Programme Leader


Lawton Robert Burns, Ph.D., MBA, is the Chair of the Health Care Management Department, the James Joo-Jin Kim Professor, a Professor of Health Care Management, and a Professor of Management in the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also Director of the Wharton Center for Health Management & Economics, and Co-Director of the Roy & Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management.  He received his doctorate in Sociology and his MBA in Health Administration from the University of Chicago. Dr. Burns taught previously in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago and the College of Business Administration at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Burns has analyzed physician-hospital integration over the past 25 years. In recognition of this research, Dr. Burns was named the Edwin L. Crosby Memorial Fellow by the Hospital Research and Educational Trust in 1992. Dr. Burns has also published several papers on hospital systems and physician group practices. The last 13 years he spent studying the healthcare supply chain. He completed a book on supply chain management in the healthcare industry, The Health Care Value Chain (Jossey-Bass, 2002), and a recent analysis of alliances between imaging equipment makers and hospital systems. These studies focus on the strategic alliances and partnerships developing between pharmaceutical firms/distributors, disposable manufacturers, medical device manufacturers, group purchasing organizations, and organized delivery systems.  He has also edited The Business of Healthcare Innovation (Cambridge University Press, 2012) which analyzes the healthcare technology sectors globally: pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and information technology. Most recently, he has served as lead editor of the 6th Edition of the major text, Healthcare Management: Organization Design & Behavior (Delmar, 2011). His latest book, India’s Healthcare Industry, was just published in 2014 (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Dr. Burns teaches courses on healthcare strategy, strategic change, strategic implementation, organization and management, managed care, and integrated delivery networks. From 1998-2002, he was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, where he taught corporate strategy to physicians. Dr. Burns also received an Investigator Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the reasons for failure in organizational change efforts by healthcare providers. He is a past member of the Grant Review Study Section for the Agency for Health Care Policy & Research, and a past board member of the Health Services Section of the Institute of Medicine. He is also a Life Fellow of Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge