Richard D’Aveni has taught numerous courses at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and at several institutions where he has been a visiting professor or lecturer, including universities in China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and Vietnam.

In recent years, in line with his research focus on competitive dynamics, he has focused on two unique second-year elective courses, “Advanced Competitive Strategy” and “Global Strategy and Implementation.” These out-of-the-box courses, based on D’Aveni's unusual approach to strategy, have led to him becoming known as “the Tuck School’s iconic professor.” (London Times)

His teachings emphasize several principles:

  • All of a rival’s strengths are also its most important weaknesses, so companies can disrupt their rivals by using the weakness inherent in those strengths.
  • Companies that invest in their core competences end up reducing their ability to learn new competences.
  • All competitive advantage is temporary, and the rules of competition are not science – they change with the context.
  • Not all market disruptions are disruptive to a company’s core competence; some can improve or complement them.
  • CEOs are now so over-coached that they have become politicians treading lightly over sensitive topics in the organization, so they move too slowly to address problems.

He has brought many CEOs and Chairpersons to speak to his classes. Most professors ask their students to analyze what the speaker says, while he has them focus on what the speakers did not address. That way they learn to read between the lines, and read the face and body positioning of the speaker.

Companies represented include: Amgen, CVS, Cardinal Health, Chiquita Brands, Colgate Palmolive, ConAgra, Cummins Engine, R.R. Donnelly, Eaton Corporation, W. R. Grace, Harmon International, Huntsman International, International Paper, John Deere, Kroger, Lincoln Electric, Mattel, Monsanto, Quest Diagnostics, Raytheon, SPX Corporation, Schering Plough, Starwood Hotels, Tyson Foods, and Whole Foods.

A master of disruption, D’Aveni brings an innovative edge to his classes and teaching, with insights from his extensive research and his breadth of historical and military knowledge.

Advanced Competitive Strategy

This course draws on military and diplomatic studies to broaden the conventional scope of strategy. What can companies do to bolster their market power? They can build spheres of influence, probe their rivals for weaknesses to exploit, and change the rules of competition with new products and business models.

Global Strategy and Implementation

Multinational companies face a variety of pressures not seen in domestic arena, from political risks with host countries to barriers of distance, time, and language. This course explains why companies go abroad, how to coordinate activities without hampering local responses, how to build alliances and other supporting structures, and how to compete in the global chess game.”