Book launch: Creating a New Management University

book launch for Creating a New Management University

Creating a New Management University: Tracking the Strategy of Singapore Management University (SMU) in Singapore (1997–2019/20)

By Howard Thomas, Alex Wilson, Michelle P. Lee

Book launch: Thursday, 27 October 2022, 5:15 PM – 6:10 PM (SGT), Online via Zoom

Innovative, entrepreneurial universities play an important role in driving social and economic progress in a nation. Against the background of a thriving, young nation that is striving to build a knowledge economy, we examine the case of the Singapore Management University (SMU). We look at the conditions that led to its founding, evidence for the successes and failures it has had, and why it is considered one of the most significant success stories of an entrepreneurial university in recent times. The book tracks the evolution of SMU’s strategy through different stages of its growth, using a combination of data from interviews, archival resources, internal documents, and news media. It also examines whether it has fulfilled its promise as an entrepreneurial university and a change agent in Singapore’s higher education landscape.

*Creating a New Management University: Tracking the Strategy of Singapore Management University (SMU) in Singapore (1997 – 2019/20) is available for purchase at a discount rate of 30% with the code CNMU30 from 27 October – 26 November 2022.register now


5:15 PM – 5:20 PM – SMU Libraries Welcome

Ms Shameem Nilofar, University Librarian, Singapore Management University

5:20 PM – 5:30 PM – Opening Remarks

Professor Lily Kong, President, Singapore Management University

5:30 PM – 5:50 PM – Panel Discussion

The discussion will centre around the role that SMU played in shaping the higher education scene, the reasons for its early success, and how its strategy has evolved and will need to evolve.


Professor Arnoud De Meyer
Professor Emeritus of Operations Management, Lee Kong Chian School of Business
Professor Tan Chin Tiong
Professor Emeritus of Marketing, Lee Kong Chian School of Business
Dr Nadir Zafar (BBM 2004)
SMU Alumnus, Pioneer Batch,
Chief Experience Officer (CXO), Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI)


Ms Tan Siok Sun, Author and Chair, Wild Rice Ltd

5:50 PM – 6 PM, Q & A

6 PM – 6:10 PM, Virtual Book Launch & Closing Remarks

Professor Howard Thomas
Professor Emeritus of Strategic Management & Management Education, Lee Kong Chian School of Business

Supported by: Routledge

“The strategic evolution of Singapore Management University, captured brilliantly by Howard Thomas, Michelle Lee and Alex Wilson in this inspiring book, creates a blueprint for tomorrow’s management education institutions at the time where many of them aspire to profound transition. The changing role and purpose of business schools entrust them with multiple, at times conflicting, societal and economic roles in an increasingly complex global environment; roles that require innovative and adaptive strategies. Through a strategy process lens, the authors analyse the creation and growth of a world-class management university in Singapore’s unique and rapidly changing context. 

Global disruptions and challenges, so painfully exemplified by the Covid-19 pandemic, will continue to impact our societies, and the competitive management education landscape will not cease to evolve. There is great strength and lessons to be learnt from a strategically adaptive, innovative and entrepreneurial university such as SMU. With this book, leaders and their organisations can delve into the unique strategic development process of SMU that brings a wealth of reflections and inspirations in the pursuit of novel differentiation strategies.” – EFMD President Eric Cornuel