Nancy F. Koehn

James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration

Unit: General Management

Contact:

(617) 495-6483

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Nancy F. Koehn is a historian at the Harvard Business School where she holds the James E. Robison chair of Business Administration. Koehn's research focuses on entrepreneurial leadership and how leaders, past and present, craft lives of purpose, worth, and impact.  She is currently working on a book about the most important lessons from five leaders’ journeys, including Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Rachel Carson.  Her most recent book, Ernest Shackleton:  Exploring Leadership , (2012), examines the important leadership lessons in Shackleton's legendary Endurance expedition. 

Koehn is also the author of Oprah (Brand) Renew (2011);Oprah:  Leading with Heart (2011); The Story of American Business:  From the Pages of the New York Times (2009); Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers' Trust from Wedgwood to Dell (2001) and The Power of Commerce: Economy and Governance in the First British Empire (1994), as well as a contributor to Creative Capitalism:  A Conversation with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and other Economic Leaders (2008); Remember Who You Are: Life Stories That Inspire the Heart and Mind (2004); Beauty and Business (2000); The Intellectual Venture Capitalist: John H. McArthur and the Work of the Harvard Business School, 1980-1995 (1999); Creating Modern Capitalism: How Entrepreneurs, Companies, and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial Revolutions (1997); and Management Past and Present: A Casebook on American Business History (1995). She has written and supervised cases on  Starbucks Coffee Company, Ernest Shackleton,Oprah Winfrey, Bono and U2,  Whole Foods, Stonyfield Yogurt, Wedgwood, Estée Lauder, Henry Heinz, Milton Hershey, Celeste Walker, Marshall Field, Dell Computer, and other leaders and organizations.

Koehn consults with many companies and speaks frequently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Aspen Institute Ideas Festival and the World Business Forum.  She has appeared on "American Experience," "Good Morning America," Bloomberg Televison, CNBC's "Moneywheel," "The NewsHour," A&E's "Biography," CNN's "Money Line" and many other television programs. She writes regularly for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and the Harvard Business Review Online and is a regular commentator on National Public Radio and the BBC.   In 2012, Poets and Quants ranked Koehn as one of the World’s 50 Best Business School Professors.

Koehn is a director of Tempur Sealy International and the clothing retailer, Fashion to Figure.

Before coming to HBS, Koehn was a member of Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences for seven years, first as a graduate student in history and then as a lecturer in the History and Literature concentration and the Department of Economics.  A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University, Koehn earned a Master of Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government before taking her MA and PhD in History from Harvard.

Koehn lives outside Boston and is an avid equestrian.

Featured Work

  1. Lincoln’s School of Management

    The legacy of Abraham Lincoln hangs over every American president. To free a people, to preserve the Union, “to bind up the nation's wounds”: Lincoln's presidency, at a moment of great moral passion in the country's history, is a study in high-caliber leadership.
  2. Harvard's Koehn on Government, Corporate Leadership

    Nancy Koehn, a professor at Harvard Business School, talks about government and corporate leadership. Koehn speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” 
  3. From Calm Leadership, Lasting Change

    She was a slight, soft-spoken woman who preferred walking the Maine shoreline to stalking the corridors of power. And yet Rachel Carson, the author of “Silent Spring,” played a central role in starting the environmental movement, by forcing government and business to confront the dangers of pesticides.
  4. Leadership Lessons From the Shackleton Expedition

    A HUNDRED years ago this month, the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and four teammates became the first men to reach the South Pole, arriving in triumph five weeks ahead of Robert Falcon Scott. The Amundsen crew would return safely to its base, but, heartbreakingly, Scott and his four British companions died on the return journey.

    The race to the pole has long attracted leadership experts, who like to contrast the Amundsen focus on efficiency and innovation with Scott’s more deliberate dedication to scientific pursuit.

    But another polar explorer — Ernest Shackleton — faced harsh conditions in a way that speaks more directly to our time. The Shackleton expedition, from 1914 to 1916, is a compelling story of leadership when disaster strikes again and again.
  5. Putting Steve Jobs in Perspective

    This piece is part of On Leadership roundtable exploring Tim Cook’s succession of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple, and how to follow in the footsteps of an icon.
  6. A Conversation with Nancy Koehn

    Harvard Business School Professor Nancy Koehn discusses what attributes make an effective leader and some of her favorite successful entrepreneurs. Video produced in partnership with Big Think.

  7. The Story of American Business: From the Pages of the New York Times

    For over 150 years, the New York Times has been the United States' newspaper of record. With unmatched breadth, depth, and quality of reporting, its coverage is consistently authoritative and absorbing.This unique collection of the Times' most fascinating and relevant articles about business opens a compelling window onto how one of the most powerful economies in human history came to be, including the men and women who have helped create it. Introduced and narrated by Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn, The Story of American Business walks you through content ranging from feature stories to in-depth news analysis to obituaries, spanning from the 1850s to today.

    Exploring the people, trends, and pivotal events that have shaped business in America, Koehn has organized the book around a number of important themes.

    Absorbing and thought-provoking, The Story of American Business provides a much-needed glimpse into our past and a vital lens for understanding our future

  8. Business Wasn't Always the Villain

    An interview with Nancy Koehn, Harvard Business School historian and editor of The Story of American Business.

Publications

Books

  1. Ernest Shackleton, Exploring Leadership

    Broadly speaking, polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton was not successful; he never achieved any of the goals he originally set for himself. But when confronted with crushing adversity, he inspired his crew to work together to survive against incredible odds. While stranded on an ice floe 1,200 miles from civilization, Shackleton's discipline, fortitude, and heroism overcame months of hardship and peril to get all his men to safety. Here, in this brief eBook, Harvard Business School professor Nancy F. Koehn writes that his is an example from which every leader in today's unstoppable turbulence can learn.

    Keywords: Risk and Uncertainty; Leadership; Cooperation;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. Ernest Shackleton, Exploring Leadership. New Word City, 2012. Electronic.
  2. Oprah (Brand) Renew

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. Oprah (Brand) Renew. New Word City, 2011. Electronic.
  3. Oprah, Leading With Heart

    Harvard Business School professor Nancy F. Koehn provides an inspiring example of a leader who leads not just from the head but the heart. Her name: Oprah Winfrey. Here, in this brief eBook, is how she built a media empire and the lessons you can apply to your own work and life.

    Keywords: leadership; entertainment; Leadership;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. Oprah, Leading With Heart. New Word City, 2011. Electronic.
  4. The Story of American Business: From the Pages of The New York Times

    This book sketches some of the most important people and moments in the last 150 years of U.S. business history.

    Keywords: Business History; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. The Story of American Business: From the Pages of The New York Times. Boston: Harvard Business Press, 2009.
  5. Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers' Trust From Wedgwood to Dell

    Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers' Trust From Wedgwood to Dell. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2001.
  6. The Power of Commerce: Economy and Governance in the First British Empire

    Keywords: Economic History; Economy; Governance; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. The Power of Commerce: Economy and Governance in the First British Empire. Cornell University Press, 1994.

Journal Articles

  1. Calling All Leaders: Feed and Water Yourself

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Calling All Leaders: Feed and Water Yourself." Huffington Post, The Blog (March 25, 2014).
  2. Racing to Win: Leadership Lessons from the Conquest of the South Pole

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Racing to Win: Leadership Lessons from the Conquest of the South Pole." Leadership Forum (January 08, 2014).
  3. The Brain—and Soul—of Capitalism

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy. "The Brain—and Soul—of Capitalism." Harvard Business Review 91, no. 11 (November 2013): 44.
  4. The History of Black Friday

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "The History of Black Friday." Marketplace Commentary, American Public Media, November 25, 2011.
  5. For Obama, Where Has Lincoln Gone?

    The 2012 presidential race was not only the most expensive in history, it was also one of the most closely contested elections the country has known. President Barack Obama inherits the very serious challenge of trying to reunite a divided nation in which political paralysis has seemingly become the frustrating and often destructive new normal. It's a tall order, but history tells us this problem is not insurmountable.

    Keywords: leadership; Leadership;

  6. From Calm Leadership, Lasting Change

    Keywords: Rachel Carson;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "From Calm Leadership, Lasting Change." New York Times (October 27, 2012).
  7. The Driver in Ford's Amazing Race

    In "American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company" (Crown Business: $26), Bryce G. Hoffman recounts the turnaround in careful, often gripping detail. Make no mistake, this is a story, not a structured analysis of Ford's transformation. Those looking for how-to lists will be disappointed. Instead, Mr. Hoffman offers Mr. Mulally's vision for saving — and permanently changing — a giant American company. The author explores how Mr. Mulally and his team executed this vision, and what this meant on the dynamic, risky stage of the auto industry.

    Keywords: Business History; Transformation; Manufacturing Industry; Auto Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "The Driver in Ford's Amazing Race." New York Times (April 1, 2012), BU7.
  8. "When Life Is a Bunch of Carrots." Book Review of Strings Attached: Untangling the Ethics of Incentives, by Ruth W. Grant

    Keywords: Ethics; Motivation and Incentives; Information;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "When Life Is a Bunch of Carrots." Book Review of Strings Attached: Untangling the Ethics of Incentives, by Ruth W. Grant. New York Times (February 4, 2012). (Review.)
  9. Leadership Lessons From the Shackleton Expedition

    Keywords: Leadership; Learning;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Leadership Lessons From the Shackleton Expedition." New York Times (December 25, 2011).
  10. That Eternal Question of Fairness

    Keywords: Fairness;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "That Eternal Question of Fairness." New York Times (December 4, 2011).
  11. The Tale of the Dueling Economists

    Keywords: Economics;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "The Tale of the Dueling Economists." New York Times (October 22, 2011).
  12. Steve Jobs, the Immediate Case Study

    Keywords: Information; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Steve Jobs, the Immediate Case Study." Harvard Business Review Blogs (October 14, 2011). http://blogs.hbr.org/hbsfaculty/2011/10/steve-jobs-the-immediate-case.html.
  13. How Steve Jobs Saw the Future

    Keywords: Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "How Steve Jobs Saw the Future." CNN.com (October 6, 2011).
  14. Putting Steve Jobs in Perspective

    Keywords: Perspective; Computer Industry;

  15. Before Wal-Mart, There Was A. & P.

    Keywords: Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Before Wal-Mart, There Was A. & P." New York Times (September 3, 2011).
  16. Wake up, Obama: Listen to Your Forefathers

    Keywords: Government and Politics;

  17. Inside the Greek Volcano

    Keywords: Greece;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Inside the Greek Volcano." New York Times (August 13, 2011).
  18. IBM at 100: How to Outlast Depression, War, and Competition

    Keywords: Economics; War; Competition; Computer Industry;

  19. Devoted to Debt

    Keywords: Borrowing and Debt;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Devoted to Debt." Harvard Magazine (June 17, 2011).
  20. For Oprah Winfrey, this is not the finale

    Keywords: Entertainment;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "For Oprah Winfrey, this is not the finale." Washington Post, On Leadership Blog (May 25, 2011).
  21. Leadership Lessons from the Saddle

    Keywords: Leadership; Learning;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Leadership Lessons from the Saddle." Harvard Business Review Blogs (May 3, 2011).
  22. Why Red Flags Can Go Unnoticed

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Why Red Flags Can Go Unnoticed." New York Times (April 3, 2011).
  23. How to Stop Trading Away the Future

    Keywords: Trade;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "How to Stop Trading Away the Future." New York Times (March 5, 2011). (Book Review.)
  24. The Reverend Peter J. Gomes: Remembrance and Memorial Service

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "The Reverend Peter J. Gomes: Remembrance and Memorial Service." Harvard Magazine (March 2011).
  25. Early America, Ripe for Counterfeiters

    Keywords: Crime and Corruption;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Early America, Ripe for Counterfeiters." New York Times (February 5, 2011). (Book Review.)
  26. Davos Diary: Day Three

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Davos Diary: Day Three." Huffington Post, The Blog (January 28, 2011).
  27. Davos Diary: Day Two

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Davos Diary: Day Two." Huffington Post, The Blog (January 27, 2011).
  28. Davos Diary: Day One

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Davos Diary: Day One." Huffington Post, The Blog (January 26, 2011).
  29. Starbucks' Logo Debate Shows Customers' Engagement

    Keywords: Customers; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Starbucks' Logo Debate Shows Customers' Engagement." Harvard Business Review Blogs (January 10, 2011).
  30. Leadership Lessons: Oprah's Journey to 'OWN' Cableland

    Keywords: Leadership; Learning; Media; Media and Broadcasting Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Leadership Lessons: Oprah's Journey to 'OWN' Cableland." Huffington Post, The Blog (January 3, 2011).
  31. Prosperity, Real or Imagined

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Prosperity, Real or Imagined." New York Times (January 1, 2011). (Book Review.)
  32. Losing Sight of Lincoln: A Mid-course Resurrection to Save Obama's Presidency

    Keywords: Government and Politics;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Losing Sight of Lincoln: A Mid-course Resurrection to Save Obama's Presidency." Washington Post, On Leadership Blog (December 8, 2010).
  33. Mapping GM's Decline

    Keywords: Auto Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Mapping GM's Decline." Washington Post, On Leadership Blog (November 16, 2010).
  34. Working (and Living) the Company Way

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Working (and Living) the Company Way." New York Times (November 6, 2010). (Book Review.)
  35. The Mental Game of Breast Cancer, Part two

    Keywords: Games, Gaming, and Gambling;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "The Mental Game of Breast Cancer, Part two." Huffington Post, The Blog (November 1, 2010).
  36. The Mental Game of Breast Cancer, Part one

    Keywords: Games, Gaming, and Gambling;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "The Mental Game of Breast Cancer, Part one." Huffington Post, The Blog (October 29, 2010).
  37. Zuckerberg's Expensive Lesson

    Keywords: Learning; Web;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Zuckerberg's Expensive Lesson." Washington Post, On Leadership Blog (October 6, 2010).
  38. The Wealth of an Intellect

    Keywords: Wealth;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "The Wealth of an Intellect." New York Times (October 2, 2010). (Book Review.)
  39. People and Places That Innovate

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "People and Places That Innovate." New York Times (September 4, 2010). (Book Review.)
  40. A Call to Fix the Fundamentals

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "A Call to Fix the Fundamentals." New York Times (July 31, 2010). (Book Review.)
  41. Beyond Disengagement and Anger

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Beyond Disengagement and Anger." Huffington Post, The Blog (July 1, 2010).
  42. A New Damascus

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "A New Damascus." Huffington Post, The Blog (May 24, 2010).
  43. Bono at 50: The Leader We Need

    Keywords: Leadership; Arts;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Bono at 50: The Leader We Need." Washington Post, On Leadership Blog (May 10, 2010).
  44. Leaders and Fiduciaries

    Keywords: Leadership; Law;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Leaders and Fiduciaries." Huffington Post (May 3, 2010).
  45. Abraham Lincoln: Never Made of Marble

    Keywords: Government and Politics;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Abraham Lincoln: Never Made of Marble." Washington Post, On Leadership Blog (April 15, 2010).
  46. Straight Talk: Oprah's Leadership Lessons

    Keywords: Leadership;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Straight Talk: Oprah's Leadership Lessons." Huffington Post (April 14, 2010).
  47. Reading List: Lincoln's Leadership Lessons

    Keywords: Leadership;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Reading List: Lincoln's Leadership Lessons." Harvard Business Review Blogs (February 19, 2010).
  48. Fuel for the Journey

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Fuel for the Journey." Washington Post, On Leadership Blog (February 1, 2010).
  49. Rebooting Households: The View from Davos

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Rebooting Households: The View from Davos." Huffington Post, The Blog (January 29, 2010).
  50. Dizzying Fall From Grace

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Dizzying Fall From Grace." Washington Post, On Leadership Blog (January 19, 2010).
  51. A Shirked Responsibility

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "A Shirked Responsibility." Washington Post, On Leadership Blog (December 7, 2009).
  52. American Consumption and the New Normal

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "American Consumption and the New Normal." Harvard Business Review Blogs (December 2009).
  53. Steve Jobs's Legacy

    Keywords: Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Steve Jobs's Legacy." Fortune 60, no. 10 (November 23, 2009).
  54. Lehman in Context: A Historical Perspective

    Keywords: History; Perspective;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Lehman in Context: A Historical Perspective." The Conversation Harvard Business Review Blogs (September 16, 2009).
  55. How to Survive the Storm

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "How to Survive the Storm." Fortune.com, Postcards Blog (January 15, 2009).
  56. Interchange: History in the Professional Schools

    Keywords: Education; History;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Interchange: History in the Professional Schools." Journal of American History 92, no. 2 (September 2005): 553–576.
  57. Chasing Dreams during Troubled Times: Lessons from the Past

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Chasing Dreams during Troubled Times: Lessons from the Past." Boston Globe (January 22, 2002), F5.
  58. Branding Means Connecting

    Keywords: Brands and Branding; Customer Relationship Management;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Branding Means Connecting." New Business: Entrepreneurial Pursuits at Harvard Business School (summer 2001).
  59. Review of Tupperware: The Promise of Plastic in 1950s America, by Alison J. Clarke

    Keywords: Consumer Products Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Review of Tupperware: The Promise of Plastic in 1950s America, by Alison J. Clarke." Journal of American History 88, no. 1 (June 2001): 273.
  60. Review of Shelf Space, by Kurtzman and Rifkin

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Review of Shelf Space, by Kurtzman and Rifkin." CNNMoney (June 2001).
  61. An Information Age Led by Business, So Far

    Keywords: Information; Business Ventures;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "An Information Age Led by Business, So Far." New York Times (March 25, 2001).
  62. Building a Powerful Prestige Brand

    Keywords: Brands and Branding;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Building a Powerful Prestige Brand." HBS Working Knowledge (October 30, 2000).
  63. Henry Heinz and Brand Creation in the Late Nineteenth Century

    Keywords: Brands and Branding; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Henry Heinz and Brand Creation in the Late Nineteenth Century." HBS Working Knowledge (December 7, 1999).
  64. Henry Heinz and Late Nineteenth-Century Brand Creation: Making Markets for Processed Food

    Keywords: Brands and Branding; Markets; Food; History; Consumer Products Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Henry Heinz and Late Nineteenth-Century Brand Creation: Making Markets for Processed Food." Business History Review 73, no. 3 (autumn 1999): 348–392.
  65. The Wired Society: A Harvard Magazine Roundtable

    Keywords: Higher Education; Media; Society; Technology;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "The Wired Society: A Harvard Magazine Roundtable." Harvard Magazine (May–June 1999), 42–53.
  66. Review of Consuming Power: A Social History of American Energies, by David E. Nye

    Keywords: Society; History; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Review of Consuming Power: A Social History of American Energies, by David E. Nye." Business History Review 72, no. 3 (autumn 1998): 485–488.
  67. Review of Tobacco in History: The Cultures of Dependence, by Jordan Goodman

    Keywords: Social Issues; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Review of Tobacco in History: The Cultures of Dependence, by Jordan Goodman." Journal of Economic History 55 (December 1995): 968–971.
  68. Review of John Jacob Astor: Business and Finance in the Early Republic, by John Denis Haeger

    Keywords: Finance; Business History;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Review of John Jacob Astor: Business and Finance in the Early Republic, by John Denis Haeger." Business History Review 66 (autumn 1992): 576–578.
  69. Review of Predators and Prizes: American Privateering and Imperial Warfare, 1739-1748, by Carl E. Swanson

    Keywords: War; History; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Review of Predators and Prizes: American Privateering and Imperial Warfare, 1739-1748, by Carl E. Swanson." Business History Review 66 (summer 1992): 400–402.
  70. Making Choices: Aspects of the History of the Harvard Business School MBA Program

    Keywords: Higher Education; History; Decision Choices and Conditions; Boston;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., Thomas R. Piper, V. Kasturi Rangan, and Richard S. Tedlow. "Making Choices: Aspects of the History of the Harvard Business School MBA Program." MBA Leadership and Learning (1992).

Book Chapters

  1. Gates: The Right Place at the Right Time

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Gates: The Right Place at the Right Time." In Creative Capitalism: A Conversation with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Other Economic Leaders, edited by Michael Kinsley and Conor Clark. Simon & Schuster, 2008.
  2. The Fallacy of Perfection: Let a New Image of Yourself Emerge

    Keywords: Identity; Personal Characteristics; Change;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "The Fallacy of Perfection: Let a New Image of Yourself Emerge." In Remember Who You Are: Life Stories That Inspire the Heart and Mind, edited by Daisy Wademan. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2004.
  3. Estee Lauder: Self Definition and the Modern Cosmetics Market

    Keywords: Personal Characteristics; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Estee Lauder: Self Definition and the Modern Cosmetics Market." In Beauty and Business: Commerce, Gender and Culture in Modern America, edited by Philip Scranton. Routledge, 2001.
  4. Consumerism and Consumption

    Keywords: Demand and Consumers;

    Citation:

    Koehn, N. F. "Consumerism and Consumption." In The Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century, edited by Morton Keller. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2000.
  5. Business History

    Keywords: Business History;

    Citation:

    Koehn, N. F., T. K. McCraw, and H. V. Nelles. "Business History." In The Intellectual Venture Capitalist: John H. McArthur and the Work of the Harvard Business School, 1980-1995, edited by T. K. McCraw and J. L. Cruikshank. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1999.
  6. Josiah Wedgwood and the First Industrial Revolution

    Keywords: History; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Koehn, N. F. "Josiah Wedgwood and the First Industrial Revolution." In Creating Modern Capitalism: How Entrepreneurs, Companies, and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial Revolutions, edited by Thomas K. McCraw. Harvard University Press, 1997.
  7. Michael Milken

    Citation:

    Koehn, N. F. "Michael Milken." In Management Past and Present: A Casebook on the History of American Business, edited by Alfred D. Chandler Jr., Thomas K. McCraw, and Richard S. Tedlow. South-Western College Publishing, 1996.
  8. Patricia Ostrander

    Citation:

    Koehn, N. F. "Patricia Ostrander." In Management Past and Present: A Casebook on the History of American Business, edited by Alfred D. Chandler Jr., Thomas K. McCraw, and Richard S. Tedlow. South-Western College Publishing, 1996.
  9. Economic Policy: The Twentieth Century

    Keywords: Policy; Economics;

    Citation:

    Koehn, N. F. "Economic Policy: The Twentieth Century." In The Encyclopedia of the United States Congress. Vol. 2, edited by Donald C. Bacon, Roger H. Davidson, and Morton Keller, 674–681. Simon & Schuster, 1995.
  10. The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981

    Keywords: Taxation; Laws and Statutes; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, N. F. "The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981." In Macroeconomic Decision Making in the World Economy, edited by Michael G Rukstad. Dryden Press, 1989.
  11. The Capital Gains Tax Cut of 1978

    Keywords: Taxation; Laws and Statutes; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, N. F. "The Capital Gains Tax Cut of 1978." In Macroeconomic Decision Making in the World Economy, edited by Michael G Rukstad. Dryden Press, 1989.

Working Papers

  1. Michael Dell: Winning on the Demand Side of the Information Revolution

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Michael Dell: Winning on the Demand Side of the Information Revolution." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 00-021, September 1999.
  2. Marshall Field, 1834-1906: The Retail Brand as a Customer Experience

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Marshall Field, 1834-1906: The Retail Brand as a Customer Experience." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 00-020, September 1999.
  3. Henry Heinz, 1844-1919: Connecting with Customers during Great Economic Change

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Henry Heinz, 1844-1919: Connecting with Customers during Great Economic Change." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 00-019, September 1999.
  4. Josiah Wedgwood, 1730-1795: Brand Creation in the First Consumer Society

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Josiah Wedgwood, 1730-1795: Brand Creation in the First Consumer Society." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 00-018, September 1999.

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Gary Hirshberg and Stonyfield Farm

    Gary Hirshberg and Stonyfield Farm is the story of one entrepreneur's vision and journey to create a market-leading, environmentally responsible business founded on the principles of product quality, organizational alignment and sustainability. A former environmental activist, Hirshberg built Stonyfield Farm, (an organic yogurt maker based in New Hampshire), up from a seven cow-operation into a business that in 2010 had $360 million in annual revenues. The narrative pays particular attention to the early, turbulent years of the yogurt company and the excitement and uncertainty of entrepreneurial life.

    The case also details the innovative marketing the company created to expand its customer base, the means it devised to cultivate and maintain customer loyalty, and the strategies it employed to penetrate the highly competitive yogurt and dairy categories nationwide. Throughout, readers will encounter the challenges that Hirshberg, his colleagues and his family confronted as they (all) worked to create a business with a firm commitment to both sustainability and high quality—a commitment rooted in Hirshberg's dedication to spreading the "gospel" of organic production to consumers.

    Keywords: development stage enterprises; entrepreneurs; experimentation; leadership; management by objective; technology; values; Leadership; Entrepreneurship; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., and Nora N. Khan. "Gary Hirshberg and Stonyfield Farm." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 314-019, September 2013.
  2. Bono and U2 (TN)

    Teaching Note for 809148.

    Keywords: Growth and Development Strategy; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Transformation; Technology; Business Model; Arts; Entrepreneurship; Leadership; Music Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., Nora N. Khan, and Elizabeth Legris. "Bono and U2 (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 811-091, March 2011. (Revised December 2012.)
  3. Gary Hirshberg and Stonyfield Farm

    Gary Hirshberg and Stonyfield Farm is the story of one entrepreneur's vision and journey to create a market-leading, environmentally responsible business founded on the principles of product quality, organizational alignment, and sustainability. A former environmental activist, Hirshberg built Stonyfield Farm (an organic yogurt maker based in New Hampshire) up from a seven-cow operation into a business that in 2010 had $360 million in annual revenues. The narrative pays particular attention to the early, turbulent years of the yogurt company and the excitement and uncertainty of entrepreneurial life. The case also details the supple, innovative marketing the company created to expand its customer base, the means it devised to cultivate and maintain customer loyalty, and the strategies it employed to penetrate the highly competitive yogurt and dairy categories nationwide. Throughout, readers will encounter the challenges that Hirshberg, his colleagues, and his family confronted as they all worked to create a business with a firm commitment to both sustainability and high quality—a commitment rooted in Hirshberg's dedication to spreading the "gospel" of organic production to consumers.

    Keywords: entrepreneurship; entrepreneurs; values; development stage enterprises; innovation; management by objective; experimentation; emerging technologies; Mission and Purpose; Management Style; Values and Beliefs; Social Issues; Organizational Culture; Environmental Sustainability; Business Growth and Maturation; Entrepreneurship; Business Startups; Innovation and Invention; Food and Beverage Industry; New Hampshire;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., Nora N. Khan, and Elizabeth W. Legris. "Gary Hirshberg and Stonyfield Farm." Harvard Business School Case 312-122, March 2012. (Revised October 2012.)
  4. Bono and U2

    This case traces the 30-year development of the rock band U2 and the development of its four members as artists, business leaders, and humanitarians (with particular attention paid to lead singer Bono's global humanitarian work). The case examines the beginnings of the band among four school friends and follows the development of the enterprise as a business and as a powerful social and cultural force in its own right. It also investigates the individual journeys of the band members during moments of great success and significant challenges. The case pays particular attention to the four men's evolving identities as musical artists and to the tradeoffs that have accompanied their fame and larger social commitments. The case takes up the evolution of the global music industry in the face of rapid technological and organizational change, examining how U2 and colleagues navigated such change, built a very powerful brand, and created a successful business model. The final part of the case traces lead singer Bono's involvement in political and humanitarian causes and the potential power of such a model as a framework for artistry, entrepreneurship, and effective leadership in the 21st century.

    Keywords: Arts; Business Model; Social Entrepreneurship; Globalized Markets and Industries; Leadership; Brands and Branding; Personal Development and Career; Social Enterprise; Music Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., Katherine Miller, and Rachel Wilcox. "Bono and U2." Harvard Business School Case 809-148, April 2009. (Revised April 2012.)
  5. John D. Rockefeller and the Creation of Standard Oil

    Reconstructs the entrepreneurial journey of John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil and one of the most famous business figures in history. Traces his early career as a retailer in Cleveland through his decision to enter the oil industry in the early 1860s to his creation of Standard Oil. Pays particular attention to the critical decades of the 1870s and 1880s when Standard Oil and the larger oil business were growing at white-hot speed. Told through the words of both scholars and first-hand participants, examines Rockefeller's (controversial) strategy for securing and maintaining Standard Oil's market dominance, his organizational innovations within the company, and his responses to a myriad of competitive threats. Also, provides a close look at Rockefeller's life outside his office, including his role as a husband and father. Closes with a contemporary analysis of the ethics of Rockefeller's actions.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Ethics; Business History; Innovation and Invention; Growth and Development Strategy; Personal Development and Career; Competitive Strategy; Energy Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., and Katherine Miller. "John D. Rockefeller and the Creation of Standard Oil." Harvard Business School Compilation 807-110, February 2007. (Revised March 2012.)
  6. Madam C.J. Walker: Entrepreneur, Leader, and Philanthropist

    Madam C. J. Walker, who has been credited as the first self-made African-American woman millionaire, created a hair-care empire after years spent as a laundress in St. Louis, Missouri. Decades before the Civil Rights movement, her company gave employment to thousands of African-American women and marketed its products around the world. Madam Walker was active in the social and political causes of her day, and used her position as a successful entrepreneur to promote philanthropy and self-advancement in the African-American community.

    Keywords: Leadership; Business History; Race Characteristics; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Entrepreneurship; Personal Development and Career; Gender Characteristics; Giving and Philanthropy; Saint Louis;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., Anne Dwojeski, William Grundy, Erica Helms, and Katherine Miller. "Madam C.J. Walker: Entrepreneur, Leader, and Philanthropist." Harvard Business School Case 807-145, March 2007. (Revised April 2011.)
  7. Leadership in Crisis: Ernest Shackleton and the Epic Voyage of the Endurance

    Provides an opportunity to examine leadership and entrepreneurship in the context of Ernest Shackleton's 1914 Antarctic expedition, a compelling story of crisis, survival, and triumph. Summarizes Shackleton's career as an officer in the British Merchant Marine, his work on several prominent Antarctic missions, and the competitive nature of polar exploration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Also examines Shackleton's planning and advance management of what he hoped would be the first-ever trek across the Antarctic continent. Details the events of this epic voyage aboard the Endurance. Readers have the opportunity to examine how, after the vessel became trapped in ice and the crew abandoned ship, the commander shifted his objectives and responsibilities from completing an historic march to ensuring the survival of all 28 expedition members. Considers Shackleton's efforts to maintain his team's morale, loyalty, and commitment in the face of extraordinary mental and physical trials during almost two years in the Antarctic.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; History; Leadership; Crisis Management; Management Practices and Processes; Groups and Teams; Behavior; Antarctica;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., Erica Helms, and Philip Mead. "Leadership in Crisis: Ernest Shackleton and the Epic Voyage of the Endurance." Harvard Business School Case 803-127, April 2003. (Revised December 2010.)
  8. Oprah Winfrey

    The case explores the entrepreneurial journey of Oprah Winfrey, examining how she built an audience for one of the most successful television shows in history; how she created the company, Harpo Productions, that produces that show as well as other media offerings; how she leads and manages her organization; and how she has chosen to use the authority and other fruits of success to make a significant social as well as business contribution. The case uses interviews with Winfrey and her team to analyze how the business model and strategy of the company has changed-in the context of a dynamic marketplace, rapid technological innovation, and Winfrey's own evolving conception of her purpose and path.

    Keywords: Business Model; Entrepreneurship; Leadership; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Mission and Purpose; Personal Development and Career; Strategy; Media and Broadcasting Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., Erica Helms, Katherine Miller, and Rachel Wilcox. "Oprah Winfrey." Harvard Business School Case 809-068, April 2009. (Revised May 2009.)
  9. A Defining Moment: The Financial Crisis of 2008 and Its Broader Impact

    Keywords: Financial History; Financial Crisis; Economic History;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., and Rachel Wilcox. "A Defining Moment: The Financial Crisis of 2008 and Its Broader Impact." Harvard Business School Compilation 809-145, April 2009.
  10. Starbucks Coffee Company in the 21st Century

    The case explores the opportunities and challenges confronting Starbucks in the early 21st century. For more than 15 years, Starbucks has grown swiftly and successfully, helping create a large, dynamic market for specialty coffee, building one of the world's most powerful brands and forging a new business model based on industry disrepair and responsible global citizenship. In 2008, Starbucks leadership faces a range of issues-inside and out of the company-related to that success. This case examines these issues in the context of a changing economy, increased competition, evolving consumer priorities, and the organization's place on the larger global stage.

    Keywords: Business Model; Economy; Growth Management; Brands and Branding; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Competition;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., Marya Lisl Hill-Popper Besharov, and Katherine Miller. "Starbucks Coffee Company in the 21st Century." Harvard Business School Case 808-019, June 2008.
  11. Candy Land: The Utopian Vision of Milton Hershey

    Explores the life, work, and achievements of Milton S. Hershey. Analyzes his entrepreneurial achievements, including the creation of the Hershey bar, the founding of the business, and the development of the mass market for chocolate. Also investigates the broader contributions that Milton Hershey made to a sustainable, mutually beneficial social contract between business and community.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Leadership; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Creativity;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., and Erica Helms. "Candy Land: The Utopian Vision of Milton Hershey." Harvard Business School Case 805-066, April 2005. (Revised October 2007.)
  12. Oprah Winfrey (TN)

    Keywords: Media and Broadcasting Industry; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., Marya Besharov, Katherine Miller, and Nora Khan. "Oprah Winfrey (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 808-018, August 2007. (Revised February 2013.)
  13. Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War

    Analyzes Abraham Lincoln's leadership during America's greatest crisis, the 1861-1865 Civil War. Using Lincoln's own words, the case traces the development of the 16th president's leadership philosophy, ethics, and skills in the years leading up to war.

    Keywords: Political History; War; Leadership Style; Moral Sensibility; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War." Harvard Business School Compilation 805-115, March 2005. (Revised May 2007.)
  14. John Mackey and Whole Foods Market

    Traces the history of organic agriculture from its pre-industrial roots to the present day, and examines the growth of Whole Foods Market in the context of the broader growth of the organic industry. Also investigates John Mackey's role as a founder and leader of the largest natural-foods retailer in the world.

    Keywords: Leadership; Food; Entrepreneurship; Agribusiness; Retail Industry; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., and Katherine Miller. "John Mackey and Whole Foods Market." Harvard Business School Case 807-111, April 2007. (Revised May 2007.)
  15. Leadership in Crisis: Ernest Shackleton and the Epic Voyage of the Endurance (TN)

    Teaching Note to 803127.

    Keywords: Leadership Style; Entrepreneurship; Personal Development and Career; Moral Sensibility; Groups and Teams; Managerial Roles; Crisis Management; Goals and Objectives; Antarctica;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Leadership in Crisis: Ernest Shackleton and the Epic Voyage of the Endurance (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 807-014, January 2007.
  16. Bumble and bumble: Building a Successful Business in Beauty and Fashion

    Explores the creation and subsequent rise of Bumble and bumble, a trend-setting hair-care company. Analyzes the vision and achievements of the founding entrepreneur, Michael Gordon, and charts the evolution of the company within the $230 billion global beauty industry. Focuses on the development of the Bumble brand, its strategic importance in the market for premium hair-care products, and its cultural significance within the company. Also, takes up the acquisition of Bumble and bumble by the Estee Lauder Companies and the implications of this ownership structure for organizational priorities and performance.

    Keywords: Corporate Entrepreneurship; Brands and Branding; Mergers and Acquisitions; Business Strategy; Financial Condition; Business Growth and Maturation; Success; Distribution; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Fashion Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., and Erica Helms. "Bumble and bumble: Building a Successful Business in Beauty and Fashion." Harvard Business School Case 806-084, February 2006.
  17. Howard Schultz and Starbucks Coffee Company

    Investigates the entrepreneur's strategic initiatives to develop a mass market for specialty coffee in the 1980s and 1990s. These initiatives included the development of premium products, rapid expansion of company-owned stores--each with attractive retail environments and responsive customer service--and, especially, the creation of a strong brand. Also devotes considerable attention to how Schultz built the Starbucks organization, examining the consistent emphasis that he and his colleagues placed on the company's relationship with its employees, how Schultz financed Starbucks' early expansion, how vertical integration ensured quality control, and how--strategically and operationally--the company managed its phenomenal domestic and international growth after 1993.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Groups and Teams; Brands and Branding; Growth Management; Employee Relationship Management; Consumer Behavior; Organizational Design; Leadership Style; Customer Relationship Management; Competitive Advantage; Vertical Integration; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Howard Schultz and Starbucks Coffee Company." Harvard Business School Case 801-361, February 2001. (Revised September 2005.)
  18. Money and Banking in America (TN)

    Teaching Note to (9-805-088).

    Keywords: United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., and Stephen A. Mihm. "Money and Banking in America (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 805-089, December 2004.
  19. Money and Banking in America

    Provides a concise overview of the critical role that money and the nation's banking system have played in the development of the U.S. economy. Tells the story of money and banking in the United States, from the earliest settlements in the colonial era through the 20th century. Focuses in particular on the importance of paper money in the colonial era, the central role that banks played in issuing and regulating the money supply in the 19th century, and the transition to a national money supply in the years after the Civil War.

    Keywords: History; Money; Banks and Banking; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., and Stephen A. Mihm. "Money and Banking in America." Harvard Business School Video Case 805-088, December 2004.
  20. Michael Dell: Winning on the Demand Side of the Information Revolution

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Leadership; Innovation and Invention; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Michael Dell: Winning on the Demand Side of the Information Revolution." Harvard Business School Case 801-363, February 2001. (Revised January 2004.)
  21. Marshall Field and the Rise of the Department Store

    Analyzes Marshall Field's efforts to develop a market for mass retailing in late 19th-century Chicago. Examines Chicago's expansion in the 1860s and, within this context, how Field struck out on his own to, build a wholesale and retail business. Concentrates on the efforts of Field and his partner Levi Leiter to build a large regional and, later, a national market for their distribution business and the significant financial, managerial, and strategic challenges they faced. This case analyzes how Field and his partners built a strong, meaningful brand for the company.

    Keywords: Fluctuation; Industry Growth; Corporate Strategy; Entrepreneurship; Brands and Branding; Society; Distribution Industry; Retail Industry; Chicago;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Marshall Field and the Rise of the Department Store." Harvard Business School Case 801-349, February 2001. (Revised December 2002.)
  22. Entrepreneurial History: A Conceptual Overview

    Analyzes HBS cases on five entrepreneurs and the companies they built: Josiah Wedgwood, Henry Heinz, Marshall Field, Howard Schultz of Starbucks, and Michael Dell. These five cases and their accompanying teaching notes comprise a course module on entrepreneurial history that is intended for business school faculty teaching entrepreneurship, business history, brand marketing, or general management. Investigates five individuals in different industries, all trying to make new markets for their products during moments of great technological, managerial, demographic, and perceptual transitions. Acting within a particular historical context, each of the five people succeeded in creating mass demand for new products by earning consumers' trust and loyalty. To accomplish this objective, each also built a best-of-class organization capable not only of meeting customers' needs profitably at a specific moment, but of continually anticipating and responding to these preferences as they developed and the broader environment changed.

    Keywords: Transition; Demand and Consumers; Competition; Business History; Entrepreneurship; Customer Focus and Relationships; Business Strategy; Society;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Entrepreneurial History: A Conceptual Overview." Harvard Business School Background Note 801-368, February 2001. (Revised October 2002.)
  23. Michael Dell: Winning on the Demand Side of the Information Revolution TN

    Teaching Note for (801-363).

    Keywords: Demand and Consumers; Information;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Michael Dell: Winning on the Demand Side of the Information Revolution TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-378, February 2001. (Revised October 2002.)
  24. Henry Heinz: Making Markets for Processed Foods TN

    Teaching Note for (9-801-289).

    Keywords: Food and Beverage Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Henry Heinz: Making Markets for Processed Foods TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-376, February 2001. (Revised October 2002.)
  25. Marshall Field and the Rise of the Department Store TN

    Teaching Note for (9-801-349).

    Keywords: Distribution Industry; Retail Industry; Chicago;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., and William Grundy. "Marshall Field and the Rise of the Department Store TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-377, February 2001. (Revised September 2002.)
  26. Howard Schultz and Starbucks Coffee Company (TN)

    Teaching Note for (9-801-361).

    Keywords: Food; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., and William Grundy. "Howard Schultz and Starbucks Coffee Company (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-374, February 2001. (Revised September 2002.)
  27. Estee Lauder and the Market for Prestige Cosmetics TN

    Teaching Note for (4-801-362).

    Keywords: Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Estee Lauder and the Market for Prestige Cosmetics TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-370, February 2001. (Revised September 2002.)
  28. Estee Lauder and the Market for Prestige Cosmetics

    Opens with a brief history of the U.S. cosmetics market and its rapid development in the 1920s. Also recounts Lauder's initial involvement in the sector, making skin care products and selling them in Manhattan beauty parlors during the Great Depression. Pays particular attention to the period after World War II, when widespread socioeconomic shifts were altering women's possibilities--perceptual and material. For Lauder, such shifts presented important business opportunities. Invites students to analyze how the entrepreneur exploited these opportunities by building quality products, a powerful brand, and a best-of-brand organization. Closes with a discussion of the other brands that Lauder and her colleagues created, those that it acquired in the 1990s, and the importance of specific organizational capabilities in sustaining market leadership in the global, intensely competitive market for prestige beauty products.

    Keywords: Fluctuation; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Market Entry and Exit; Entrepreneurship; Luxury; Business Strategy; Society; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Estee Lauder and the Market for Prestige Cosmetics." Harvard Business School Case 801-362, February 2001. (Revised February 2002.)
  29. Henry Heinz: Making Markets for Processed Foods

    Outlines many of the supply-side innovations, such as improved transportation, communication, and technological developments, that greatly expanded the productive capacity of the United States in the late 19th century. Explores a range of demand-side shifts, including rising incomes, population growth, and urbanization, that changed consumers' wants and needs. These developments, taken together with those on the supply side, altered the nature of the American economy, ushering in widespread industrialization, markets of unprecedented size, and consumption on an entirely new scale. Investigates how, within this context, H.J. Heinz created a successful food-processing business in the last three decades of the 19th century.

    Keywords: Demand and Consumers; Competitive Advantage; Corporate Strategy; Entrepreneurship; Supply and Industry; Innovation and Invention; Food and Beverage Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Henry Heinz: Making Markets for Processed Foods." Harvard Business School Case 801-289, February 2001. (Revised August 2001.)
  30. Josiah Wedgwood and the First Industrial Revolution TN

    Teaching Note for (1-796-079).

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Josiah Wedgwood and the First Industrial Revolution TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 796-157, April 1996. (Revised January 1998.)
  31. Economic Gains from Trade: Comparative Advantage

    How nations trade and whether they benefit from it are two of the oldest and most important questions in political economy. In the 170 years since David Ricardo formally developed the theory of comparative advantage, it has become one of the principles most widely accepted among professional economists. Despite this wide acceptance in the professional community, the basics of international trade are still poorly understood by many policy makers and casual commentators. This note introduces the theory of comparative advantage. It is divided into four sections. The first presents a short history of the concepts behind comparative advantage. The second develops a simple model with several examples to demonstrate the gains that result from trade between nations. The third briefly covers several extensions of the simple model. Finally, two traditional objections to free trade are reviewed. A rewritten version of an earlier note.

    Keywords: Business Model; Microeconomics; Trade; Cost Management; Business and Government Relations;

    Citation:

    Kennedy, Robert E., and Nancy F. Koehn. "Economic Gains from Trade: Comparative Advantage." Harvard Business School Background Note 796-183, June 1996. (Revised November 1996.)
  32. Williams-Sonoma, Inc.--1990

    Howard Lester, chairman and CEO, has just completed a second offering of common stock in Williams-Sonoma, Inc. ($218.2 million 1989 sales). Having targeted $500 million in retail sales, Lester's challenge is to: 1) prioritize growth investments in five existing catalog and store retailing concepts, and 2) align corporate retailing strategy with internal structure and consumer demand. The case presents historical data on the company, its industry, and competitors to support analysis.

    Keywords: Corporate Strategy; Alignment; Customer Value and Value Chain; Competitive Strategy; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., and Michael Dearing. "Williams-Sonoma, Inc.--1990." Harvard Business School Case 797-019, July 1996.
  33. Shopping Alternatives, Inc.: Home Shopping in the Information Revolution

    Keywords: Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Burke, Raymond R., Nancy F. Koehn, and Geoffrey Verter. "Shopping Alternatives, Inc.: Home Shopping in the Information Revolution." Harvard Business School Case 796-132, April 1996. (Revised April 1996.)
  34. Patricia Ostrander

    Analyzes the career of former money manager Patricia Ostrander. Focuses on Ostrander's purchase of stock warrants issued in connection with the 1985 leveraged buyout of Storer Communications and on her later indictment and conviction for accepting unlawful compensation. At the broadest level, the case examines the financial, economic, legal, and moral consequences of capital market activities in the 1980s.

    Keywords: Leveraged Buyouts; Ethics; Capital Markets; Managerial Roles; Outcome or Result; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., Donald J. Edwards, and Antonio F. Weiss. "Patricia Ostrander." Harvard Business School Case 795-016, October 1994. (Revised April 1996.)
  35. Michael Milken TN

    Teaching Note for (1-793-057).

    Keywords: United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Michael Milken TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 795-175, June 1995. (Revised April 1996.)
  36. Patricia Ostrander TN

    Teaching Note for (9-795-016).

    Keywords: United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Patricia Ostrander TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 796-001, July 1995. (Revised April 1996.)
  37. World Sugar Industry and Tate & Lyle

    Keywords: Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "World Sugar Industry and Tate & Lyle." Harvard Business School Case 794-119, April 1994. (Revised April 1996.)
  38. World Sugar Industry and Tate & Lyle TN, The

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "World Sugar Industry and Tate & Lyle TN, The." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 795-042, October 1994. (Revised April 1996.)
  39. Ciba Consumer Pharmaceuticals' Acutrim: Challenges and Opportunities in Today's Diet Industry

    Since its introduction in 1983, Acutrim has been a major player in the U.S. appetite suppressant market and in the broader diet industry. This case focuses on the strategic, regulatory, marketing, and financial challenges this product and the rapidly changing diet industry pose for Ciba Consumer Pharmaceuticals as part of a large public corporation. Within this context, the case is intended to introduce students to the $33 billion diet industry and to elucidate some of the economic, cultural, and psychological factors that help shape the market for diet products, low-fat and health entrees, and a wide variety of foods in prosperous economies.

    Keywords: Product Marketing; Market Design; Industry Structures; Public Ownership; Problems and Challenges; Opportunities; Food and Beverage Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., and Rebecca Voorheis. "Ciba Consumer Pharmaceuticals' Acutrim: Challenges and Opportunities in Today's Diet Industry." Harvard Business School Case 795-043, December 1994. (Revised March 1996.)
  40. U.S. Economic Performance--1960-93

    Keywords: Performance; Economy; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "U.S. Economic Performance--1960-93." Harvard Business School Case 793-045, November 1992. (Revised October 1994.)
  41. Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981

    Keywords: Taxation; Economic Growth; Laws and Statutes; United States;

    Citation:

    Rukstad, Michael G., and Nancy F. Koehn. "Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981." Harvard Business School Case 386-038, August 1985.
  42. Capital Gains Tax Cut of 1978

    Keywords: Taxation; United States;

    Citation:

    Rukstad, Michael G., and Nancy F. Koehn. "Capital Gains Tax Cut of 1978." Harvard Business School Case 386-060, August 1985.

Other Publications and Materials

  1. Today's Neighborhood Drugstore Is Tomorrow's Neighborhood Health Care Company

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Today's Neighborhood Drugstore Is Tomorrow's Neighborhood Health Care Company." Leadership Forum (February 20, 2014).
  2. Racing to Win: Leadership Lessons from the Conquest of the South Pole

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Racing to Win: Leadership Lessons from the Conquest of the South Pole." Leadership Forum (January 08, 2014).
  3. Lincoln's School of Management

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Lincoln's School of Management." Business Day. Washington Post (January 26, 2013).
  4. Feed and Water the Leaders

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Feed and Water the Leaders." Leadership Forum (December 14, 2012).
  5. Breaking Out of the Davos Bubble

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Breaking Out of the Davos Bubble." Leadership Forum (February 27, 2013).
  6. Making Mentoring Count

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Making Mentoring Count." Leadership Forum (April 21, 2013).
  7. Why Brand Matters in Health Care

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Why Brand Matters in Health Care." Leadership Forum (June 6, 2013).
  8. A 4-Step Guide to Assessing and Strengthening Your Institution's Brand

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "A 4-Step Guide to Assessing and Strengthening Your Institution's Brand." Leadership Forum (July 3, 2013).
  9. Leading Productive Meetings: 8 Rules of the Road

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Leading Productive Meetings: 8 Rules of the Road." Leadership Forum (September 19, 2013).
  10. Racing to Win: How Two Antarctic Adventurers Led Very Different Expeditions

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy. "Racing to Win: How Two Antarctic Adventurers Led Very Different Expeditions." Leadership Forum (January 7, 2014).
  11. Leading Change: Two Stories, Four Lessons

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Leading Change: Two Stories, Four Lessons." Leadership Forum (July 18, 2012).
  12. A Summer to Thrive

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "A Summer to Thrive." Leadership Forum (August 15, 2012).
  13. Stop Sleeping With Your Smartphone!

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Stop Sleeping With Your Smartphone!" Leadership Forum (September 17, 2012).
  14. How Do You Show Up?

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "How Do You Show Up?" Leadership Forum (October 19, 2012).
  15. Marriages Fail, but There'll Always be Wedding Dresses

    Citation:

    "Marriages Fail, but There'll Always be Wedding Dresses." Marketplace, American Public Media, August 9, 2012.
  16. Historically Speaking: A Roundtable at HBS

    Keywords: History;

    Citation:

    Chandler, Alfred D., Jr., Nancy F. Koehn, Debora Spar, and R. S. Tedlow. "Historically Speaking: A Roundtable at HBS." HBS Working Knowledge, 2003.

Media Appearances

  1. Racing to Win: The Conquest of the South Pole

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Racing to Win: The Conquest of the South Pole." Huffington Post, The Blog (January 10, 2014).
  2. Lincoln's School of Management

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Lincoln's School of Management." New York Times (January 26, 2013).
  3. The Road to America Leads Through Gettysburg

    Keywords: American History; leadership; Abraham Lincoln; American Civil War; Leadership; United States;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "The Road to America Leads Through Gettysburg." Washington Post, On Leadership Blog (November 19, 2013).
  4. From Calm Leadership, Lasting Change

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "From Calm Leadership, Lasting Change." New York Times (October 28, 2012).
  5. For Obama, Where Has Lincoln Gone?

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "For Obama, Where Has Lincoln Gone?" Washington Post (November 9, 2012).

    Research Summary

  1. Overview

    My research focuses on effective leadership and how leaders craft lives of purpose, worth and impact. Using the lens of history, my work examines how individual leaders from business, government and other walks of life accomplish important missions; navigate failure, calamity and great turbulence; use their emotional intelligence to help them do all this; and inspire others to be better than they would otherwise have been. I am particularly interested in how leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Shackleton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer,Howard Schultz and Rachel Carson consciously learn, grow and change as they lead. All of my research and teaching, including my HBS course on the history of leadership, is concerned with these issues.

    Keywords: Effective Leadership in Turbulent Times; venture capital; private equity; Emotional Experience of Leaders; History of Leadership; Leadership; Entrepreneurship; History; Service Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Health Industry; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Fashion Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Advertising Industry; United States; Europe;

  2. Effective Leadership in Turbulent Times

    Nancy F. Koehn's research examines effective leadership in turbulent times through the lens of history.  Her latest book, The Story of American Business:  From the Pages of the New York Times (2009), sketches some of the most important people, events and larger forces from the past 150 years of U.S. business history.  She is the author of Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers' Trust from Wedgwood to Dell (2001) and The Power of Commerce:  Economy and Governance in the First British Empire (1994) as well as a contributor to six other books. She is currently working on book about the most important lessons from leaders through history, including Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Shackelton. Rachel Carson, and Frederick Douglass.  She has recently written numerous articles about these individuals and the lessons they offer for leaders today.  In 2011, she completed a film about Abraham Lincoln's relevance today titled, "Lincoln's Journey:  Lessons for Leadership."

    Keywords: Emotional Experience of Leaders; History of Leadership; Effective Leadership in Turbulaent Times; Leadership; Entrepreneurship; History; Service Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Health Industry; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Fashion Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Advertising Industry; United States; Europe;

    Teaching

  1. Overview

    I am currently teaching a Harvard Business School MBA elective course course called "Power and Glory in Turbulent Times: The History of Leadership from Henry V to Steve Jobs." This class, which I developed two years ago, examines the effectiveness of leaders who lived and worked in moments of widespread disruption. The course aims to understand the choices they made; including the strategies they used, the values they lived by and the tradeoffs they accepted as they created significant power in companies, communities, and nations. It also focuses on the impact, immediate and long-term, that each of these individuals had, and how this impact was related to their animating missions. Particular attention is paid to what it means to lead forcefully in times of ongoing turmoil and to the relevant lessons that these leaders offer for our own moment, in the early 21st century. Finally, the course strives to draw credible inspiration from these individuals and the contexts in which they acted. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to examine the choices each leader made, the path he or she traveled, the values and objectives he or she nurtured, and the larger stage on which that person acted. This perspective provides a broad understanding of the long-term impact of leadership and innovation on business, government, and society. The leaders studied include Shakepeare's Henry V, Winston Churchill, Alexander Hamilton, Josiah Wedgwood, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Heinz, John D. Rockefeller, Milton Hershey, Madam Walker, Estee Lauder, Gloria Steinem, Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rachel Carson, Gary Hirshberg, William Tyndale, Robert Moses, Bono, Howard Schultz, Oprah Winfrey, Katherine Graham, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Ernest Shackleton.

    Keywords: History of Leadership; venture capital; private equity; Effective Leadership in Turbulent Times; Emotional Experience of Leaders; Leadership; Entrepreneurship; History; Service Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Health Industry; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Fashion Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Advertising Industry; United States; Europe;

    Awards & Honors

  1. Nancy F. Koehn: Selected in 2012 as one of the World's Best Business School Professors by Poets and Quants.

WGBH News
04/15/2014

Boston Public Radio Staff

Professor Nancy Koehn spoke on Open Mic with Jim and Margery to examine the Marathon bombngs one year out.

Marketplace Business
04/10/2014

Kai Ryssdal

The Wall Street Journal says there's anecdotal evidence that some companies are choosing to get rid of their Human Resources department. Employers are asking managers to pick up all that interpoersonal stuff, with computer software picking up the payroll and benefits paperwork.  ....But...Nancy Koehn is not convinced it's a good idea.

WGBH News
04/08/2014

Boston Public Radio Staff

Harvard historian, Nancy Koehn discusses General Motors CEO Mary Barra's handling of the most recent GM recall and what it might mean looking further down the calendar both for Barra and for American industry.

WGBH News
04/01/2014

Boston Public Radio Staff

Harvard Historian Nancy Koehn gives us her take on Picketty's book, Capital in the 21st Century, and income inequality.

Marketplace Business
03/25/2014

Kai Ryssdal

Does American business really need the CEO's "Golden Parachute?"

WGBH News
03/25/2014

Boston Public Radio Staff

Nancy Koehn spoke with host Jim Braude and Margery Eagan about why Steinem has been such an appealing person to so many people over the years. She also breaks down Steinem's unique leadership skills, which include empathy, a hard-hitting message, never losing the big picture and knowing what it takes to stay relevant.

WGBH News
03/11/2014

Boston Public Radio Staff

Harvard Business School Professor Nancy Koehn discusses the overhaul at The College Board -- SAT.

WGBH News
03/10/2014

Emily Rooney, WGBH News Staff

Staples and Radio Shack have recently announced downsizing the number of stores or perhpas, in Radio Shack's case, filing bankruptcy.  Professor Nancy Koehn discusses the impact online shopping has had on brick and mortor retailers.

WGBH News Innovation Hub
03/07/2014

Kara Miller and Amanda McGowan

Professor Nancy Koehn discusses the rise and success of American entrepreneur,Estee Lauder.

Related: Estee Lauder

WGBH News
03/04/2014

Boston Public Radio Staff

As Amazon continues to expand and mutate at an accelerated rate, is it leaving casualties in its wake? A recent article by New Yorker staff writer George Packer suggests it could be bad for books, rendering them as invaluable and as "cheap as a sandwich." On Tuesday, Nancy Koehn joined Jim and Margery on Boston Public Radio to pick up where Packer left off, asking if Amazon's tentacular reach is too far, too wide, and too powerful for the social good. 

Marketplace Economy
02/27/2014

Raghu Manavalan

Employers have recently looked at the social media profiles of applicants, and now they want to see your GPA and SAT scores, too.

WGBH News
02/25/2014

Boston Public Radio Staff

While Congress has yet to budge on this issue Gap Inc. is doing its part. Last week the company announced that they would hike wages across their five chains (Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta) to $10 an hour by 2015.  Is this good retail politics?

Marketplace Business
02/11/2014

Interview by Kai Ryssdal

Professor Koehn, in conversation with Kai Ryssdal, examines a phenomenon the New York Times described as "series publishing" and why it is making a come back.

WGBH News
02/11/2014

Boston Public Radio Staff

Harvard Busines School Professor Nancy Koehn joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan to reflect on CVS' business move to ban the sale of tobacco and tobacco products in its retail pharmacies.

WGBH News
02/04/2014

Boston Public Radio Staff

Professor Nancy Koehn spoke with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on the changing definition of retirement and how working longer may be the new 'normal'.

Wall Street Journal (online)
01/30/2014

Clint Boulton

Professor Nancy Koehn was interviewed by WSJ reporter, Clint Boulton, on Starbucks Corp. CEO, Howard Schultz moving from day-to-day operations to examine and develop innovative forms of retail and payment methods.

Marketplace Economy
01/29/2014

Interview by Kai Ryssdal

Professor Koehn examines wealth inequality and its effects on the economy.

WGBH News
01/28/2014

Boston Public Radio Staff

Professor Nancy Koehn joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on BPR's Open Mic to offer insights on the comeback of 'McMansions'.

WGBH News
01/14/2014

Boston Public Radio Staff

On Open Mic Professor Nancy Koehn offered what today's leaders can learn about the leadership from the 1911 race for the South Pole.

WGBH News
01/13/2014

Interview with Kai Ryssdal

Professor Koehn spoke with Kai Ryssdal on what might be behind this turn of sentiment on Wall Street.

Huffington Post, The Blog
01/10/2014

Koehn, Nancy F.

Breaking Down our 'Downton Abbey' Lust
WGBH News
01/07/2014
WGBH News
01/02/2014

Boston Public Radio Staff

Marketplace Business
01/02/2014

O'Leary, Lizzie

WGBH News
12/24/2013

Boston Public Radio Staff

Marketplace Business
12/19/2013
WGBH News
12/17/2013

BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO STAFF

WGBH News
12/10/2013

BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO STAFF

Marketplace Business
12/04/2013

Kai Ryssdal

WGBH News
12/02/2013

Tonia Magras, Interviewed by Emily Rooney

WGBH News
11/26/2013

Boston Public Radio Staff

Field Notes
11/20/2013

Theresa Remick

WGBH News
11/19/2013

Koehn, Nancy F.

Washington Post
11/19/2013

Nancy F. Koehn

WGBH News
11/12/2013

Boston Public Radio Staff, Jim Braude and Margery Eagan

Harvard Business Review
11/01/2013

nancy Koehn

Marketplace Economy
10/31/2013

Kai Ryssdal

WGBH News
10/29/2013

Boston Public Radio Staff

Harvard Business professor Nancy Koehn talks with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan about why administrators should be punished.

WGBH News
10/16/2013

Boston Public Radio Staff

Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn offered Jim Braude and Margery Eagan five suggestions for better work meetings.

Fast Company
09/30/2013

Anni Layne Rodgers

Interview with Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn on the quiet success of Red Bull and the evolution of brand development.

Marketplace Business
09/24/2013

Nancy Koehn

WGBH News
09/20/2013

Kara Miller and Amanda McGowan:

Professor Nancy Koehn relays the story of Estee Lauder who founded an entirely new industry in the throes of the Great Depression.

WGBH News
09/03/2013

Boston Public Radio Staff, Jim Braude and Margery Eagan with Commentary from Nancy Koehn

While President Obama and lawmakers wrestled with the idea of intervention in Syria, CNN's John King and Harvard professor Nancy Koehn analyzed the predicament, from international reaction, to an assessment of the President's leadership.

National Geographic
09/01/2013

Hannah Block

Professor Koehn's research and case study on Ernest Shackleton is cited in the article. The article also contains numerous quotes from Professor Koehn on failure and how leaders learn from it.

Bankrate.com
08/23/2013

Claes Bell

Professor Nancy Koehn was interviewed on what families can learn from industry leaders about managing finances.  This interview was picked up by Yahoo and FoxBusiness.com.

Marketplace Business
08/15/2013

Lizzie O'Leary

Professor Koehn shares insights on a recent Gallup poll report that perhaps indicates a decline the the American beer industry.

Marketplace Business
07/31/2013

Kai Ryssdal

Professor Koehn shared thoughts on the apparent turnaround of Oprah Winfrey's channel, OWN, six months ahead of the projected date.

Marketplace Business
07/17/2013

NPR Staff

Huffington Post, The Blog
07/03/2013

Arianna Huffington

On her return from the Aspen Ideas Festival, Arianna Huffington reports on the high points of Professor Koehn's presentation, "Crisis Leadership:  Lessons for Here and Now".

Fortune
06/05/2013

Elizabeth G. Olson

Professor Nancy Koehn added insight to the phenomenon of large companies rehiring their former CEO's to aid in breathing new life when all around looks bleak.

WGBH News
06/05/2013

Jim Braude and Margery Eagan

Professor Nancy Koehn offers insights on the cultural battle waging in the choice between Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks.

SmartBrief
06/07/2013

This SmartBrief post kalso appeared on CNN.com and Fortune.com.

WGBH News
05/08/2013

Boston Public Radio Staff

During the program, Professor Koehn discusses the merchandising of "Boston Strong."

Microsoft's Mistake Puts It in Good Company with Other Corporate Failures
Marketplace Business
05/07/2013
Bloomberg Businessweek Online
05/02/2013

Charles Stein and Alexis Leondis

Bloomberg TV
04/25/2013
Harvard Crimson
04/18/2013

Dennis O. Ojogho

Co-Director of the Center for Public Leadership David Gergen moderates a conversation with Director of the Belfer Center of Science and International Affairs Graham Allison, Harvard Business School Professor of Business Administration Nancy F. Koehn and Harvard Kennedy School University Distinguished Service Professor Joseph S. Ny, Jr. on the Presidential Leadership and the Rise of American Power. The panelists discussed the history of the American presidency, reaction to crises and the nature of leadership itself.

Bloomberg.com
04/04/2013

Carol Hymowitz

Seattle Times
03/21/2013

Melissa Allison

Yahoo! Finance
03/21/2013

Transcript of Professor Koehn's presentation on leadership to the Starbucks' Annueal Shareholders Conference.

Marketplace Business
03/03/2013

SALLY HERSHIPS

Professor Koehn offers insight on the what the word 'store' actually means in relation to the controversy over Martha STewart marketing her brand to JC Penney and Macy's.

WGBH News
03/01/2013

Kara Miller and Kinne Chapin

Did Abraham Lincoln craft an innovative leadership style? Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn thinks today's business leaders should take notes from the wartime president.

02/18/2013

feature in The Economist last month posed the question, "Has the ideas machine broken down?" In other words, have innovation and technology stopped driving economic growth worldwide? That question has been more urgent as Boeing struggles with one of the most innovative aircraft to barrel down a runway in decades. Journalists at Bloomberg BusinessWeek wrote recently: "The Dreamliner's troubles reflect a wider trend. Innovation in mature economies such as America's...seem stuck in a perpetual holding pattern."

Washington Post
02/15/2013

Renee Dudley, Carol Hymowitz and Leslie Patton

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Jorge Paulo Lemann’s 3G Capital Inc. agreed to buy the iconic ketchup maker for about $23 billion. 

Marketplace Business
02/14/2013

Kai Ryssdal

Today, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced that it will partner with investment firm 3G Capital to buy Heinz for$23 billion in cash. But with debt assuption, the whole deal is valued at around $28 billion. 

WGBH News
02/05/2013

Boston Public Radio Staff and Kara Miller

With President's Day just around the corner, and Steven Spielberg's Lincoln up for a host of awards, Harvard Prof. Nancy Koehn joined Kara Miller to talk about Pres. Lincoln's leadership style.

PBS American Experience
01/29/2013

He rose from obscurity to become the 20th century's most influential American innovator. 

New York Times
01/26/2013

Nancy F. Koehn

The legacy of Abraham Lincoln hangs over every American president. To free a people, to preserve the Union, “to bind up the nation’s wounds”: Lincoln’s presidency, at a moment of great moral passion in the country’s history, is a study in high-caliber leadership.

Harvard Business Review
01/08/2013

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, spoke with Harvard Business School's Nancy Koehn at the HBR 90th Anniversary Gala presentation about taking a stand on campaign finance reform and tackling other controversial issues. 

Barron's
12/01/2012

Goldwyn Blumenthal

Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, transformed a modest Seattle coffee roaster into a money-brewing, culture-changing corporate colossus that serves 60 million customers a week. And he's far from finished.

WGBH News
11/26/2012

A new era of retail that blurs the line between indoor and online shopping.

Bloomberg.com
11/16/2012

Charles Stein

Washington Post
11/09/2012

The 2012 presidential race was not only the most expensive in history, it was also one of the most closely contested elections the country has known. President Barack Obama inherits the very serious challenge of trying to reunite a divided nation in which political paralysis has seemingly become the frustrating and often destructive new normal. It's a tall order, but history tells us this problem is not insurmountable.

11/08/2012

So how do you, the Shackleton story asks, how do you manage and lead. It's both. It's not just leadership with a capital L. It's also day-to-day management, everything from feeding and watering your troops or your team to how do you walk out of a tent each morning when 27 pairs of eyes are on you. How do you manage and lead in great turbulence when a lot is at stake.

Harvard Business Review
November 7, 2012

Gretchen Gavett

CNNMoney
November 06, 2012

Anne VanderMey

Bloomberg Businessweek Online
October 31st, 2012

Alexander Cuadros

New York Times
10/27/2012

Nancy F. Koehn

SHE was a slight, soft-spoken woman who preferred walking the Maine shoreline to stalking the corridors of power. And yet Rachel Carson, the author of “Silent Spring,” played a central role in starting the environmental movement, by forcing government and business to confront the dangers of pesticides.

Marketplace Business
October 15th, 2012

Sally Herships

Retailers are striking back against the practice of "showrooming" -- when a customer browses for an item in a store, but then buys it online, often at a cheaper price.

Investor's Business Daily
10/14/2012

James Detar

In 1987, Howard Schultz convinced investors to back his crazy idea — buying a tiny Seattle firm called Starbucks (SBUX).  He hired a team of bright, creative managers and in the next 13 years built Starbucks into a global coffeehouse giant. CEO Howard Schultz has overseen a Starbucks stock rocket of 6,600% since 1992 and attempted rebound from July 27's gap-down. He felt sure the chain would continue to prosper. So he stepped down as CEO in 2000, staying on as chairman and focusing on global expansion. But by 2007 — even before the Great Recession — Schultz could see that the company was cooling at a troubling rate. He saw right. "When I came back (as CEO) in 2008, the company and the country were in crisis," Schultz, 59, told IBD.

New York Times
September 9, 2012

Matt Richtel

CNNMoney
September 8, 2011

Miguel Helft

Without hype or fanfare, Steve Jobs has been quietly making sure his beloved company is built to last.

Marketplace Business
August 29th, 2012

Sally Herships

Washington Post, On Leadership Blog
08/15/2011

Nancy F. Koehn

With the president’s approval rating sinking below 40 percent for the first time, this week’s On Leadershiproundtable explores Obama’s wavering leadership and how he could steady it—with opinion pieces by former Congressman Mickey Edwards, journalist Evan Thomas, public opinion polling expert Peter Hart, and Harvard Professor Nancy Koehn.

August 10, 2012

James Detar

In 1987, Howard Schultz convinced investors to back his crazy idea — buying a tiny Seattle firm called Starbucks (SBUX).  But by 2007 — even before the Great Recession — Schultz could see that the company was cooling at a troubling rate. He saw right.

Huffington Post
05/22/2012

Kristi York Wooten, Joshua Case

Professor Nancy F. Koehn of Harvard Business School compares Bono to a CEO of "'Creative capitalism,' who, along with his bandmates, developed business savvy long before he ever had a hit. As for his propensity to do good, Author Kim Girard says Bono's campaigns are social and viral in nature -- and aligned with the 21st century's "growing spiritual hunger among young people, backlash against Wall Street greed, and the revolutions in the Middle East."

BBC World Service News
04/29/2012

Just when it seemed the world's biggest economy was getting back on its feet a new set of GDP figures come in suggesting growth in America has slowed. The hope had been that America could provide inspiration - and some desperately needed demand - for the rest of the developed world. Or could it be the figures themselves that are at fault? Can't statistics be used to prove almost anything?
Justin Rowlatt and his guests, Professor Nancy Koehn of Harvard Business School, Paul Dales, senior US economist at Capital Economics and Timothy Noah, author of "The Great Divergence," discuss the truth behind the numbers.

New York Times
04/01/2012

Nancy F. Koehn

In “American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company” (Crown Business: $26), Bryce G. Hoffman recounts the turnaround in careful, often gripping detail.

Inc.
02/25/2011

Christine Lagorio

Harvard's guru on outstanding American entrepreneurship analyzes the country's best brands, ponders the challenges of Groupon-era consumer empowerment, and explains why Oprah is a great boss.

Poets & Quants
02/10/2012

Andrea Carter

Washington Post, On Leadership Blog
02/06/2012
BBC World Service News
01/28/2012

Justin Rowlatt

Justin Rowlatt and guests discuss whether capitalism needs fixing. And do meetings work?

New York Times
01/13/2012

Austin Considine

In person, the identical twins Kirk and Nate Mueller are an uncanny sight. The neatly coiffed hair, the ASOS leather boots, the red lapel flowers from Hook & Albert, the brown wool Topman suits — everything about them is almost exactly the same. Even their jobs: designing sleek iPad apps and Web sites, which has made them overnight design celebrities.

Forbes
01/09/2012

Erika Andersen, Contributor

My colleagues know I’m always looking for interesting and worthwhile blog topics. Over the holidays, two of them sent me Nancy F. Koehn’s recent NYT essay, focused on the leadership lessons of Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1916 Antarctic expedition.  Ms. Koehn does a wonderful job essentializing what Shackleton did well and badly: his lack of planning and his failure to listen to good counsel almost got everyone killed; his ability to quickly revise his goal and then remain fully committed to achieving it saved them.

Related: Leadership Lessons From the Shackleton Expedition Koehn, Nancy F.

NPR
12/30/2011

Robert Siegel reads emails from listeners.

12/26/2011

Edward Tenner

Shackleton's ability to form a new plan, maintain morale, and keep negativity at bay for more than a year and a half after first becoming icebound remains one of the most riveting sea stories ever. But what does it really have to say to executives in today's emergencies? Does it justify romantic business heroism, whatever the possible collateral damage? Historic and recent warning signs abounded in 1914. Shackleton's near-fatal misjudgement occurred only three years after Captain Smith of the Titanic, following then-universal custom, maintained normal speed even amid ice warnings.

Related: Leadership Lessons From the Shackleton Expedition Koehn, Nancy F.

New York Times
12/24/2011

Nancy F. Koehn

A hundred years ago this month, the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and four teammates became the first men to reach the South Pole, arriving in triumph five weeks ahead of Robert Falcon Scott. The Amundsen crew would return safely to its base, but, heartbreakingly, Scott and his four British companions died on the return journey.

New York Times
12/03/2011

Nancy F. Koehn

The growing gap between the top earners and everyone else is agitating our society in newly public ways. The Occupy Wall Street movement is one example. The anger spilling out over deficit reduction — or lack thereof — in Congress is another.

Christian Science Monitor
10/18/2011

Gloria Goodale

Police sweeps of Occupy Wall Street urban encampments have sent protesters across the country looking for new digs. In a growing number of cities, including New YorkDetroitOakland, and Los Angeles, that means packing up the sleeping bags and moving indoors to set up ad hoc organizing spaces in places like school auditoriums, unused government buildings, churches, and foreclosed  properties.

Investors.com
10/26/2011

Curt Schleier

George L. and John Hartford were brothers, but they were hardly twins.

Their personality splits were really what made them a great team.

Together they built A&P, a small chain of tea-and-coffee stores, into the world's largest retailer.


New York Times
10/22/2011

Nancy F. Koehn

John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek. The names conjure opposing poles of thought about making economic policy: Keynes is often held up as the flag bearer of vigorous government intervention in the markets, while Hayek is regarded as the champion of laissez-faire capitalism.

Harvard Business Review Blogs
10/14/2011

Nancy Koehn

In all kinds of places this past week — from Twitter feeds to boardrooms — people discussed Steve Jobs's career at Apple as a kind of informal but very important case study. This is not surprising, given his contributions to technology and the lasting impact he'll have on the way we communicate. On the other hand, given the currency of Jobs and Apple's achievements, this is quite rare. John Rockefeller, IBM's Thomas Watson Sr., and many others have been recognized for their skills as strategists and organizational builders, but we didn't use them as case studies — at business schools or in conversation — until decades and decades after their deaths.

10/06/2011

There are figures in the history of American innovation so large they reshape the world they touch. One died yesterday. Apple visionary Steve Jobs. He was 56. He started Apple in a California garage with Steve Wozniak when he was 21.

Washington Post
10/03/2011

Nancy Koehn

This piece is part of this week’s On Leadership roundtable exploring Tim Cook’s succession of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple, and how to follow in the footsteps of an icon.


CNNMoney
09/08/2011

Miguel Helft

Without hype or fanfare, Steve Jobs has been quietly making sure his beloved company is built to last.

WGBH News
08/08/2011

Today, the Dow Jones dropped more than 600 points, the biggest one-day loss since December 2008. Is America heading for a double-dip recession? For more on America’s economic outlook, Jared is joined by Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn and Thomson Reuters economist Jeoffrey Hall.
 

Harvard Business Review Blogs
08/08/2011

Nancy Koehn

Apple, Google and Facebook generate a lot more buzz in the tech space than IBM these days, but Big Blue's track record outshines all of these younger players when seen from the wide-angle lens of history. In fact, IBM's is one of the greatest (and, yes, less well-known) stories of American capitalism. At its 100-year milestone, IBM shows us what it takes to outlast depression, war, and intense competition in order to remain a market leader in the midst of ongoing technological innovation. Here are several lessons worth sharing.

01/13/2011

NANCY KOEHN of Harvard Business School is one of the world's leading experts on Starbucks. Her opinion on the latest logo/strategy kerfuffle is broadly positive.

Related: Starbucks' Logo Debate Shows Customers' Engagement Koehn, Nancy F.

Bloomberg TV
12/24/2012

Betty Liu

Nancy Koehn, a professor at Harvard Business School, talks about government and corporate leadership. Koehn speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” 

BBC World Service News
12/29/2012

Justin Rowlatt

Most of us like to think we are principled, that our actions are guided by an ethical code. But how ethical are we really? And when it comes to business do ethics fly out of the window as we go off in search of profits? In the Balance explores ethics with a multi-millionaire venture capitalist, a Harvard professor of business history, an expert on business in India, and a fund manager who advocates ethical investment. Plus as the year draws to a close, we send Colm O'Regan up to his garret to compose the definitive poem for 2012. Spurred on by that, Justin Rowlatt's guests, Ed Conard, Nancy Koehn, Deepak Lalwani and Gervais Williams give us their predictions for 2013

Harvard Business Review Blogs
02/11/2013

Gretchen Gavett

Harvard Business Review Blogs
01/10/2011

Nancy Koehn

Last Wednesday, Starbucks unveiled a new logo, and the world has not been the same since. I'm kidding, of course, but the change — a simpler, cleaner version of the mermaid (or, if you will, mythological "siren") minus the border and company name — launched a war of words on blogging sites all over the internet.