Department of International Economics, Government and Business

von Zedtwitz
Professor with special responsibilities

Room: POR/24.A-3.72b

My research focuses on global innovation, specifically, how organizations overcome and leverage distance to innovate successfully. This research helps firms capitalize on their innovation potential, especially technology and R&D-related opportunities, in the context of changing global markets, emerging competitors, and disruptive technologies.

I am Managing Director of the Research Center for Global R&D and Innovation (GLORAD), a network I founded in 2003 to facilitate joint research for PhD students at Tsinghua and the University of St. Gallen. The network has since grown to include researchers in Silicon Valley, Brazil, Russia, and Europe. I have visiting faculty appointments at KTU in Lithuania, USP in Sao Paulo, and SDU in Odense, Denmark. Previously, I was a professor of technology management at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Skoltech in Moscow, and IMD in Lausanne. I also was a vice president/associate partner with PRTM Management Consultants in Shanghai, and I ran (and later sold) a technology intelligence firm I founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai. After obtaining a PhD from the University of St. Gallen and a MSc in Computer Science from ETH Zurich, I was a postdoc at Harvard University.

At CBS, I look for students and companies wanting to expand their international innovation competencies, especially in regards to emerging markets such as China and India, and make them proficient in engaging global customers and competitors.


Primary research areas
  • Global R&D and innovation, emerging market innovation
  • Operational strategies in MNCs
  • Corporate incubation and corporate venturing
  • Doing business in / with China


Administrative tasks

Curriculum Vitae
Social media
Link to this homepage

I teach undergraduate, graduate, and MBA courses on doing business in China, management of technology, new product development, and global strategy.

I run workshops and seminars for executives on strategic innovation management, China, and operational strategy in emerging markets.

I also teach PhD courses on research methodologies, research productivity, innovation, international business, and knowledge and technology flows.



I have some capacity to supervise graduate thesis work in my key research areas. I also supervise PhD students as either director or co-director.


Other teaching activities

Selected publications
  • Prud’homme, D.; von Zedtwitz, M. (2019). Managing Risks from “Forced” Technology Transfer in Emerging Markets. Journal of International Management 25, 3.
  • Prud’homme, D.; von Zedtwitz, M. (2018): The Changing Face of Innovation in China. MIT Sloan Management Review 59, 3, 24-32.
  • Jang, S.; Kim, J.W., von Zedtwitz, M. (2017): The importance of spatial agglomeration in product innovation:  A microgeography perspective. Journal of Business Research 78, 143-154.
  • Zhu, A.; von Zedtwitz, M.; Assimakopoulos, D.; Fernandes, K.J. (2016): The Impact of Organizational Culture on Concurrent Engineering, Design-for-Safety and Product Safety Performance. International Journal of Production Economics, 176, 69-81.
  • von Zedtwitz, M.; Corsi, S.; Soberg, P.; Frega, R. (2015): A Typology of Reverse Innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 32, 1, 12-28. (Winner of the 2016 Thomas P. Hustad prize for best paper in JPIM.)
  • Keupp, M.; Friesike, S.; von Zedtwitz, M. (2012): How Do Foreign Firms Patent in Emerging Economies with Weak Appropriability Regimes? Archetypes and Motives. Research Policy, 41, 8, 1422-1439.
  • von Zedtwitz, M.; Gassmann, O. (2002): Market versus Technology Drive in R&D Internationalization: Four different patterns of managing research and development. Research Policy, 31, 4, 569-588.
  • Gassmann, O.; von Zedtwitz, M. (1999): New Concepts and Trends in International R&D Organization. Research Policy, 28, 231-250.


Academic Interests
  • Frugal innovation
  • Reverse innovation
  • China innovation


Outside activities

2019 - ongoing: Teaching assignment and PhD supervision - Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania
2019 - ongoing: 20% 
Visiting Research Professorship - SDU Southern Denmark University