Professor Profiles: Barry Nalebuff, Yale School of Management

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we profile Barry Nalebuff from the Yale School of Management (SOM).

Perhaps best known as one of the founders of Honest Tea, Barry Nalebuff is the Milton Steinbach Professor of Management at the Yale SOM. An expert in game theory and strategy, Nalebuff has been a professor at the SOM since 1989. A second year told mbaMission that in the classroom, Nalebuff “is a favorite for his sharp wit and insights.” Nalebuff is also an accomplished author with more than 400,000 copies in print. His book The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life (W.W. Norton & Co., 2008), for example, explores how almost all interactions—business and personal alike—have a game theory component. Nalebuff’s new book, Split the Pie: A Radical New Way to Negotiate (Harper Business), explores the art of negotiation and will be released in March 2022.

Nalebuff and Adam Brandenburger, a professor of business economics and strategy at New York University’s Stern School of Business, developed the concept of a new business strategy called “co-opetition,” which they write about in the book Co-Opetition: A Revolutionary Mindset That Combines Competition and Cooperation: The Game Theory Strategy That’s Changing the Game of Business (Crown Business, 1997). The book’s listing on describes co-opetition as “a business strategy that goes beyond the old rules of competition and cooperation to combine the advantages of both. Co-opetition is a pioneering, high profit means of leveraging business relationships.”

A first year noted in a SOM Community Blog post, “Prof. Nalebuff never misses an opportunity to illustrate the ways in which companies can cooperate to grow the PIE (potential industry earnings). Of course, he then always reminds us that these same companies should compete aggressively to secure the biggest piece of that newly expanded PIE.”

For more information about the Yale SOM and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.


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