Teng-Kee Tan, Ph.D.
Harzfeld Professor of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Areas of expertise: Dilemma reconciliation theory as related to technology innovation and new product development
Teng-Kee Tan has combined decades of international corporate experience, entrepreneurial leadership, and a passion for transformational education to propel the Bloch School of Management to a top-tier institution with internationally and nationally ranked entrepreneurship and innovation and nonprofit management programs.
While globalization is an economic phenomenon to many, it has always been a way of life for Dr. Tan, a U.S. citizen who immigrated to America 30 years ago. He spent his formative years in Singapore, receiving a Bachelor of Commerce degree in industrial management from Nanyang University, Singapore, and later an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. from the Judge Institute of Management, University of Cambridge.
He gained 18 years of corporate experience in markets across Asia, Europe and North America, serving as VP of marketing and business development and a member of executive committee team within multi-national companies such as Electrolux AB and Sunbeam Corporation. In the late 1980s he decided to leave corporate America to start and grow his own global product development, manufacturing and distribution ventures. He was an entrepreneur in this respect for 10 years before realizing his life’s calling in education.
Dr. Tan has applied his entrepreneurial vigor to his academic career, driven by a mission to revolutionize learning, develop real-world innovators, and transform individuals and institutions to create positive, meaningful impact.
Dr. Tan’s strong management skills span the holistic cycle of business: from start-up to ideas, proof-of-concept, prototyping, testing, funding, manufacturing, branding and scaling to global market development and building diverse teams. As a business leader with expertise in cross-cultural, cross-border and cross-industry settings, he has deep insight into macro issues such as geopolitical considerations, project investment, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, joint-ventures, strategic alliances and corporate exit strategies. He has consulted senior management teams of companies such as SONY Corporation, Air Liquide and Singapore Press Holdings and served on for-profit and nonprofit boards throughout his career.
Long before the rise of China, Dr. Tan actively engaged in China’s modernization and possesses a rich cultural, historical, political and business understanding of this large, complex nation. He has founded manufacturing businesses in China and helped to nurture high level Chinese talent such as technology entrepreneurs, city mayors and university presidents, while serving as a professor of business and director of a China strategy group. He speaks, reads and writes Mandarin Chinese fluently and is a frequent speaker and visiting professor at top Chinese universities such as Peking University, Tsinghua University, Nanjing University, Shanghai Jiaotong University and Xiamen University. His insights about China and Asia and the potential opportunities they present to the world in economic, social and environmental development will help companies grow successfully in the 21st century.
Dr. Tan’s deep, diverse experience in business and academia provides him with an acute understanding of how corporate boards function to ensure fairness, sound corporate governance, integrity, safe guarding of corporate assets and protecting minority interests, as well as critical functions such as audit, compensation for senior executives, succession plans, M&A, large capital expenditure policies, strategy and innovation, business development, building sustainable competitive advantages and corporate cultures with social responsibility and stewardship for the environment.