Lawrence Hrebiniak: Making Strategy Work

Wharton emeritus management professor Lawrence G. Hrebiniak, who passed away in January, was a longtime faculty member and an expert in management strategy. He published several books on the subject and was instrumental in developing management strategy courses for the school’s MBA and Executive Education programs.

His most notable books were Implementing Strategy with co-author William F. Joyce, which was released in 1984, and Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change, which was first released in 2005 with a second edition in 2013.

“Larry deeply believed in the importance of strategy for business success, and he wanted to make sure that his students understood that, too. That’s why he put so much heart and soul into his work,” Wharton Dean Erika James said.

In Making Strategy Work, Hrebiniak laid out a detailed roadmap for business leaders to follow in executing a successful strategy. His framework included factors that he considered key: organizational structure, information sharing, incentives, coordination, change management, controls, culture, and the role of power and influence within the business.

“Larry is best known for his work on strategy execution,” Wharton management professor Nikolaj Sigglekow said. “As a matter of fact, Making Strategy Work is lying on my office table right now and was a tremendous help as I was creating a new executive education course on that topic.”

Hrebiniak held a bachelor’s degree in economics from Cornell University as well as an MBA in strategic management and a PhD in management from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He taught at Pennsylvania State University before joining the faculty at Wharton in 1976.

Prior to his academic career, Hrebiniak worked for several years in various positions at Ford Motor Company, including as a district field manager. He served as a consultant throughout his career, working with companies such as AT&T, Isuzu, DuPont, Microsoft, Bristol Meyers-Squibb, and Chase Manhattan Bank.

[email protected] remembers Hrebiniak with a collection of stories below that recap his insights and research. You can read Wharton’s in memoriam tribute to Hrebiniak here.

Lessons from Radio Shack: To Stay on Top, Figure Out What Got You There (2/10/2105)

Got a New Strategy? Don’t Forget the Execution Part (7/31/2013)

How GM’s Reorganization Could Do More Harm Than Good (8/21/2012)

What Makes a Global Leader? (10/4/2007)

Three Reasons Why Good Strategies Fail: Execution, Execution… (8/10/2005)

You Have a Good Strategy: Now Try to Implement It (4/6/2005)

Lawrence Hrebiniak: Making Strategy Work

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