Philipp Meyer-Doyle is an Associate Professor of Strategy at INSEAD. He obtained a PhD and a Master of Science degree at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BSc at the London School of Economics. He directs INSEAD’s open enrolment executive program on M&As and Corporate Strategy

His research explores the human capital micro-foundations of strategy and capabilities. His research has been published in premier journals such as the Strategic Management Journal or Organization Science. He has won awards for his research from leading academic management and strategy associations. He is a member of the Editorial Review Boards of the Strategic Management Journal and of Organization Science.

Philipp is an award-winning teacher at INSEAD. He teaches in INSEAD’s executive education programs, the EMBA program, the MBA program and the PhD program. His teaching focuses on corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, and strategic management. His teaching fuses academic insights with practical knowledge.

Before becoming an academic, Philipp worked in investment banking (M&A advisory) and private equity.



Philipp's research explores human-capital-based microfoundations of firm behavior and performance. Specifically, his research examines how human assets and human capital shape the behavior and performance of firms, and how firms influence the impact of human assets and human capital on firm behavior and performance.

Publications in Peer Reviewed Journals:

[1] Inherited agglomeration effects in hedge fund spawns; De Figueiredo, R., Meyer-Doyle, P. and Rawley, E.; Strategic Management Journal, 2013, 34(7): 843–862.

Abstract:This paper studies inherited agglomeration effects, which we define as human capital that managers acquire while working in an industry hub that may be transferred to a spinoff. We test for inherited agglomeration effects in the hedge fund industry and find that hedge fund managers who previously worked in New York and London outperform their peers by about one percent per year. The results are driven by managers who worked in investment management positions previously, and are at least as large as traditional agglomeration effects that arise from being located in an industry hub contemporaneously. The evidence suggests that inherited agglomeration effects are an important, but as yet overlooked, factor influencing the performance of new firms.

[2] Alleviating managerial dilemmas in human-capital-intensive firms through incentives: Evidence from M&A legal advisors; Chatain, O. and Meyer-Doyle, P.; Strategic Management Journal, 2017, 38(2): 232-254.

Abstract: We examine how human-capital-intensive firms deploy their human assets and how firm-specific human capital interacts with incentives to influence this deployment. Our empirical context is the UK M&A legal market, where micro-data enable us to observe the allocation of lawyers to M&A mandates under different incentive regimes. We find that law firms actively equalize the workload among their lawyers to seek efficiency gains, while “stretching” lawyers with high firm-specific capital to a greater extent. However, lawyers with high firm-specific capital also appear to influence the staffing process in their favor, leading to unbalanced allocations and less sharing of projects and clients. Paradoxically, law firms may adopt a seniority-based rent-sharing system that weakens individual incentives to mitigate the impact of incentive conflicts on resource deployment.

[3] How Performance Incentives Shape Individual Exploration and Exploitation: Evidence from Micro-Data; Lee, S. and Meyer-Doyle, P.; Organization Science, 2017, 28(1): 19-38.

Abstract: The existing literature has highlighted the role of individuals in exploration and exploitation, yet our understanding of what shapes those activities at the individual level remains limited. We integrate the literatures on exploration-exploitation and incentives, to examine how incentives impact individual behavior to explore new ideas or exploit existing ideas. Using novel microdata on the commercial projects of sales employees at a South Korean e-commerce firm, we find that individuals engage in relatively more exploration when performance-based incentives are weakened; yet, interestingly, this increase in exploration is driven mainly by high-performing individuals in our setting. Weakening performance-based incentives also led to higher exploration performance via experiential learning, especially for individuals who worked in complex task environments. Overall, this study contributes to the literature on exploration-exploitation by examining how individual exploration and exploitation behavior and performance is shaped by incentives. We also contribute to the incentives literature by investigating the implications of incentives in an important domain, namely that of knowledge exploration behavior. The study also provides insights into important individual-level microfoundations of firm capabilities and performance by highlighting the important role of individuals in exploration-exploitation activities, and how this role is contextualized by the incentives a firm deploys.

[4] Disentangling the Microfoundations of Acquisition Behavior and Performance; Meyer-Doyle, P., Lee, S., and Helfat, C.E.; Strategic Management Journal, 2019, 40(11): 1733-1756.

Abstract: The acquisition literature has highlighted that both firm‐level and manager‐level factors shape acquisition outcomes, yet little is known about their relative contribution. We conduct a variance decomposition analysis to explore the contribution of CEO‐level versus firm‐level factors to acquisition behavior and performance. We also extend the methodology of variance decomposition in strategic management research by employing Poisson multi‐level models, and deriving the percentage of variance attributable to each level in a four‐level model. Although CEO and firm effects both explain a substantial share of the variance in acquisition behavior, the CEO‐effect is notably larger. CEO‐level factors also drive a large portion of the variance in acquisition performance. Overall, our study contributes to the literatures on acquisitions and variance decomposition, and has implications for dynamic capabilities.

[5] Generalist vs. Specialist CEOs and Acquisitions: Two-sided Matching and the Impact of CEO Characteristics on Firm Outcomes; Chen, G., Huang, S., Meyer-Doyle, P., and Mindruta, D.; Strategic Management Journal, 2021, 42(6): 1184-1214.

Abstract: To address endogeneity concerns stemming from firm-CEO matching, we deploy a two-sided matching model that identifies the complementarities arising from the CEO-firm match and subsequently account for these complementarities in empirical tests. Applying this approach, we examine how the nature of CEOs’ human capital affects the acquisition behavior and performance of firms. We find that generalist CEOs (CEOs with a broader set of knowledge and skills) are more likely to engage in unrelated acquisitions than specialist CEOs (CEOs with a narrower but deeper set of knowledge and skills). We also find that the fit between the nature of CEOs’ human capital and the type of acquisitions they undertake is associated with stronger performance. Our paper contributes to research on CEOs, human capital, M&As, and microfoundations.

[6] Hedge Fund Investor Activism and Human Capital Loss; Chen, G., Meyer-Doyle, P., and Shi, W.; Forthcoming at the Strategic Management Journal

Abstract: Prior research suggests that hedge fund activism can benefit targeted firms. We explore a potential negative side-effect of hedge fund activism: the unwanted loss of human capital in targeted firms. We find that firms targeted by hedge fund activists experience a greater departure of valuable employees compared with a matched sample of non-targeted firms. Further, the positive effect of hedge fund activism on firm performance is stronger when firms experience a lower departure of valuable employees. These results suggest that hedge fund activism can lead to the unwanted loss of human capital, which may reduce the otherwise positive performance effect on targeted firms. These findings contribute to research on investor activism and human capital.

[7] Client-Related Factors and Collaboration Between Human Assets; Mawdsley, J.K., Meyer-Doyle, P., and Chatain, O.; Forthcoming at Organization Science

Abstract: Collaborations between individuals in firms have important implications for the development of relational and human capital. In knowledge-intensive contexts where collaborations are formed to deliver services to clients, collaboration decisions can involve nontrivial tradeoffs between short-term and long-term benefits: individuals and firms must carefully manage the tradeoffs between leveraging existing relational and human capital for the reliable performance of repeat collaboration and creating new relational and human capital through new collaboration. Building from the premise that servicing clients is central to collaboration decisions in human asset–intensive firms, we examine how client-related factors shape collaboration decisions among lawyers (partners) in UK law firms providing M&A legal advisory services. We focus on three key client-related dimensions that we predict govern collaboration decisions: the depth of individual- and firm-level relationships with the focal client, key client attributes that reflect the client’s status and its use of different firms to undertake its outsourced work, and client-driven individual- and firm-level resource constraint. Our empirical findings support our proposition that client-related factors influence the pattern of collaborations between individuals in firms. We also reveal how client-related factors at the individual level can have opposite effects on collaboration decisions from those at the firm level. Overall, our findings contribute to research on relational capital, strategic human capital, team formation, professional service firms, and the microfoundations of strategy.

[8] Institutional Investor Activism and Employee Safety: The Role of Activist and Board Political Ideology; Shi, W., Xia, C., and Meyer-Doyle, P.; Forthcoming at Organization Science

Abstract: While prior research on shareholder activism has highlighted how such activism can economically benefit the shareholders of targeted firms, recent studies also suggest that shareholder activism can economically disadvantage non-shareholder stakeholders, notably employees. Our study extends this research by exploring whether  shareholder activism by institutional investors (i.e., institutional investor activism) can adversely affect employee health and safety through increased workplace injury and illness. Further, deviating  from the assumption that financially-motivated institutional investor activists are homogeneous in their goals and preferences, we investigate whether the influence of institutional investor activism on employee health and safety hinges on the political ideology of the shareholder activist and of the board of the targeted firm. Using establishment-level data, we find that institutional investor activism adversely influences workplace injury and illness at targeted firms, and that this influence is stronger for non-liberal shareholder activists and for firms with a non-liberal board. Our study contributes to shareholder activism research by highlighting how the political ideology of shareholder activists and boards affects the impact of shareholder activism on stakeholders, and how shareholder activism can adversely affect the health and safety of employees. Further, our paper also contributes to research on workplace safety and the management of employee relations and human capital resources by highlighting the detrimental effect of a firm’s ownership by investor activists on its employees, and how the board’s political ideology may enable a firm to reduce this risk.


Revise & Resubmits:

[9] Prior Experiences of Managers and Responsiveness to Performance Feedback: Evidence from Mutual Funds; Gaba, V., Lee, S., Meyer-Doyle, P., and Zhao-Ding, A.; 2nd Revise & Resubmit at Organization Science (Resubmitted in August 2021)

Abstract: This study examines how the prior career experiences of decision makers systematically shape their responses to performance shortfalls. We posit that while prior experiences lead managers to develop greater levels of knowledge and skills, they also shape their mental models and enhance their beliefs about their abilities, their predictions, and their strategies, which in turn makes them less responsive to negative performance feedback. We find that more experienced and more specialized fund managers are less likely to initiate changes when faced with negative performance feedback compared with their less experienced or less specialized counterparts. Further, the context within which managers gained their prior experience matters. As performance deteriorates below aspirations, managers with prior experience in high-status organizations and those who have worked previously under munificent environmental conditions are also less responsive compared with their counterparts without such experience. Overall, our paper contributes to the literature on performance feedback by showing that prior experience of decision makers is an important factor that determines an organization’s propensity to initiate strategic change in response to negative performance feedback. Further, the study also contributes to the human capital literature by highlighting a potential unintended side effect of accumulated human capital, namely lower responsiveness to negative performance feedback.

[10] Integrated Autonomy: Successful Collaboration Post Technology Acquisitions; Bingham, C.B., Heimeriks, K.H., and Meyer-Doyle, P.; Revise & Resubmit at Strategy Science

Abstract: Post-merger integration in technology acquisitions is important but hard given the integration/autonomy dilemma. Structural integration can be helpful to capture synergies but also hurtful as it can disrupt the target. Extant research suggests that collaboration between acquirer and target might improve acquisition success without the disruption of structural integration. Yet, while useful, this research does not provide granular detail about how successful collaboration is fostered. Using inductive, multiple case methods we address this gap. Our data show how firms institute four novel mechanisms to help overcome fundamental barriers to collaboration. The result is synergy capture without immediate structural integration. Collectively, our findings contribute to the M&A and micro-foundations of strategy literatures.


Book Chapters:

[BC1] How CEO and CFO Regulatory Focus Interact to Shape the Firm’s Corporate Strategy; Chen, G., Meyer-Doyle, P., and Shi, W.; in T.K. Das (Ed.) Behavioral Strategy and Competitive Advantage. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing

Abstract: We examine how the CEO’s and CFO’s regulatory focus interact to shape the firm’s corporate strategy and what happens in cases where they are misaligned. Making use of micro-data on the promotion focus of CEOs and CFOs and their firms’ corporate strategy announcements, we find that both are important drivers of the firms’ growth-oriented initiatives, and that this impact is amplified if they align. In cases of misalignment, we find that on average CEOs prevail, but this effect depends on CEOs’ power. Interestingly, misalignment between CEO and CFO regulatory focus has positive performance implications, suggesting important complementarities between CEOs and CFOs. Our study contributes to the literatures on strategic leadership, corporate strategy, and micro-foundations of strategy.


Philipp's teaching focuses on strategy topics in INSEAD's Executive Education (open enrolment and company specific courses), EMBA, MBA and PhD programs. He directs and teaches in INSEAD’s open enrolment executive program on M&As and Corporate Strategy. He has designed, directed and delivered executive education programs for companies such as Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), TPG Capital and its portfolio companies, Schroders, Manulife, RHB Bank, Star Energy, HKBN, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, Hitachi etc. In addition, he has also taught in programs for HNA, icare, StarHub, Bank Danamon, Bank of Indonesia, Gazprom, IFF, Stibbe etc. He has received awards for his program direction and teaching at INSEAD. His program direction and teaching broadly covers the following topics:

- Corporate Strategy
- Merger and Acquisitions (M&A)
- Strategic Alliances, Partnerships, and Joint Ventures
- Growth Strategies
- Competitive Strategy
- Strategic Thinking
- Strategic Management

Please contact Philipp for teaching-related enquiries.

Case Studies

Hartalega: Taking Off the Gloves?

by Philipp Meyer-Doyle, Siddarth Poddar

published: 27 Feb 2017


Malaysian publicly-listed Hartalega has grown to become one of the world’s largest nitrile glove manufacturers. Still predominantly managed by the founder’s family, it is renowned for its innovation and quality. Its growth and operational achievements have translated into a stellar financial performance, boosting its stock price 20-fold since 2008 (while the Malaysian stock market has been flat). Among other factors, its success is the result of a commitment to innovation and technology, as well as a competitive strategy that builds upon Hartalega’s strengths. Having grown into a billion-dollar company (by market capitalization) and one of the largest glove manufacturers in the world, Hartalega still has ambitious plans to almost triple its production capacity in the next four years. However, the planned expansion comes at a challenging time. First, Hartalega’s competitors are enjoying substantial economies of scale and are investing in technology and product quality to rival that of Hartalega. Second, if the expected increase in supply outstrips that of demand, there is a possibility of overcapacity in the glove market, which could shrink margins and harm profitability. In this regard, Hartalega’s margins have already fallen by approximately seven percent since 2011. Finally, as Hartalega embarks on its ambitious plan, given its size and complexity, it must transform itself from a traditional family business into a business with a professionalized management and a more formalized structure and governance. Thus, despite its great success, Hartalega is faced with substantial challenges.

Pedagogical Objectives:

The case lends itself well to the instruction and application of key strategy concepts and frameworks pertaining to the analysis of both external factors affecting the firm’s strategy and performance (including Porter’s Five Forces and the PESTLE framework) as well as firm-internal drivers (including the resource-based view, generic strategies and strategic positioning, as well as activity systems). As such it offers a good introduction to core strategy tools and frameworks, and a good basis to explore competitive strategy, notably how to expand and grow a business in a challenging industry and highly competitive environment. It also covers aspects of multinational strategy (particularly from the perspective of a firm in a ‘rapidly developing economy’), the decision to adopt an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) business model vs. own brand manufacturing (OBM), and how to transition from a traditional family-run business to professional management.
Strategy, Competitive Strategy, Core Strategy, Competitive Industry, Family-Run Business, Transformation, Oem Vs. Obm, Growth Strategy, Expansion, Malaysia, Manufacturing, Succession, Innovation in Manufacturing, Resource-Based View

Philipp is also currently writing several other case studies:

- M&A Deal Structuring Case
- The Shire-Baxalta Acquisition (with Massimo Massa)

Please contact Philipp for questions regarding these case studies.


Philipp Meyer-Doyle
(Office Location: 640)
INSEAD - Singapore
1 Ayer Rajah Avenue
Singapore 138638
[email protected]
+65 6799 5468

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