Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Thomas Hout

Visiting Professor

Professor Hout joins MIIS as a visiting faculty from Cambridge, MA where he is an international strategy consultant and Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the Fletcher School at Tufts. He also teaches every year at The University of Hong Kong School of Business. At MIIS, he teaches courses in global business strategy, lean startup methods, and international business consulting. Before teaching, he was a partner at The Boston Consulting Group for 22 years and lived and worked in Boston, London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. He co-founded the firm’s Operations practice area. At MIIS, he supervises student International Business Plan projects. He has published eight articles in The Harvard Business Review on subjects ranging from global industrial competition to fast operating cycles to leading-edge management practices to industrial competition between China and the West. In addition, he has written over a dozen op-ed pieces in The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times on international business. He is co-author of two books, Japan’s Industrial Strategy and Competing Against Time, the latter of which was a business Best Seller in the 1990s with over 100,000 copies sold in eight languages. His current research interests are China and global industrial competition. He has taught executive education at Harvard Business School and served on HBS Publishing’s Board of Editorial Review. He received a BA in Economics from Yale University and an MBA from Stanford University.

He was a Reserve Officer in the US Navy and is a Vietnam Veteran.


Corporate strategy; International business competition at firm and country levels; Operations link to strategy; China and Japan



Competing Against Time, co-authored with George Stalk, 1990.

Japanese Industrial Policy, co-authored with Ira Magaziner, 1980.

    Major articles in Harvard Business Review:

    “A Chinese Approach To Management”, co-authored with David Michael, September 2014.

    "China versus the World: Whose Technology Is It?” co-authored with Pankaj Ghemawat, December 2010.

    "Tomorrow’s Global Giants”, co-authored with Pankaj Ghemawat, Nov 2008.

    "Are Managers Obsolete?" Mar/April 1999.

    "Getting It Done: New Roles for Senior Managers", Nov/Dec 1995.

    "The Fallacy of the Quick Overhead Fix", co-authored with Mark Blaxill, Jul/Aug 1991.

    "Fast Cycle Capability for Competitive Power", co-authored Joe Bower, Nov/Dec 1988.

    "How Global Companies Win Out", co-authored with Michael E. Porter, Sept/Oct 1982.

    Major articles in Foreign Affairs:

    "Facing Up To the Trade Gap With Japan", co-authored with James Abegglen, Fall 1978.

    Numerous op-ed pieces for New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Asia Wall Street Journal and Boston Globe.

    Course List

    Courses offered in the past four years.
    indicates offered in the current term
    indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

    MBAG 8613 - GO to Market      

    This project-based course combines elements of feasibility analysis and marketing strategy. The course examines whether a product or service is viable on the market and, if it is, alternate approaches to bring the product or service to market. Key topics include analysis of market and industry attractiveness (note, these are two separate levels of analysis), target segment benefits and attractiveness, sustainable competitive advantage and positioning, the ability of the firm to develop and execute strategy, causation and effectuation, and lean start-up approaches.

    Spring 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

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    MBAG 8651 - Global Business Strategies      

    Every manager needs to understand how markets function. This course applies economic principles to the types of decisions that managers will encounter. That may include understanding how markets function, using different techniques to make optimal pricing decisions, and exploring what shapes supply and demand under different conditions. We will also look at other traditional micro-economic concepts such as price elasticity of demand and income elasticity of demand, production and cost functions and profit maximization.

    Summer 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

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    MBAG 8683 - Topics in Supply Chain Mgmt      

    Objectives are:

    • Introduce students to supply chains and why they are both important and hard to manage

    • Equip students with analytic tools that allow managers to design and operate effective
    and efficient supply chains

    • Put students in position of having to make decisions in simulated supply chain situations

    • Acquaint students with different types and designs of supply chains

    • Build understanding of supply chain risks and their connection to overall business strategy

    Spring 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

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    MBAG 8693 - Intl Business Consulting      

    This course will address the key activities involved in delivering management consulting services to multinational corporations. Elements covered will include identifying consulting opportunities, framing the question with the client, developing the proposal, managing the engagement, delivering the results, understanding organizational change implications, managing client relations and client follow-up. The course will be delivered in a case format illustrating how the above elements were used in actual client situations that have been successfully carried out by the professor and his consulting teams. Students will have the opportunity to develop a client proposal and engagement plan.

    Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Spring 2018 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

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