David Teece awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

TeeceBioProfessor David Teece is Professor of Business Administration and Thomas W. Tusher Chair in Global Business at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. He is also Director of the Tusher Center for the Management of Intellectual Capital. As an economist, he is renowned for his research on industrial organisation, technological change and innovation, particularly as it relates to competition policy and intellectual property.

Professor Teece gained a BA and MCom(Hons) (1971) from the University of Canterbury, before completing an MA and PhD (1975) at the University of Pennsylvania. He has held teaching and research positions at University of Canterbury, University of Oxford, Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania. He holds honorary doctorates from St. Petersburg State University, Copenhagen Business School, Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland) and the University of Canterbury.

Professor Teece has a long and distinguished research record. His first publication appeared in New Zealand Economic Papers in 1971 (Falvey & Teece, 1971). He has published over 200 books and articles, including articles in American Economic Review, Economic Journal, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Economic Perspectives and Journal of Economic Literature. According to the Science Watch index of Scientific Research in Economics and Business, his Strategic Management Journal paper, ‘Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management’ was the most cited paper worldwide across these fields in the decade to 2005. He has been recognised by Accenture as one of the world’s top-50 business intellectuals.

Professor Teece’s research includes empirical tests of existing theories, especially in relation to transactions cost economics; new insights into the theory of the firm, such as the dynamic capabilities approach to the determinants of ongoing firm success; and synthesis of ideas from numerous fields to form new theories that are much greater than the sum of the parts.

A brief selection of papers illustrates some of the key intellectual approaches within his work. Professor Teece was one of the first economists to develop the Panzar–Willig concept of economies of scope to show that product diversification by a firm may be efficient if based on common and recurrent use of proprietary know-how (Teece, 1980). In his paper ‘Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management’ (Teece, Pisano, & Shuen, 1997) (cited over 25,000 times), he analysed the sources and methods of wealth creation and capture by private firms operating in environments of rapid technological change. As in his work on economies of scope, this work emphasised the importance of firms’ proprietary and difficult-to-trade knowledge assets in generating firm wealth. In a paper published in 2007 (Teece, 2007), he emphasises that a firm’s dynamic capabilities – which enable the firm to generate wealth on an ongoing basis – derive from an entrepreneurial approach that sees firms innovate and collaborate with other enterprises and institutions. It is through the resulting ongoing transformation that firms may escape the zero-profit condition so beloved by neo-classical economists. In recent work (Teece, 2014), Professor Teece has returned to a topic that he first visited in the 1980s applying the dynamic capabilities framework to explain the success of multi-national enterprises. At the core of all these contributions is the search for insights about the process of wealth creation at the firm level.

In addition to his prodigious and influential research output, Professor Teece is renowned for his ability to express complex ideas in non-technical language, making his ideas available to a broad public. His ability to think across fields and to relate his ideas to a broad audience has been of considerable use in the field of management consulting. He is Chairman and Principal Executive Officer of Berkeley Research Group, and was Co-Founder of LECG where he was Chairman (1988–2007) and Vice-Chairman (2007–2009).

Despite being based in the United States, David has kept close research, business and philanthropic links to New Zealand. He co-authored a paper in Journal of Economic Literature on New Zealand’s economic reforms (Evans, Grimes, Wilkinson, & Teece, 1996). He is a member of the Editorial Board for New Zealand Economic Papers and is an Honorary Member of LEANZ (Law and Economics Association of New Zealand). In addition, he is Chairman of the University of Canterbury Foundation Board of Trustees, and President of the University of Canterbury Foundation in America. Professor Teece was a co-founder of Kea (Kiwi Expatriates Abroad). In 2013, he became a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Across his many contributions, Professor David Teece has proved that he has the outstanding credentials required for the award of Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Association of Economists.


  1. Evans, L., Grimes, A., Wilkinson, B., & Teece, D. (1996). Economic reform in New Zealand 1984-95: The pursuit of efficiency. Journal of Economic Literature, 34(4), 1856–1902.
  2. Falvey, R.E., & Teece, D.J. (1971). The determination of residential section prices in some South Island Centres. New Zealand Economic Papers, 5, 100–106.
  3. Teece, D.J. (1980). Economies of scope and the scope of the enterprise. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 1(3), 223–247.
  4. Teece, D.J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 18(7), 509–533.
  5. Teece, D.J. (2007). Explicating dynamic capabilities: The nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance. Strategic Management Journal, 28(13), 1319–1350.
  6. Teece, D.J. (2014). A dynamic capabilities-based entrepreneurial theory of the multinational enterprise. Journal of International Business Studies, 45(1), 8–37.