Harvard Business School has an on-going program to conduct in-depth interviews with top business leaders who have created and managed businesses in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America over the last four decades. These interviews, many lasting several hours, explore pivotal moments of corporate transition, strategic shifts, and responses to economic and political crises. The men and women interviewed show how businesses navigate turbulence, and can create value for their societies.
The project began with a pilot program in Argentina and Chile facilitated by Harvard Business School alum Sven von Appen. The success of the original endeavor encouraged the School to extend the project globally. The interviews, and supporting materials, now provide a unique new source for understanding the contemporary business history of these regions. This project by the Business History Initiative builds on Harvard’s long commitment to understanding the history of business beyond the United States—a commitment that dates back to at least the 1950s when the Center for Research in Entrepreneurial History pioneered studies of business in Egypt, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere.
The interview transcripts and supporting resources provide compelling new empirical evidence and perspectives on business, management and entrepreneurship in emerging markets which is intended to transform research and teaching on the subject.