Prof. Dr.

Karolin Frankenberger

Professor of Strategic Management

Karolin Frankenberger is a full professor in strategy and innovation at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland, where she is also Director of the Institute of Management and Strategy and the Academic Director of the Executive MBA. Prior to her academic career, Karolin worked for seven years at McKinsey & Company. Her research, which focuses on the topics of (digital) business transformation, ecosystems, business model innovation, and circular economy has won several prestigious awards and appears regularly in top-tier academic and practitioner-oriented journals, such as Harvard Business Review or the Academy of Management Journal. Her co-authored book The Business Model Navigator has become an international bestseller and is known as a standard reference in business model innovation literature. Karolin has also founded a spin-off, is an internationally renowned keynote speaker and supports company leaders from numerous industries worldwide in their strategy and innovation challenges. Karolin holds a PhD with highest distinction from the University of St.Gallen and was a visiting PhD student at Harvard Business School and the University of Connecticut. She and her husband are parents to two children.

Since April 1, 2018, Prof. Dr. Karolin Frankenberger has been a Full Professor at the Institute of Management & Strategy focusing on strategy and innovation.  She is also Academic Director of the Executive MBA at the Executive School of Management, Technology and Law at the University of St.Gallen (ES-HSG). Mrs. Frankenberger received her diploma in business administration from the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in 2000. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of St.Gallen in 2004.  The topic of her thesis was: «The role of the social context in strategy-making», supervised by Prof. Dr. Günter Müller-Stewens and Prof. Dr. Andreas Herrmann. During her doctoral studies, she was a visiting PhD student at Harvard Business School and the University of Connecticut. After completing her PhD, she started working in consulting for McKinsey & Company worldwide for almost seven years.  In 2011, she returned to the Institute of Technology Management at the University of St.Gallen as a post-doc researcher.  She was named Assistant Professor of the Institute in 2014. During this time, she was also Director of the Competence Center Business Model Innovation, which blossomed globally under her supervision.   From 2016 to 2018, she was Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Lucerne.

Research Focus Business Model Innovation, (Digital) Business Transformation, Circular Economy and Ecosystems

Prof. Frankenberger’s research focus includes business model innovation, (digital) business transformation and circular economy and ecosystems. She spends time researching how businesses can develop and implement new business models to remain competitive in the market.  Her focus is also on the topic of sustainable business models. Mrs. Frankenberger’s experience includes many publication activities, both academically and related to practice. Her articles in the «Academy of Management Journal» and her published books are particular highlights.  Her book «The Business Model Navigator: 55 Models That Will Revolutionize Your Business» was translated in multiple languages and is known worldwide as a standard reference for business model innovation literature. She regularly attends international conferences or in-house management events as a keynote speaker.

Broad experience in teaching and executive education

Karolin Frankenberger has a tremendous amount of experience in education. For many years, she has been teaching on the topic interface of strategy and innovation in the Bachelor, Master and Executive programs at the University of St.Gallen, the University of Lucerne and the University of Zurich, and continues to receive excellent feedback from her students.  She experimented with various teaching methods in order to meet the particularly high requirements of executive education.  She authored four case studies and a business model kit for educational purposes.  She is also an experienced provider of in-house continuing education courses.





2004 Visiting PhD Harvard Business School, USA
2003 Visiting PhD University of Connecticut, USA
2004 PhD University of St. Gallen
1996-2000 Diploma Katholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
1996 Diploma Friedrich-List-Gymnasium Reutlingen, Deutschland

Work Experience




2022 Visiting Professor The St.Gallen Institute of Management in Asia, Singapore
Since 2018 Chaired Professor in the field of Strategy and Innovation Institute of Management and Strategy, University of St.Gallen,
2016-2018 Assistant Professor & Chair Owner Strategic Management University of Lucerne, Switzerland
2014-2016 Assistant Professor & Head of Competence Center Business Model Innovation Institute for Technology Management, University of St. Gallen
2011-2014 Postdoctoral researcher & Head of Competence Center Business Model Innovation Institute for Technology Management, University of St. Gallen
2004-2011 Senior Engagement Manager McKinsey & Company, Zürich




Awarding Organization

2022 Among the Best Papers (top10%) submitted to the AOM conference (together with C. Zott and W. Stam) AOM Strategy Division
2021 Best Lecturer Award, International Executive MBA, 2021 University of St.Gallen
2021 Shortlisted (top5) for the prestigious International Book Award by brandeins and get abstract: The Digital Transformer’s Dilemma, German edition, Wiley brandeins, get abstract
2021 Finalist for the Business Book Award (together with O. Gassmann): The Business Model Navigator 2nd edition, 2020 Thinkfest
2021 Among the Best Papers (10%) submitted to the AOM conference (together with F. Pietrulla) AOM ONE Division
2020 HSG Impact Award – Business Model Innovation for the Circular Economy University of St.Gallen
2019 Thinker of the month May Thinkers 50, the world’s most reliable resource for identifying, ranking, and sharing leading management ideas
2018 AcademiaNet – Expert Database for Outstanding Female Academics Robert Bosch Stiftung and Spektrum der Wissenschaft (Nature Publishing Group)
2017 NRP 73 SNF Research Foundation
2013 Nominated for the “Best Conference Paper Award” of the Annual Conference in Atlanta Strategic Management Society
2013 Finalist Strategy Process Best Proposal Award der Annual Conference in Atlanta Strategic Management Society
2013-2014 Basic Research Fund Universität St. Gallen, Schweiz
2006 Winner of the Sumantra Ghoshal Research and Practice Award Academy of Management
2006 Winner of the Distinguished Paper Award Academy of Management
2003 Finalist Best Research Article Academy of Management
2003-2004 Full time Scholarship Swiss National Science Foundation

Articles in scientific journals


Book sections


Other publications

  • Editorial Board: Journal of Management Studies, 2014‐present
  • Ad‐Hoc Reviewing: Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, R&D Management, Long Range Planning
  • Conferences: Academy of Management Conference, SMS. EURAM
  • Membership: Academy of Management (BPS division), Strategic Management Society
  • BMI Lab, Consulting Company on BMI, Founder (2013)
  • Bühler 2.0. project together with VRP and team, senior coach (2017‐present)
  • Swiss National Science Foundation Research Committee Lucerne (2017‐present)

Christina Frei

Personal Assistant Prof. Dr. Karolin Frankenberger / Prof. Peter Murmann Ph.D.

+41 71 224 23 57

David Redaschi

PhD Candidate, Research Associate


Heinrich-Jakob Wild

PhD Candidate, Research Associate


Joachim Stonig

Postdoc, Lecturer, Head of Competence Center Ecosystems

+41 71 224 76 19

Sascha Mader

MiM, M.Sc.
PhD Candidate, Research Associate

+41 71 224 2374