Vijay Govindarajan

American academic

Vijay Govindarajan (born 18 November 1949) is an Indian-American organizational theorist and Professor of Management at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He is listed on the Forbes list of The Most Influential Management Gurus (2009).


  • Of all possible resources that a firm might possess, its knowledge base has perhaps the greatest ability to serve as a source of sustainable differentiation and hence competitive advantage.
    • Anil Kumar Gupta and Vijay Govindarajan. "Knowledge flows within multinational corporations." Strategic management journal 21.4 (2000). p. 473
  • The more you hardwire a company on total quality management, [the more] it is going to hurt breakthrough innovation... The mindset that is needed, the capabilities that are needed, the metrics that are needed, the whole culture that is needed for discontinuous innovation, are fundamentally different.
    • Vijay Govindarajan, in: Business Week, (2007), p. 176
  • Organizations are not designed for innovation. Quite the contrary, they are designed for ongoing operations.
    • Vijay Govindarajan, ‎Chris Trimble (2013), The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge. p. 10
  • Innovation plans, by contrast, are loaded with assumptions. Sure, some hard facts are available, but more is unknown than known. The past is no longer precedent. Thus, the innovator's job cannot be to deliver a proven result; it must be to discover what is possible, that is, to learn, by converting assumptions into knowledge as quickly and inexpensively as possible.
    • Vijay Govindarajan, ‎Chris Trimble (2013), The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge. p. 18
  • A reverse innovation is any innovation that is adopted first in the developing world.
    • Vijay Govindarajan, ‎Chris Trimble (2013), Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere, p. 4

How Stella Saved the Farm. 2013


Chris Trimble, Vijay Govindarajan, How Stella Saved the Farm: A Tale About Making Innovation Happen. Pan Macmillan, 2013.

  • Inside a big experiment, there are little experiments.
    • p. 80.
  • The innovation leader’s job is to execute a disciplined experiment.
    • p. 131
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