IXP Course: Japan; Beyond the Disaster; Emergence of Authentic Entrepreneurship - Harvard Business School MBA Program

IXP Course: Japan; Beyond the Disaster; Emergence of Authentic Entrepreneurship

Course Number 6062

Professor of Management Practice Hirotaka Takeuchi
Four on-campus meetings during the Fall Term (October 1, October 29, November 5, December 3)
One on-campus meeting in Winter term (February 4)
January Term travel: Sunday, January 4 to Saturday, January 17, 2015
Program fee & travel costs (see details on financial aid eligibility)
3.0 credits applied toward Winter term requirements
Enrollment: 45

Career Focus

Post disaster settings provide opportunities to examine the effectiveness of leadership in mobilizing people and resources in highly dynamic situations. This course focuses on the links between strategy and innovation that prove useful in rebuilding a region post disaster. Students will examine and compare the styles and approaches of entrepreneurs working for a variety of different types of organizations operating in Japan, seeking to develop more general lessons about the effectiveness of alternative leadership styles and business models for creating both economic and societal value in challenging settings.

Course Content and Organization

Students enrolled on the Japan IXP will work in teams to undertake a project with an organization led by an entrepreneur, with the purpose of rebuilding the Tohoku Region, which suffered immense devastation from the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Teams will travel to Tokyo and the Tohoku Region to work on these projects, providing an opportunity both to contribute to the progress of the organizations with which they are working and simultaneously to examine the nature of leadership and the effectiveness of different approaches in such settings. Teams will also gather in a larger group over the course of the IXP to visiting the sites and interact with the local people affected by the disaster.

During the fall term, several course sessions will take place on-campus, providing students with an opportunity to discuss leadership qualities needed to create economic and societal value in disaster-stricken regions. The fall term will also be utilized for student teams to collaborate with their Japan-based partner organizations to define and scope projects that will take place in January.

In January, teams will travel to Japan, where they will both contribute to the ongoing progress of the organization and attempt to identify the links between strategy and innovation that may be particularly productive in enhancing the rate of rebuilding. Cultural activities, field-based learning activities and opportunities for volunteer work will also be provided while in Japan.


There are no prerequisites.

The IXP Model

IIn contrast to FIELD 2 Global Immersions, IXPs are customized according to individual faculty research and are designed to enable students to take an active role in the construction of their learning. In many instances, IXPS are built with a specific focus in mind and teams of students are called upon to collaborate directly with local company partners to scope projects, collect data and organize work plans before and during the immersion. Alternatively, some IXPs are designed to provide a more macro-level understanding of business practices in a specific country, and require students to prepare for engagement with a number of firms representing multiple industries. Longer in duration than FIELD 2, IXPs also tailor learning via field-based exercises, panel presentations, guest lectures, alumni events and plenary visits to relevant companies and organizations.

Course Credit and Fees

Students who successfully complete this IXP (including participation in all on-campus meetings during the Fall term) will earn 3.0 course credits, which will be posted in the Winter term.

HBS will provide in-country logistics for IXPs (including accommodations, select meals, and local travel) but students will need to contribute a fee of $4,000 towards defraying a part of these costs. In addition, students are responsible for their round-trip air travel to Japan and any costs associated with required visa documentation and immunizations. Students who have applied for financial aid may submit for additional financial support to participate in this IXP. Please see the Financial Aid website (login required) for more information on financial support for IXP courses.

For detailed information about what the IXP program fee includes and excludes, as well as information about student accommodations, please visit the GEO website.