Lawrence G Hrebiniak

Lawrence G Hrebiniak
  • Emeritus Associate Professor

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    3031 SH-DH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: organizational adaptation, organizational structure and design, strategy formulation, strategy implementation

Links: CV


Dr. Hrebiniak is a Emeritus Professor in the Department of Management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Strategy Group. He has been on the Wharton faculty since 1976 and teaches courses in competitive strategy and strategy implementation in the Wharton M.B.A. and Executive Education programs. Over the years, he has been the recipient of several awards for teaching excellence, most recently in 2008 for his MBA course, “Competitive Strategy.”

Dr. Hrebiniak held managerial positions in industry prior to entering academia, and has had considerable consulting experience. He is a past president of the Organization and Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management. He has been a reviewer and member of the Editorial Review Board for a number of academic and professional management journals. For two years, he was one of four Wharton faculty providing commentaries on the “Wharton Management Report,” a program that appeared daily on national television on the Financial News Network.

Continue Reading


  • Lawrence G Hrebiniak, Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change (2nd Edition) (2013)

  • Lawrence G Hrebiniak, Making Strategy Work (2008)

  • Lawrence G Hrebiniak, The Mismanagement of America, Inc (2008)

  • Lawrence G Hrebiniak (2006), Obstacles to Effective Strategy Implementation, Organizational Dynamics, Vol 35.

    Abstract: Formulating strategy is one thing. Implementing it throughout the organization ... well, that's the really challenging part. Unfortunately, most managers plan effectively, but fall short when identifying, confronting, and eliminating the major obstacles to strategy execution. This article identifies the major obstacles to execution success. It presents data from managers actively involved in strategy implementation in their companies, thus providing information from individuals with experience in the execution process. The article then develops a model of implementation and an approach to managing change that, together, can help managers make strategy work more effectively.

  • Lawrence G Hrebiniak, Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change (2005)

  • Lawrence G Hrebiniak, Implementing Strategy: An Appraisal and Agenda for Future Research (2001)

  • Lawrence G Hrebiniak, The We-Force in Management: How to Build and Sustain Cooperation (1994)

  • Lawrence G Hrebiniak (1990), Implementing Strategy: Making the Plan Work, Chief Executive, Vol 55.

    Abstract: Formulating strategy is very difficult, but the more problematic task confronting the chief executive officer (CEO) is the successful implementation of strategy. To implement strategy successfully, attention must be paid to a number of issues or problems. These include: 1. the strategy itself, 2. structure, 3. coordination requirements, 4. incentives, 5. controls, and 6. culture and politics. Corporate, business, and functional strategies must be consistent. Agreement among key decision makers is easier to reach when strategies and their underlying cause-effect relationships are clear. The CEO must be concerned with a number of areas that are important for strategy implementation, such as: 1. encouraging sound planning, 2. carefully considering the role of structure, 3. knowing what incentives support, 4. encouraging market surveillance, and 5. exercising leadership. Communication is crucial. The CEO should stay close to important stakeholders whose support of the strategic management process is vital.

  • Lawrence G Hrebiniak (1985), Organization Adaptation: Strategic Choice and Environmental Determinism, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol 30.

    Abstract: The prevailing assumption in recent literature is that strategic choice and environmental determinism represent mutually exclusive, competing explanations of organizational adaptation. The present paper, in contrast, argues that choice and determinism are independent variables that can be positioned on two separate continua to develop a typology of organizational adaptation. The interactions of these variables result in four main types: (1) natural selection, with minimum choice and adaptation or selection out, (2) differentiation, with high choice and high environmental determinism and adaptation within constraints, (3) strategic choice, with maximum choice and adaptation by design, and (4) undifferentiated choice, with incremental choice and adaptation by chance. These types influence the number and forms of strategic options of organizations, the decisional emphasis on means or ends, political behavior and conflict, and the search activities of the organization in its environment.

  • Lawrence G Hrebiniak, Implementing Strategy (1984)


Past Courses


    Much more is known about strategy formulation than its implementation, yet valid, sensible strategies often fail because of problems on the implementation side. This course provides you with tools to turn good strategy into successful reality. It covers the choices, structure, and conditions that enable the successful attainment of strategic objectives. Students learn from rigorous academic research on successful implementation, as well as a series of seasoned business leaders who will visit to share their own experience from the front lines.



Awards and Honors

  • Recipient of the Core Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Wharton MBA Program, 2008
  • Recipient of the Miller-Sherred Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1994-1996
  • Nominated for Anvil Award for Teaching, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1994-1996
  • “Who’s Who in Finance & Industry” Beta Gamma Sigma, Red Key, Sphinxhead, 1988-2010
  • Nominated for Anvil Award for Teaching, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1988-1989
  • Nominated for Anvil Award for Teaching, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1985
  • Nominated for Anvil Award for Teaching, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1981
  • Nominated for Anvil Award for Teaching, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1979

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