In 2011, HBS launched the U.S. Competitiveness Project to provide a data- and research-driven, non-partisan approach to diagnosing and improving U.S. competitiveness. HBS faculty focused their research on defining competitiveness, identifying the elements of competitiveness, measuring the current state and future trajectory of these elements through an annual alumni survey, and identifying actions that business leaders and policy makers can take to improve competitiveness.

Since 2013, HBS faculty have begun deepening their research into specific elements of competitiveness. In each effort, the goal is to identify ideas and actions that are critical for U.S. competitiveness and to highlight the role that business leaders can play in each element. Faculty are also focused on identifying best practices and developing case studies on PK-12 education, skills, and transportation.

PK-12 Education

Business and Education Leaders Together: Accelerating Opportunity for America's Students

HBS, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Boston Consulting Group, is examining how business can work collaboratively with educators to help transform PK-12 education in America.

Lasting Impact: A Business Leader’s Playbook for Supporting America's Schools highlights what business can do to work with education leaders on the urgent task of transforming the nation's education system.

Partial Credit: How America’s School Superintendents See Business as a Partner summarizes the findings of the first-ever nationwide survey of school superintendents on business's role in education.

More information on PK-12 education


Closing America’s Middle Skills Gap

HBS, in partnership with Accenture and Burning Glass, is researching what business can do to close the middle skills gap in America. (Middle-skills jobs are traditionally defined as roles that require more education or training than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree.) The research includes identifying the true size and scope of the middle skills gap in America, highlighting issues that impede skills development, and proposing solutions for business leaders and policy makers to better align the supply and demand for middle skills.

More information about HBS’s work on closing the middle skills gap will be available here at a future date.


America on the Move: Transportation and Infrastructure for the Twenty-First Century

It’s time to repair, renew, and reinvent America’s aging (and internationally lagging) infrastructure for moving people, goods, and information. Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter and her research team have conducted new research toward a national dialogue about investing in smart transportation and infrastructure to build a prosperous future. The project’s wide scope covers the challenges and opportunities for those ways of moving that move the economy and produce quality of life—e.g., getting people to work and kids to school; transporting goods to where they are needed; using information technology effectively for vehicles, roads, and controls; connecting communities; and creating jobs and positive impact.

In preparation for a by-invitation national Summit at HBS in late February 2014, Professor Kanter and her group have produced five new cases on the state of and needs for air and rail transportation, technology and vehicle innovation, rethinking cities and the role of transportation, and the current state of infrastructure finance. The five cases/Industry Notes, plus a "catalogue" of associations and advocates and their positions and highlights of the dialogue at the Summit among leading industry CEOs, senior officials, and experts will be widely available after the by-invitation-only Summit. The research has identified pain points and bottlenecks that can be removed, innovations that can be applied, and opportunities for business and public sector leaders to take action.

More information about “America on the Move” can be found on the project's website:

Read more about HBS’s partners.