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Christensen to receive honorary degree

April 05, 2013

Clayton Christensen, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School (HBS), will receive the Doctor of Science honoris causa from Arizona State University at the May 9 undergraduate commencement in Sun Devil Stadium.

Christensen, a Salt Lake City native, is regarded as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth. As an experienced entrepreneur, he has started four successful companies and has advised the executives of scores of the world’s major corporations. These companies generate tens of billions of dollars in revenues every year from product and service innovations that were inspired by his research.

Prior to joining the HBS faculty, he and three MIT professors founded CPS Technologies, which has become a leading developer and manufacturer of products from high-technology materials.

In 2000, Christensen founded Innosight, a consulting firm that uses his theories of innovation to help companies create new growth businesses. In 2007, he founded Rose Park Advisors, a firm that identifies and invests in disruptive companies. He is also the founder of Innosight Institute, a non-profit think tank whose mission is to apply his theories to vexing societal problems such as healthcare and education.

Christensen is the best-selling author of eight books and more than a hundred articles, including the recently released and New York Times best-selling, "How Will You Measure Your Life?" "The Innovator’s Dilemma" received the Global Business Book Award as the best business book of the year (1997). In 2011 The Economist named it as one of the six most important books about business ever written.  

In a 2011 poll of thousands of executives, consultants and business school professors, Christensen was named as the most influential business thinker in the world. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tribeca Film Festival.

Christensen holds a bachelor's degree with highest honors in economics from Brigham Young University (1975), and an M.Phil. in applied econometrics from Oxford University (1977), where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He received an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School in 1979, graduating as a George F. Baker Scholar. In 1982 Christensen was named a White House Fellow, and served through 1983 as assistant to U.S. Transportation Secretaries Drew Lewis and Elizabeth Dole.