Frits K. Pil

Professor of Business Administration and Research Scientist


Organizations and Entrepreneurship
256 Mervis Hall/518 LRDC
Curriculum Vitae: 



BA, Harvard University
MA in Managerial Science and Applied Economics, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (1992)
PhD in Human Resources and Corporate Strategy, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (1996)

Courses Recently Taught

PhD Courses:
Social Capital
Work and Organizations
International Management

MBA Courses:
Human Resources for Competitive advantage

CBA Courses:
Human Resource Management


Frits K. Pil is a professor at the Katz Graduate School of Business and a research scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh.

His research focuses on organizational learning, and questions where knowledge originates, where it resides, and how it is transferred and leveraged within and across organizational boundaries. His most recent studies draw on longitudinal establishment level surveys and field interviews that he conducted in the world automobile industry, as well as time-series individual-level and organizational data that he collected in public-sector settings. In this research, he examines the interplay between human and social capital, innovation in relation to product, process, and organizational structure, and the broader dynamics of organizational learning and value creation. Pil received his PhD from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. His research has been funded by the International Motor Vehicle Program, the Sloan Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. Recent press cites to his work include The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Automotive News, Harvard Business Review, and The Economist.

Select Recent Publications

Kim, Jaewon, John Paul MacDuffie, and Frits K. Pil, (2010). 'Employee voice and organizational performance', Human Relations 63(3): 371-394.

Pil, Frits K. and Carrie Leana, (2009). 'Applying organizational research to public school reform: The effects of teacher human and social capital on student performance', Academy of Management Journal 52(6): 1101-1124.

Pinto, Jonathan, Carrie Leana, and Frits K. Pil. (2008). 'Corrupt organizations or organizations of corrupt individuals? Two organizational-level corruption phenomena.' Academy of Management Review 33(3): 685-709.

Matthias Holweg and Frits K. Pil. (2008). 'Theoretical perspectives on the coordination of supply chains.' Journal of Operations Management 26(3): 389-406.

Pil, Frits K. and Takahiro Fujimoto. (2007). 'Lean and reflective production: The dynamic nature of production models.' International Journal of Production Research, 45(16), 3741-3761.

Pil, Frits K. and Susan Cohen. (2006). "Modularity and complexity: implications for imitation, innovation, and sustained competitive advantage." Academy of Management Review,31(4): 995-1011.

Pil, Frits K., and Matthias Holweg. (2006). "From value chain to value grid."Â MIT Sloan Management Review, Summer, 47(4): 72-80.

Leana, Carrie, and Frits K. Pil. (2006). "Social Capital and Organizational Performance," Organization Science, 17(3): 353-366.

Holweg, Matthias, and Frits K. Pil. (2004; paperback 2005). The Second Century, MIT Press. Translated into Mandarin Chinese and Korean.

Pil, Frits K., and Matthias Holweg. (2004). "Mitigating product variety's impact on the value chain," Interfaces, 34(5): 394-403

Pil, Frits K. and Sandra Rothenberg. (2003). "Environmental performance as a driver of superior organizational performance." Journal of Production and Operations Management, 12(3): 404-415.

Pil, Frits K., and Matthias Holweg. (2003). "Exploring Scale: The hidden advantages of thinking small." Sloan Management Review, 44(2): 33-40.

Holweg, Matthias, and Frits K. Pil. (2001). "Successful Build-to-Order Strategies Start With the Customer." Sloan Management Review, 43(1): 74-83.

Rothenberg, Sandra, Frits K. Pil, and Jim Maxwell. (2001). "Lean, Green, and the Quest for Superior Performance." Journal of Production and Operations Management, 10(2): 228-243.

Awards and Honors

Excellence in Teaching Award, Katz Graduate School of Business, 2003-04, 2005-06, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011.

Outstanding Young Scholar Award, Industrial Relations Research Association (LERA), 2003

Recognized as one of the top three College of Business Administration faculty in 2003-04 and 2005-06.

International Fellow, Advanced Institute of Management, Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC), United Kingdom, 2005.

Best Paper Award, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, New York, 2006.

Best Book Award, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, New York, 2007.

Consulting Activities

Taught in Executive Programs at Cambridge University/MIT, as well as the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Personal Interests

Fluent in Dutch, French, German, and Portuguese.