterned Interactions in Complex Systems: Implications for Exploration, Management Science, 53: 1068-1085.    Abstract  Related Materials
  • Nicolaj Siggelkow, Jan W. Rivkin (2006), When Exploration Backfires: Unintended Consequences of Multi-Level Organizational Search, Academy of Management Journal, 49: 779-795.    Abstract
  • Jan W. Rivkin, Nicolaj Siggelkow (2006), Organizing to Strategize in the Face of Interdependencies: Preventing Premature Lock-in, Long Range Planning, 38: 591-614.    Abstract
  • Nicolaj Siggelkow, Daniel A Levinthal (2005), Escaping Real (Non-Benign) Competency Traps: Linking the Dynamics of Organizational Structure to the Dynamics of Search, Strategic Organization, 3: 85-115.    Abstract
  • Nicolaj Siggelkow, Jan W. Rivkin (2005), Speed and Search: Designing Organizations for Turbulence and Complexity, Organization Science, 16: 101-122.    Abstract
  • Jan W. Rivkin, Nicolaj Siggelkow (2003), Balancing Search and Stability: Interdependencies Among Elements of Organizational Design, Management Science, 49: 290-311.    Abstract
  • Nicolaj Siggelkow (2003), Why Focus? A Study of Intra-Industry Focus Effects, Journal of Industrial Economics, 51: 121-150 (lead article).    Abstract
  • Nicolaj Siggelkow, Daniel A Levinthal (2003), Temporarily Divide to Conquer: Centralized, Decentralized, and Reintegrated Organizational Approaches to Exploration and Adaptation, Organization Science, 14: 650-669.    Abstract
  • Nicolaj Siggelkow (2002), Misperceiving Interactions among Complements and Substitutes: Organizational Consequences, Management Science, 48: 900-916.    Abstract  Related Materials
  • Nicolaj Siggelkow (2002), Evolution toward Fit, Administrative Science Quarterly, 47: 125-159.    Abstract
  • Jan W. Rivkin, Nicolaj Siggelkow (2002), Organizational Sticking Points on NK Landscapes, Complexity, 7(5): 31-43.    Abstract
  • Nicolaj Siggelkow (2001), Change in the Presence of Fit: The Rise, the Fall, and the Renaissance of Liz Claiborne, Academy of Management Journal, 44: 838-857.    Abstract

Awards And Honors

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, 2012
  • Student-elected Faculty Marshal, 2011
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, 2010
  • Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Teaching Award, 2010
  • Student-elected Faculty Marshal, 2010
  • Administrative Science Quarterly Scholarly Contribution Award for the most significant paper published in ASQ five years earlier, 2008
  • Class of 1984 Award (presented to the faculty member with the highest teaching rating in the MBA classroom), 2006
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, 2006-2007
  • Excellence in Teaching Undergraduates Award, 2005
  • The (inaugural) Wharton Graduate Association Student Choice Award (for commitment to teaching excellence), 2005
  • Class of 1984 Award (presented to the faculty member with the highest teaching rating in the MBA classroom), 2004
  • Student-elected Faculty Marshal, 2004-2008
  • The Wharton Award (awarded by MBA students to “the professor who has contributed the most to students’ experience at Wharton”), 2004
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, 2003-2004
  • Excellence in Teaching Undergraduates Award, 2003
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, 1999-2000

In The News



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