Intellectual Ambition for widespread impact.
Throughout the School’s history, a hallmark of HBS faculty research has been its power in practice. Increasingly, this impact extends beyond the management of firms to the large-scale, cross-disciplinary issues that beset society. The four presenters at the 2011 Faculty Symposium represented this broad scope: Nava Ashraf reported on her field experiments in Zambia concerning the usage gap in global health technologies; Ranjay Gulati described his work on redesigning organizational architecture to foster collaboration and innovation; David Moss charted the progress of the Tobin Project, a nonprofit he formed in 2005 to stimulate research on vital social problems; and Peter Tufano (now Dean of Saïd Business School, University of Oxford) spoke about how he aligned his teaching, research, and social entrepreneurship around the issue of consumer finance.
Transformational, intellectually ambitious research of this kind at HBS takes different forms, and it often generates multidisciplinary projects to carry out an evolving agenda and make a substantive difference in the world.
HBS is distinctively able to mobilize research efforts and disseminate the results to address vital issues quickly. In spring 2011, the School launched the U.S. Competitiveness Project, aimed at developing new knowledge to improve the success of firms operating in the United States in the global economy while raising living standards in this country. This research effort is informed by a global survey of nearly 10,000 alumni and by a November 2011 summit of leading academics, practitioners, and policy makers. The survey results and early research will be available in a special issue of Harvard Business Review in spring 2012, and a comprehensive public engagement effort is planned. This project provides a promising model for confronting systemic challenges.
HBS currently sponsors five long-term, institutionalized research initiatives that have infused themselves throughout the life of the School. The initiatives are defined by robust, cross-disciplinary research agendas that lead to publications and conferences to broaden the impact of the findings. Beginning with the Social Enterprise Initiative in 1993, the initiatives have been established as their focal issues have come to the fore in business and society:
The newest HBS initiative has been a catalyst for both thought and action regarding business and the environment:
13 cases used in the Required Curriculum, and an equal number of courses in the Elective Curriculum
“Investing in Cities of the 21st Century”
190 MBA students in Energy & Environment Club; 350 members of Green Business Alumni Association
Faculty research, 2005-10:
89 Cases / 23 Book Chapters / 41 Articles
Fourteen new tenure-track assistant professors joined HBS in 2011, the largest group in recent years.
David Drake, Technology & Operations Management
Joan Farre-Mensa, Entrepreneurial Management
Ian Gow, Accounting & Management
Samuel Hanson, Finance
Leslie John, Marketing
Uma Karmarkar, Marketing
Michael Luca, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets
Hong Luo, Strategy
Gautam Mukunda, Organizational Behavior
Dina Pomeranz, Entrepreneurial Management
Sophus Reinert, Business, Government & the International Economy
Meg Rithmire, Business, Government & the International Economy
Adi Sunderam, Finance
Nikolaos Trichakis, Technology & Operations Management