Co-Founder and President,
The Academic-Industry Research Network
William Lazonick is professor of economics and director of the Center for Industrial Competitiveness at University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is co-founder and president of The Academic-Industry Research Network. Lazonick is also a visiting professor (2010-2016) in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, where he teaches a PhD course on the theory of innovative enterprise. He also has visiting positions at the Telecom School of Management, Paris, and the Munk Centre of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.
Lazonick’s holds a B.Com from the University of Toronto (1968), anM.Sc. (Econ) from the London School of Economics (1969), and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University (1975). In 1991 Uppsala University awarded him an honorary doctorate for his work on the theory and history of economic development. Previously, Lazonick was assistant and associate professor of economics at Harvard University, professor of economics at Barnard College of Columbia University, and distinguished research professor at INSEAD. He has also been on the faculties of Harvard Business School, University of Tokyo, Norwegian School of Management BI, University of Bordeaux, and University of Toulouse, and was a visiting member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
With funding from the Ford Foundation, Lazonick is directing an international project onfinancial institutions for innovation and development, comparing the United States, Japan, Germany, China, and Brazil. With funding from the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), he is also running a project on impatient capital in high-tech industries, which builds on his previous INET project, the stock market and innovative enterprise. Another INET project in which he is involved as part of INET’s Inequality Initiative explores investment in the high-tech knowledge base in the United States and the availability of career paths for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workers.
Lazonickis the author or editor of 13 books, including Competitive Advantage of the Shop Floor (Harvard University Press, 1990) and Business Organization and the Myth of the Market Economy (Cambridge University Press, 1991), and about 125 academic articles. His book, Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States (Upjohn Institute for Employment, 2009), won the Schumpeter Prize from the International Schumpeter Society in 2010. His article, “Innovative Business Models and Varieties of Capitalism,” received the Henrietta Larson Award from Harvard Business School for best article in Business History Review in 2010 (Lazonick had previously won the prize for best article in this journal in 1983). He is currently completing a book, The Theory of Innovative Enterprise, to be published by Oxford University Press.
Lazonick is a critic of the neoclassical theory of the market economy for its failure to understand the relation between organizations and markets in the generation of productivity. He pioneered in the critique of shareholder value ideology in the late 1980s as it came to dominate the theory and practice of corporate resource allocation in the United States. He holds the financialized corporation largely responsible for the extreme concentration of income among the richest households and the disappearance of stable and remunerative employment opportunities in the United States. He has published opinion pieces in BusinessWeek, The Financial Times, The Guardian,Huffington Post, and AlterNet, among other media outlets.
In September 2014, in its “Big Idea” section. Harvard Business Review is featuring his article, “Profits Without Prosperity: Stock Buybacks Manipulate the Market and Leave Most Americans Worse Off” (release date, August 12, 2014).
Among Lazonick’s recent articles are:
- William Lazonick, “Labor in the Twenty-First Century: The Top 0.1% and the Disappearing Middle Class,” AIR Working Paper #14-08/01.
- “Taking Stock: Why Executive Pay Results in an Unstable and Inequitable Economy,” Roosevelt Institute White Paper, June 5, 2014.
- William Lazonick, “Innovative Enterprise: A Prosperous Economy Needs It, But ‘Maximising Shareholder Value’ Undermines It,” in Janet Williamson, Ciaran Driver, and Peter Kenway, eds.,Beyond Shareholder Value: The Reasons and Choices for Corporate Governance Reform, Trades Union Congress, 2014: 60-63
- William Lazonick, “Alfred Chandler’s Managerial Revolution: Developing and Utilizing Productive Resources,” in William Lazonick and David J. Teece, eds.,Management Innovation: Essays in the Spirit of Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., Oxford University Press, 2012: 3-29; reprinted in Morgen Witzel, and Malcolm Warner, eds., Oxford Handbook of Management Theorists, Oxford University Press, 2012: 361-384.
- William Lazonick and Edward March, “The Rise and Demise of Lucent Technologies,” Journal of Strategic Management Education, 7, 4, 2011.
- William Lazonick and Öner Tulum “US Biopharmaceutical Finance and the Sustainability of the Biotech Business Model,” Research Policy, 40, 9, 2011: 1170-1187.
- William Lazonick, “The Financialization of the U.S. Corporation: What Has Been Lost, and How It Can Be Regained,” Seattle University Law Review, 36, 2013: 857-909.
- William Lazonick and Mariana Mazzucato, “The Risk-Reward Nexus in the Innovation-Inequality Relationship,” Industrial and Corporate Change, 22, 4, 2013: 1093-1128.
- William Lazonick, Mariana Mazzucato, and Öner Tulum, “Apple’s Changing Business Model: What Should the World’s Richest Company Do With All Those Profits,” Accounting Forum, 37, 4, 2013: 249-267.
- William Lazonick, “The Theory of Innovative Enterprise: A Foundation of Economic Analysis,” AIR Working Paper Series #13-02/01.