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World’s Best B-School Professors: Antonio Davila

A leading guru on managing innovation, IESE’s Antonio Davila is one of the world’s best business school profs

Antonio Davila

IESE Business School

Age: 45

Claim to Fame: Innovation management guru


Harvard University, D.B.A. in Business Administration

IESE, University of Navarra, MBA

Polytechnic University of Catalunya, Telecommunications Engineering

At IESE since: 2004

Before IESE: Stanford University

Fun Fact: The level of mess in my office is quite amazing

If I wasn’t teaching, my dream job would be: Writer and journalist

Best part of the job: Teaching

Worst part of the job: Grading

Antonio Davila has received an abundance of accolades for his research and books focused on innovation management. Both his teaching and research center on management systems in entrepreneurial firms, new product development, and performance measurement.  One of his most prestigious acknowledgements came in 1994 when he was recognized by Spanish government as a recipient of its Ramón y Cajal Scholarship award. Other honors include IESE’s award for research excellence and the Strategic Management Society’s McKinsey Best Paper Award.

Davila is the co-author of Making Innovation Work: How to Manage It, Measure It, and Profit from It and Performance Measurement and Management Control Systems to Implement Strategy, books for which he has been awarded IESE’s best business book award.

Despite his success as a prolific researcher and writer, Professor Davila says the best part of his job is teaching. Inside the classroom, he heads up IESE’s department of entrepreneurship. He is also the director of the business school’s research center for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Students Say:

“IESE professors are required to share their time between teaching, research and professional activities in their field of expertise. Professor Dávila is not only successful in juggling all this, but also manages to maintain an active presence in the MBA community through his mentoring of the Sports Business Club, by organizing regular conferences, inviting guest speakers to campus, and travelling around the world delivering courses. Despite all this, he somehow always finds time to have a quiet coffee with you at the student lounge, greeting people with his signature big smile. In my time at IESE It has been a pleasure to know him, learn from him and receive his advice on my next career move.” — Emmanouil Xenos, IESE MBA 2011