Derek Abell biography, model and books

Derek Abell - Toolshero

Derek Abell (Derek F. Abell) is Professor Emeritus and co-founder of the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), which is established in Berlin, Germany. Derek Abell is also famous for his (further) developed business definition model, the Abell Model.

Derek Abell Biography

In 1960 Derek Abell obtained his Bachelor’s degree (BSc.) in aeronautical engineering from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. Shortly after, he moved to the United States to do a Master’s degree programme in Industrial Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. He obtained his Master’s degree (MSc.) in 1966.

Abell had not finished yet and so he went on to do a Doctorate Business Administration study (DBA) at the Harvard Business School in Boston. In 1970 he obtained his doctorate with the doctoral thesis ‘Pricing in oligopoly: an empirical analysis of competition in the utility market for power capacitors’.

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Derek Abell started his academic career as an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School in Boston in 1970. In addition he was also a visiting professor at the INSEAD institute in Fontainebleau in France. From 1974, he became a partner and professor at the Harvard Business School in Boston. He worked there until 1979 and extended his work into a representation of Europe.

In 1981, Abell moved to Switzerland to take up the position of Dean and Professor at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne. At that time he also served as a consultant of the United Nations in Eastern Europe.

He is also famous for his (further) developed business definition model, the Abell Model. The Abell model provides a good overview of the various consumers, theirs needs and which Technologies could be best deployed to serve these consumers.

In 1994, Derek Abell became Professor of two Universities namely: Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich, and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale (EPF) in Lausanne. He worked there until 2002.

In the last years of his career (from 2002) Derek Abell contributed to helping establish the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin.

This institute still exists and is one of the best fulltime MBA programmes and Executive MBA programmes. Abell worked at the institute until he retired in 2006.

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Publications and books by Derek Abell et al.

  • 2010, 1993. Managing With Dual Strategies. Free Press.
  • 2006. The Future of Strategy is Leadership. Journal of Business Research 59(3): 310–314.
  • 2005. Leadership Education as a Moving Target. The International Journal of Leadership Education 1(1): 9–22.
  • 2003. Putting Shareholder Value in the Right Perspective. In Organization 21C: Someday All Organizations will Lead this Way, ed. S. Chowdhury, chapter 9. New Jersey: Financial Times, Prentice Hall.
  • 1999. Competing Today While Preparing for Tomorrow. Sloan Management Review 40(3-Spring): 73–81.
  • 1998. Managers and their competences. Management development: a guide for the profession.[sn].
  • 1993. Dynamic Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe. DELWEL Publishers.
  • 1992. Turnaround in Eastern Europe: In-depth Studies. Management Development Programme.
  • 1989. Market Driven, Entrepreneurial, and International? Do Our Business Schools Need a Dose of Their Own Medicine? Decision Line, 3-5.
  • 1980. Defining the Business: The Starting Point of Strategic Planning. Prentice-Hall.
  • 1979. Cost dynamics: Scale and experience effects. Strategic Planning: Problems and Analytical Approaches, 103-133.
  • 1979. Strategic Market Planning: Problems and Analytical Approaches. Prentice-Hall.
  • 1978. Strategic Windows. Journal of Marketing 42(3-July): 21–26.
  • 1978. Alternative Strategies for Strategy Research in Marketing. Marketing Science Institute.
  • 1978. Metamorphosis in Market Planning. Research Frontiers in Marketing: Dialogues and Directions.
  • 1977. Applying the Marketing Concept to Marketing Education. American Marketing Association, 141-144.
  • 1977. Business Definition as an Element of the Strategic Decision. In American Marketing Association/Marketing Science Institute Conference on Product and Market Planning, Pittsburgh.
  • 1977. Using PIMS and Portfolio Analyses in Strategic Market Planning: A Comparative Analysis. Harvard Business School.
  • 1975. Competitive Market Strategies: Some Generalizations and Hypotheses. Marketing Science Institute.

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Original publication date: 06/04/2012 | Last update: 05/01/2024

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Vincent van Vliet
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Vincent van Vliet

Vincent van Vliet is co-founder and responsible for the content and release management. Together with the team Vincent sets the strategy and manages the content planning, go-to-market, customer experience and corporate development aspects of the company.


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