Professor of Strategic Management

BP Chaired Professor of European Competitiveness

 

Karel Cool's research, teaching and consulting focus on problems of industry dynamics and competitive strategy (e. g. competitive positioning; assessment of profit opportunities in markets; strategic supply chain dynamics and management; eco-system leadership; vertical integration and de-integration; industry overcapacity; critical mass races, customer value creation and capturing).

He has published in many journals, including Management Science, the Strategic Management Journal, Harvard Business Review, Organization Science, Academy of Management Journal, Marketing Letters, Advances in Strategic Management, Journal of Supply Chain Management, etc, edited the books, European Industrial Restructuring in the 1990s, 1992 (with D. Neven and I. Walter; Macmillan 1992), and Industry Structuring and Restructuring (with J. Henserson and R. Abate; Blackwell 2004, SMS Book Series), and has contributed to many books on competitive strategy.

From 1995 till 2007, he was Associate Editor of the Strategic Management Journal, the leading strategy journal.

He has consulted on major strategic problems of corporate and industry restructuring and worked with a variety of corporations, including Unilever, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Daimler-Chrysler, Borealis, RollsRoyce, Thomson Travel Group, Exxon, Solvay, Novo-Nordisk Lufthansa, KBC, Whirlpool, IBM, Expedia, Banque de France, McKinsey, Starwood, BCG, Shell, ING, Aktiva, Amgen, Bayer, Nordea, World Economic Forum, IBM, KGL Kuwait, Hearst, Reynaers Aluminium, Dong Energy Wind Power, Vandemoortele, Mars, etc.

During the academic year 1995/6 he was Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago. He has also been Visiting Professor at Northwestern University and was co-chair of the 2002 annual Strategic Management Society Conference held in Paris.

He won 6 times the “Best Teaching Award” in the MBA Insead Programme and is the Founder and Director of the long running Competitive Strategy executive program at INSEAD in Fontainebleau and Singapore. In 2007, he was inducted as Fellow of the Strategic Management Society. In 2009, he received from Purdue University the George S. Day Distinguished Alumni Academic Service Award.

In September 2014, he was honored by the Case Center as one of the best selling case authors over the past forty years: Karel has (co-) authored more than sixty case studies.

Karel Cool obtained his PhD (1985) and MScIA (1982) from Purdue University and his MA (1981) and Lic (1978) in Applied Economics from the University of Antwerp (UFSIA).

Research

Karel Cool has published extensively on questions related to competitive positioning (e.g. sustainability of competitive advantage; first mover advantage; market share; business models / strategic groups), industry dynamics (e.g. industry overcapacity, supply chain power and profit dynamics; customer churn and entry in markets), and European Competitiveness.

Current research focuses on:

  • Strategies for achieving leadership in winner-take-all eco-systems;
  • Customer churn / turnover and the consequences for entering markets / defending market positions
  • Managing supply chains for competitive advantage
  • Merger Control: An Instrument of Country Competitiveness?

Articles & Book Chapters

Karel Cool, Christophe Angoulvant, Brian Rogers, “Insurintechs: Threat or opportunity for Insurance Incumbents” The World Financial Review, May 2018

Dierickx, I., K. Cool and L. Almeida Costa, “The Dynamics of Resource Erosion”, Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management, M. Auger and D. Teece Eds, August 2014.

Cool, K., I. Dierickx and L. Almeida Costa, “Asset Mass Efficiencies”, Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management, M. Auger and D. Teece Eds, October 2013.

Cool, K., I. Dierickx and L. Almeida Costa, "Diseconomies of Time Compression", Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management, M. Auger and D. Teece Eds, October 2013.

Almeida Costa, L., K. Cool, I. Dierickx, "The Competitive Implications of the Deployment of Unique Resources", Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 34, 4 (April 2013), 445-463.

Cool, K. and P. Paranikas, “Achieve Market Success by Leveraging Customer Turnover,” European Financial Review, April 2012.

Cool, K. and P. Paranikas, “When Every Customer is a New Customer. High turnover markets offer big opportunities to win share. Here’s how to do it”, Harvard Business Review, May 2011.

Cool, K. and D. Schendel (1987), "Strategic Group Formation and Performance: The Case of the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry, 1963–1982"; Cool, K. and I. Dierickx (1993), "Rivalry, Strategic Groups and Firm Profitability" and Pacheco de Almeida, G., J. Henderson and K. Cool (2008), “Resolving the commitment versus flexibility trade-off: The role of resource accumulation lags”, in Competitive Strategy, C. Maritan and M. Peteraf, eds., Edward Elgar, 2011.

Henderson, J. and K. Cool, “Experience and Learning in Wine Supply Chain Negotiations”, Supply Chain Forum, An International Journal, Special Issue: Wine Supply Chains, 2010.

Cool, K. and D. Schendel, “Strategic Group Formation and Performance: The Case of the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry, 1963-82”, in Michael Porter: Critical Evaluations in Business and Management, Wood, J. C., & Wood, M. C. (Eds), 2009, New York, NY: Routledge.

Pacheco de Almeida, G., J. Henderson and K. Cool, “Resolving the commitment versus flexibility trade-off: The role of resource accumulation lags”, Academy of Management Journal (June 2008).

Cool, K. and D. Schendel, “Performance Differences Among Strategic Groups”, in Fundamentals of Business Strategy, Mie Augier and David J. Teece , SAGE Publications, London, December 2007.

Cool, K. and J. Henderson, "Maintaining Common Assets, Tragedy of the Commons and Supply Chain Performance" in K. Cool, J. Henderson and R. Abate, Restructuring Strategy, SMS Book Series. Blackwell Publishing, 2004.

Cool, K. and I. Dierickx, “Rivalry, Strategic Groups and Firm Profitability”,(1993) and Dierickx, I., and K. Cool, “Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage” (1989), J. Birkinshaw, Ed., Strategic Management, Edward Elgar, 2004.

Henderson, J. and K. Cool, "Learning to Time Capacity Expansions: An Empirical Analysis of the Worldwide Petrochemical Industry, 1975-1995", Strategic Management Journal 25, N° 5 (May 2003) 393-414.

Henderson, J. and K. Cool, "Corporate Governance, Investment Bandwagons and Overcapacity: An Empirical Study of the Worldwide Petrochemical Industry, 1975-1995", Strategic Management Journal 24, N° 4 (April 2003) 349-374.

Dierickx, I. and K. Cool, “Asset stock accumulation and the sustainability of competitive advantage” (1989), in The Economics of Business Strategy, The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics, J. Kay, Edward Elgar, 2003.

Cool, K., L. Almeida Costa, and I. Dierickx, “Constructing competitive advantage”, in The Handbook of Strategy and Management by A. Pettigrew and H. Thomas (eds.), Sage, London 2002.

Cool, K. “La Durabilité des Ressources”, in Le Management Stratégique des Compétences by Bertrand Quelin (HEC) and Jean-Luc Arrègle (EDHEC), Ed, Ellipses, March 2000.

Cool, K., L.H. Röller and B. Leleux, “The Relative Impact of Actual and Potential Rivalry on Firm Profitability in the Pharmaceutical Industry”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 20, pp. 1-14, 1999.

Cool, K. and J. Henderson, “Power and Firm Profitability in Supply Chains. French Manufacturing Industry in 1993”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 19, pp. 909-926, 1998.

Cool, K, “Commentary on ‘Procedural Justice, Strategic Decision Making and the Knowledge Economy” by W. C. Kim and R. Mauborgne, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 19, pp.339-341, 1998.

Cool, K., I. Dierickx and G. Szulanski, “Diffusion of Innovations within Organizations: Electronic Switching in the Bell System, 1971-1982”, Organization Science, Vol 8, No. 5, pp. 543-559, September-October 1997.

Dierickx, I., and K. Cool, “Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage”, (1989) in Resources, Firms and Strategies, N.J. Foss, ed, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Cool, K. and J. Henderson, “Factor and Regression Analysis, Power and Profits in Supply Chains”, in Statistical Models for Strategic Management, M. Ghertman, J. Obadia and J.-L. Arrègle: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997.

Cool, K., “Het Concurrentievermogen van de Europese Industrie”, Management Jaarboek 1997, Roularta Books & Vlaamse Management Associatie vzw, 1997.

Cool, K. and I. Dierickx, “Commentary on : ‘Investments in Strategic Assets: Industry and Firm-Level Perspectives’” by P. Shoemaker and R. Amit, Advances in Strategic Management, Vol 10 - Part A, pp. 35-44, P. Shrivastava, A. Huff and J. Dutton, eds, JAI Press Inc., Greenwich, Connecticut; London, England, 1994.

Dierickx, I. and K. Cool, “Competitive Strategy, Asset Accumulation and Firm Performance”, in Strategic Groups, Strategic Moves and Performance, H. Daems and H. Thomas, eds, Oxford: Pergamon Press, pp. 63-80, 1994.

Cool, K., I. Dierickx and R. Martens, “Asset Stocks, Strategic Groups and Rivalry”, in Strategic Groups, Strategic Moves and Performance, H. Daems and H. Thomas, eds, Oxford: Pergamon Press, pp. 219-234, 1994.

Cool, K. and I. Dierickx, “Determinanten van R&D Resultaten: De Farmaceutische Industrie in de US, Europa en Japan, 1940-89”, in Strategisch Bekeken ... Liber Amicorum Prof. Dr. André Van Cauwenbergh, R. Martens, ed., Mys & Breesch, Uitgevers, 1994.

Cool, K. and I. Dierickx, “Rivalry, Strategic Groups and Firm Profitability”, Strategic Management Journal , Vol. 14, pp.47-59, January 1993.

Cool, K. and I. Dierickx, “Assessing Innovative Activity: The Pharmaceutical Industry, 1940-89”, in Managing Technology and Innovation for Corporate Renewal, Y. Doz, ed, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Cool, K., “Dynamics of European Industrial Restructuring”, in European Industrial Restructuring in the 1990s, Cool, K., D. Neven and I. Walter, eds, London: Macmillan, pp. 1-22, 1992.

Cool, K. and L. Gabel, “Industry Restructuring Through Alliances: Open Systems and the European Mainframe Computer Industry”, in European Industrial Restructuring in the 1990s, Cool, K., D. Neven and I. Walter, eds, London: Macmillan, pp. 357-380, 1992.

Desarbo, W., K. Jedidi, K. Cool and D. Schendel, “Simultaneous Multidimensional Unfolding and Cluster Analysis: An Investigation of Strategic groups”, Marketing Letters, pp. 129-146, April 1991.

Cool, K and I. Dierickx, “Een 'resource' - perspectief op concurrentiestrategie”, Economisch en Sociaal Tijdschrift, No 4, pp. 533-552, 1990.

Woo, C. and K. Cool, “The Impact of Strategic Management on Systematic Risk”, in Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 6, B. Lamb and P. Shrivastava, eds, Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press Inc., pp. 51-69, 1990.

Cool, K., I. Dierickx and D. Jemison, “Business Strategy, Market Structure and Risk-Return Relationships: A Structural Approach”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 10, pp. 507-522, November-December 1989.

Dierickx, I., and K. Cool, “Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage”, Management Science, Vol 35, No 12, pp. 1504-1510, December 1989.

Schendel, D. and K. Cool, “Development of the Strategic Management Field: Some Accomplishments and Challenges”, in Strategic Management Frontiers, J. Grant, ed, Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press, pp. 17-31, 1989.

Cool, K. and D. Schendel, “Performance Differences Among Strategic Group Members”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 9, pp. 207-223, May-June 1988.

Cool, K. and D. Schendel, “Strategic Group Formation and Performance: The Case of the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry, 1963-82”, Management Science, Vol. 33, No 9, pp. 1102-1124, September 1987.

Cool, K. and C. Lengnick-Hall, “Second Thoughts on the Transferability of the Japanese Management System”, Organization Studies, No 1, pp. 1-22, 1985.

Van Cauwenbergh, A. and K. Cool, “Strategic Management in a New Framework”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 3, pp. 245-264, 1982.

Van Cauwenbergh, A. and K. Cool, “Change, Logic, Power and Symbols: An Analysis of the Management of Change”, Economisch en Sociaal Tijdscrift, pp. 677-697, December 1979.

Cool, K. en W. Moesen, “The Stabilization Performance of Belgian Fiscal Policy, 1956-1977”, Economisch en Sociaal Tijdschrift, pp. 161-176, April 1979.

Books

Ajami, R., K. Cool, J. Goddard and D. Khanbata, International Business, 2nd edition, M.E. Sharpe, New York, 2006

Cool, K., J. Henderson and R. Abate, Restructuring Industry, Basil Blackwell, 2005

Cool, K., D. Neven and I. Walter, eds, European Industrial Restructuring in the 1990s, London: Macmillan, 1992.

MBA Teaching

Karel Cool created at INSEAD the course Industry and Competitive Analysis. It teaches students the fundamental and advanced concepts, frameworks and tools for how to develop competitive strategies for long term success. All cases used in the course are recent and are authored or co-authored by Karel. It is the largest elective in the Strategy group at INSEAD and one of the largest elective courses overall. For the past several years, he has taught the course together with Professor Javier Gimeno.

Competitive Strategy Workshop

Karel Cool created and is director of the long-standing executive workshop on Competitive Strategy. In the three-day, very intensive course, executives develop and hone their strategy skills by discussing fundamental and advanced strategy concepts, frameworks and tools for developing competitive strategies to achieve outstanding, long run success.

All cases used in the course are recent and address strategic challenges from very different industries and companies from around the globe. They have been authored or co-authored by Karel.

The workshop targets executives with profit & loss responsibility over a business, product line or region; executives who will transition into such a position; business strategy analysts and consultants who want to sharpen their competitive strategy skills; and financial and investment analysts or executives who want to complement their financial skills with a strategic understanding of markets and companies.

The workshop is offered three times per year: twice on the Fontainebleau campus and once in Singapore: Read more

The Competitive Strategy workshop has also been the basis for a very large number of company tailored strategy workshops where the strategy concepts, frameworks and tools are applied to the company’s situation. This may include group work and discussion on specific strategy challenges the executives face, action-based learning, project work, and strategy consulting. The workshop has been tailored to executives at different levels of seniority.

Executive Education

Karel Cool created and is director of the long-standing executive workshop on Competitive Strategy. In the three-day, very intensive course, executives can develop and hone their strategy skills by discussing fundamental and advanced strategy concepts, frameworks and tools for developing competitive strategies to achieve outstanding, long run success.

The Competitive Strategy workshop has also been the basis for a very large number of company tailored strategy workshops where the strategy concepts, frameworks and tools are applied to the company’s situation.

Karel has also taught in a very large number of other Open Enrollment and Company Specific Programs at INSEAD and other leading business schools around the world.

Blogs

Karel Cool shares his thoughts on a number of strategy and competitiveness issues through posts throught Web-articles and posts on the INSEAD blog.  The articles that are posted either give brief analyses of some key strategic issues that affect companies or industries or recent research papers that have not yet been published. The posted analyses and papers can be found at:

Karel Cool's Web-articles

Case Development

The pedagogical material that is used in Karel Cool’s executive and MBA classes is fully developed at INSEAD. Karel is author and co-author on all the material. The purpose of this innovation effort is to bring original and excellent material to the class room to discuss and apply the fundamental and advanced strategy concepts, frameworks and tools for competitive strategy analysis.

Karel has authored over 70 cases. The emphasis of the development effort is always to have recent material that deals with the strategy challenges in a large variety of industries and companies. The ambition is to have the best available statement on these challenges.

Cases written by Karel Cool with various co-authors:

Under Armour and the Sports Apparel and Footwear Industry in 2017, INSEAD case study, 2017.

Cuvva : Disrupting the Market for Car Insurance, INSEAD case study, 2017.

Hankook and the Global Tire Industry in 2016, INSEAD case study, 2017.

Continental Tires and the Global Tire Industry in 2016, INSEAD case study, 2017.

Bridgestone and the Global Tire Industry in 2016, INSEAD case study, 2017.

Apollo Tyres and the Global Tire Industry in 2016, INSEAD case study,2017.

Michelin in China in 2016, INSEAD case study, 2017.

Lending Club and the Peer to Peer Lending Market in 2016, INSEAD case study, 2016.

Nordea and the European Market for Banking and Financial Services in 2015, INSEAD case study, 2016.

Handelsbanken and the European Market for Banking and Financial Services in 2015, INSEAD case study, 2016.

Banco Santander and the European Market for Banking and Financial Services in 2015, INSEAD case study, 2016.

Orbitz Worldwide and the Global Travel Industry in 2013, INSEAD case study, 2013.

Glencore, Xstrata and the Restructuring of the Global Copper Mining Industry in 2012, INSEAD case study, 2013.
“Glencore, Xstrata and the Restructuring of the Global Copper Mining Industry in 2012”, Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases: Competitiveness and Globalization (11th edition); M.A. Hitt, R.D. Ireland, R.E. Hoskisson. Cengage Learning, 2015.

Michelin in China in 2011, INSEAD case study, 2012.

Hankook and the Global Tire Industry in 2011, INSEAD case study, 2012.

Bridgestone and the Global Tire Industry in 2011, INSEAD case study, 2012.

Continental and the Global Tire Industry in 2011, INSEAD case study, 2012.

Goodyear and the Global Tire Industry in 2011, INSEAD case study, 2012.

GiTi and the Global Tire Industry in 2011, INSEAD case study, 2012.

Hangzhou Zhongce and the Global Tire Industry in 2011, INSEAD case study, 2012.

The Evolution of the Bottled Water Industry: Ready for the Water Wars?, INSEAD case study, 2012.
“The Evolution of the Bottled Water Industry: Ready for the Water Wars?”, Strategy: An International Perspective (5th edition); B. De Wit, R. Meyer. Cengage Learning EMA, 2014.

iPad vs. Kindle: eBooks in the US in 2010, INSEAD case study, 2010.

Axa and the Non-Life Insurance Industry in Europe in 2010, INSEAD case study, 2010.

ABC and the Packaged Non-Carbonated Soft Drinks Industry in Kuwait and the GCC Region in 2009, INSEAD case study, 2009.

Under Armour and the Sports Apparel and Footwear Industry in 2008, INSEAD case study, 2009.

YouTube, Google and the Rise of Internet Video in 2008, Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, 2009.

Intel and the Launch of WiMax Wireless Broadband in 2008, INSEAD case study, 2009.

Pfizer and The Distribution of Pharmaceutical Products in Europe in 2009, INSEAD case study, 2009.

The European Airline Industry on a Collision Course, INSEAD Case Study, 2008.

PlayStation 3 vs. XBox 360: Video Game Consoles In The U.S. in 2006, INSEAD case study, 2006.

Generate or Buy?: Norddeutsche Affinerie and its Long-Term Energy Outsourcing Strategy, INSEAD case study, 2005.

Google and the Online Search Industry in 2005, INSEAD case study, 2005.

DirecTV and the Broadcasting Industry in the US in 2004, INSEAD case study, 2005.

The Global Tyre Industry and Michelin in 2004, INSEAD case study, 2004.

The US Publishing Industry in 2001: e-Books and e-Publishing (condensed version), INSEAD case study, 2003.

Bang & Olufsen and the Electronics Entertainment Industry in 2003, INSEAD case study 2003.

PlayStation 2 vs. Xbox: Video Game Consoles in the US in 2002, INSEAD case study, 2003.

The European Non-Life Insurance Industry and AXA in 2001, INSEAD case study, 2003.

The Battle of the Smart Cards in The Netherlands in 2002, INSEAD case study, 2003.

Expo'98 Ticketing Strategy (B), INSEAD case study, 2003.

The US Publishing Industry in 2001 (A): Industry Dynamics, INSEAD case study, 2002.

The US Publishing Industry in 2001 (B): e-Books and e-Publishing, INSEAD case study, 2002.

Michelin and the Global Tyre Industry in 1999, INSEAD case study, 2000.

Toys”R”Us in 1999, INSEAD case study, 2000, (with Teaching Note).

Expo’98 (A): Ticketing Strategy, INSEAD case study, 2000 (with Teaching Note).

The UK Travel Industry and the Thomson Travel Group in 1998, INSEAD case study, 1999.

BP - MOBIL and the Restructuring of the Oil Refining Industry, INSEAD case study, 1999 (with Teaching Note). "BP-Mobil and the Restructuring of the Oil Refining Industry", Strategic Management: Competitiveness and Globalization (Fourth Edition); M. A. Hitt, R. D. Ireland and R. E. Hoskisson (eds.). South-Western College Publishing Company, 2001.

BskyB and the Launch of Digital Broadcasting in the UK in 1998, INSEAD case study, 1998.

The West European Petrochemicals Industry in 1994, INSEAD case study, 1996, rev. 1997.

Chipknip vs. Chipper: The Battle of the Smart Cards in the Netherlands, INSEAD case study, 1997.

Motorola and the Microprocessor Industry in 1996, University of Chicago-INSEAD case study, 1996.

Häagen Dazs and the European Ice Cream Industry in 1994, INSEAD case study, 1995.
(Published in “Managing the Global Corporation – Case Studies in Strategy and Management”, by José de la Torre (UCLA), Yves Doz (INSEAD) and Timothy Devinney (AGSM), 2nd Edition, Irwin McGraw Hill, © 2001).

Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation and the World Home Video Industry in 1994 (A), INSEAD case study, 1995.

Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation and the World Home Video Industry in 1994 (B), INSEAD case study, 1995.

The Drug Industry and the Pharmacy Benefit Management Companies (PBMs) in 1995, INSEAD case study, 1995.

Michelin and the World Tire Industry in 1993, INSEAD case study, 1994.

The World Tire Industry - Industry Note, INSEAD case study, 1994.

The World Tire Industry - Competitors, INSEAD case study, 1994.

The World Tire Industry - Michelin, INSEAD case study, 1994.

The Champagne Industry in 1993, INSEAD case study, 1994.
(Reprinted in Strategy - Process Content, Contest: An International Perspective, B. de Wit and R. Meyer, eds, International Thomson Business Press, 2nd Edition, 1998).

Note on the Champagne Industry in 1993: Competitors' Profiles, INSEAD case study, 1994.

Epsis and the Market for Sports Events Advertising, INSEAD case study, 1994.

Courtaulds Fibres Ltd: ACN Sourcing Strategy, INSEAD case study, 1992.

BSkyB and the Cable Industry in 1991, INSEAD case study, 1992.

British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), INSEAD case study, 1992.

EuroDollar and the European Car Rental Industry in 1989, INSEAD case study, 1991.

Open Systems and the European Mainframe Computer Industry in 1990, INSEAD case study, 1991.

Note on the Video Camera Industry in 1984, INSEAD case study, 1991.

Colorchem Corporation, INSEAD case study, 1989.

Note on the UK Travel and Tourism Industry in 1985, (A) & (B), INSEAD case studies, 1988.

The Thomson Travel Group, INSEAD case study, 1988.

Awards

Bestselling author from the period 1975-2014, The Case Center: Sept 2014

Six times Best Teaching Award, INSEAD MBA elective (Industry and Competitive Analysis), most recently awarded in 2012

John S. Day Distinguished Alumni Academic Service Award, Purdue University: 2009

Elected SMS Fellow by the Strategic Management Society: 2007

British Petroleum Fellowship: Sept 1989 - Aug 1990

1986 Strategic Management Society Award for Outstanding Research in Strategic Management for PhD dissertation (Academy of Management; Business Policy): Aug 1986

Rotary Foundation Fellowship: Aug 1981 - May 1982

Karel Cool
Professor of Strategic Management
BP Chaired Professor of European Competitiveness

INSEAD Europe Campus
Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau
France

Tel: +33 (0)1 60 72 48 05
Email: [email protected]

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