Minyuan Zhao

Minyuan Zhao
  • Associate Professor of Management

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2014 SH-DH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: emerging economies, global strategy, innovation, intellectual property rights

Links: CV


Minyuan Zhao is an Associate Professor of Management at Wharton. Minyuan’s research examines the interactions between firm strategy and external environment in a global context: How emerging market institutions affect firms’ global strategies, and how firms’ strategic organization across borders shapes the global economic landscape. Her work has been published in top journals such as Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, and Journal of Economics and Management Studies. Prior to joining Wharton, Minyuan was on the faculty of Ross School of Business (Michigan) and before that, Carlson School of Management (Minnesota). She was the recipient of the 2012 Teaching Excellence Award from the Michigan EMBA program and the 2013 Best Educator Award from the NUS-UCLA EMBA program. She also had work experience in entrepreneurship, government think tank, and the automotive industry.

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  • Minyuan Zhao (2018), Knowledge Sourcing by Multidivisional Firms, Strategic Management Journal.

    Abstract: Research on knowledge sourcing has generally treated firms as monolithic entities, even though firms most active in knowledge sourcing often comprise heterogeneous divisions, each possessing specialized knowledge and facing unique market prospects. This study examines how heterogeneity across divisions affects knowledge sourcing by multidivisional firms. We argue that firms source more early-stage knowledge, whose market prospects are highly uncertain, for low-performing divisions; by remaining active in the relevant markets, firms keep the flexibility to tap favorable market opportunities should they arise in the future. In contrast, firms source more late-stage knowledge, whose market prospects are largely revealed, for high-performing divisions so as to maximize current returns. The intra-firm heterogeneity, in turn, explains inter-firm differences in knowledge sourcing. Data from the pharmaceutical industry support these arguments.

  • Minyuan Zhao and S. Wang (2018), A Tale of Two Distances: A Study of Technological Distance, Geographic Distance, and Multilocation Firms, Journal of Economic Geography.

  • Minyuan Zhao and A. Hornstein (2018), Reaching through the Fog: Institutional Environment and Cross-border Giving of Corporate Foundations, Strategic Management Journal.

  • Minyuan Zhao and Karin Beukel (2018), IP Litigation Is Local, But Those Who Litigate Are Global, Journal of International Business Policy, 1 (1-2), pp. 53-70.

  • Minyuan Zhao and Mazhar Islam (2017), Cross-regional R&D Collaboration and Local Knowledge Spillover, Advances in Strategic Management, 36.

  • Minyuan Zhao and J. Alcacer (2016), Zooming In: A Practical Manual for Identifying Geographic Clusters, Strategic Management Journal.

  • Minyuan Zhao, J. Alcacer, C. Dezso (2015), Location Choices under Strategic Interactions, Strategic Management Journal, 36 (2), pp. 197-215.

  • Minyuan Zhao (Working), Innovation Management and Employee Mobility: A Study of Scientist Departures Following Project Termination.

  • Minyuan Zhao (Working), Policy Complements to the Strengthening of IPRS in Developing Countries: A Firm-Level Perspective.

  • Minyuan Zhao (Working), Global Standards, Multinational Firms, and National Policies: An Interactive Perspective.


Past Courses


    This course provides an examination of some of the largest business firms in the People's Republic of China, acquainting students with the governance and management (both management structure and management teams) of some of the largest and best known Chinese firms. Students will also become acquainted with the capabilities and liabilities of Chinese firms and their strategic options. Tools needed to assess the investment potential of Chinese firms will be provided, and students will have an opportunity to do original research on issues of governance and management of Chinese firms.


    The management of large, established enterprises creates a range of multi-facet challenges for the general manager. A general manager needs to understand the internal workings of a firm, how to assess and create a strategy, and how to take into account increasing, globalization. While these issues are distinct, they are very much intertwined. As a result, this course will provide you with an integrated view of these challenges and show you that effective of an established enterprise requires a combination of insights drawn from economics, sociology, psychology and political economy.


    The business environment in China is characterized by both uncertainty and complexity. On the one hand, it is changing fast; on the other hand, it is influenced by deep-rooted political, economic, and cultural forces that exhibit tremendous inertia. This course will help students--as potential managers, entrepreneurs, and investors--gain the knoweledge and analytical skills necessary to compete effectively in China. We will discuss various types of firms in the Chinese economy--from large state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to newly minted Internet giants, from prominent multinational companies (MNCs) to virtually anonymous local suppliers--and the unique institutions in which these firms operate. Such discussions will also help managers whose firms compete or collaborate with Chinese firms on the global stage. We will use a combination of lectures, cases, debates, and role play in class. You will also have the opportunity to apply your learning to real business scenarios.


    This class is designed to develop world class, globally-minded managers. Many of the most important business issues of today are global in nature. Both "macro" phenomena (e.g. nationalism, protectionism, demographic change) and "micro" trends (e.g. competition within and from emerging markets, distributed talent and innovation, digitization and automation) are inherently international issues. They require firms and managers to think, innovate, and organize globally. This class offers a comprehensive set of tools to evaluate opportunities and challenges in global markets, to leverage cross-country differences to enhance innovation and performance, to manage the complexities of a business spread across multiple countries, and to win against foreign rivals. The course will focus on both the formulation and execution of global strategy, with a heavy emphasis on current events and hands on activities. Sample topics include: Quantifying opportunites and risks of foreign investments; Formulating and executing strategies that balance local responsiveness, global efficiency, and innovation; Evaluating and executing cross-border M & A and partnerships; Exploiting differences across countries to enhance innovation while protecting intellectual property; Managing organizational structure, culture, and people in multinational organizations; Structuring and managing cross-national and cross-cultural team; Developing a global mindset among managers and employees. This course builds on the global management portion of MGMT 611 or MGMT 612, but taking those classes is not a prerequisite for MGMT 871.

Awards and Honors

  • International Theme Best Paper Prize, SMS Special Conference, Hong Kong, 2016
  • Winner, Strategic Management Society Best Conference Paper, 2006
  • Finalist, Haynes Prize for Most Promising Scholars, Academy of International Business conference, 2006
  • The Glueck Best Paper Award, BPS Division of the Academy of Management, 2004
  • International Student Leadership Award, NYU, 2004
  • First Place, INFORMS/Organization Science Dissertation Proposal Competition, 2003
  • New York University President’s Service Award, 2001-2002
  • First Prize, Maximum Exposure Business Plan Competition, Stern, NYU, 2001

In the News

Knowledge @ Wharton


Latest Research

Minyuan Zhao (2018), Knowledge Sourcing by Multidivisional Firms, Strategic Management Journal.
All Research

In the News

U.S.-China Tariffs: Is There an End in Sight?

The sudden escalation of the trade conflict between the U.S. and China could lead to disruptive, permanent shifts in trade and global supply chains.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2019/05/14
All News

Awards and Honors

International Theme Best Paper Prize, SMS Special Conference, Hong Kong 2016
All Awards