Nitin Nohria

George F. Baker Professor of Administration
Dean of the Faculty

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Nitin Nohria became the tenth dean of Harvard Business School on 1 July 2010. He previously served as co-chair of the Leadership Initiative, Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Development, and Head of the Organizational Behavior unit.

As Dean, building on input from faculty, students, staff, and alumni, he has identified five priorities for Harvard Business School:  innovation in the School's educational programs, beginning with the MBA Program; intellectual ambition that advances ideas with impact in practice; continued internationalization, through building a global intellectual footprint; creating a culture of inclusion, where every member of the community can do their best work in support of the School's mission; and fostering a culture of integration within HBS and across Harvard University that acts as a catalyst for entrepreneurship.  Recent examples of activities in support of these priorities include:

• A new year-long course in the Required Curriculum of the MBA Program, Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD), that provides students with intensive, immersive, small-group opportunities to develop leadership, global, and integrative intelligence.
• The U.S. Competitiveness Project, a multi-faculty research-led effort to understand and improve the competitiveness of the United States—that is, the ability of firms operating in the U.S. to compete successfully in the global economy while supporting high and rising living standards for Americans.
• The launch of the Harvard Innovation Lab, an initiative to foster team-based and entrepreneurial activities and deepen interactions among Harvard students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and members of the Allston and Greater Boston community.

Dean Nohria's intellectual interests center on human motivation, leadership, corporate transformation and accountability, and sustainable economic and human performance.  He is co-author or co-editor of 16 books.  The most recent, Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, is a compendium dedicated to advancing research on leadership based on a colloquium he organized during HBS’s centennial celebrations.  Dean Nohria is also the author of over 50 journal articles, book chapters, cases, working papers, and notes.  He sits on the board of directors of Tata Sons, and he has served as an advisor and consultant to several large and small companies in different parts of the world.  He has been interviewed by ABC, CNN, and NPR, and cited in Business Week, Economist, Financial Times, Fortune, New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Prior to joining the Harvard Business School faculty in July 1988, Dean Nohria received his Ph.D. in Management from the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B. Tech. in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (which honored him as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2007).  He was a visiting faculty member at the London Business School in 1996.

He and his wife live in the Boston area with their two daughters.

Publications

Books

  1. The Handbook for Teaching Leadership: Knowing, Doing, and Being

    Scott Snook, Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana

    The last 25 years have witnessed an explosion in the field of leadership education. This volume brings together leading international scholars across disciplines to chronicle the current state of leadership education and establish a solid foundation on which to grow the field. It encourages leadership educators to explore and communicate more clearly the theoretical underpinnings and conceptual assumptions on which their approaches are based. It provides a forum for the discussion of current issues and challenges in the field and examines the above objectives within the broader perspective of rapid changes in technology, organizational structure, and diversity.

    Keywords: Change; Business Education; Leadership; Goals and Objectives; Management Style; Organizational Structure; Perspective; Diversification; Technology;

    Citation:

    Snook, Scott, Nitin Nohria, and Rakesh Khurana, eds. The Handbook for Teaching Leadership: Knowing, Doing, and Being. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2012. View Details
  2. Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice

    Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana

    The study of leadership suffers intellectual neglect and has yet to be considered a serious academic discipline. And though the mission statements of most business schools profess to "develop leaders who make a difference in the world," these same schools produce hardly any serious scholarship or research to advance our understanding of leadership. To fill this void, Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana have invited leading scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds to take stock of what we know about leadership and to set an agenda for future research. Based on a Harvard Business School Centennial Colloquium, this edited volume brings together the most important scholars from fields as diverse as psychology, sociology, economics, and history to shape the academic discipline of leadership.

    Keywords: Business Education; Interdisciplinary Studies; Leadership; Practice; Research; Theory;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Rakesh Khurana, eds. Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice. Harvard Business Press, 2010. View Details
  3. Entrepreneurs, Managers, and Leaders: What the Airline Industry Can Teach Us About Leadership

    Anthony J. Mayo, Nitin Nohria and Mark Rennella

    'Entrepreneurs, Managers, and Leaders' examines the role that business leaders play in shaping industries and how the evolving context of industries shapes leaders in turn. This co-evolutionary process of leadership and industry development is told through the story of the American airline industry across the 20th century. Entrepreneurs, who explored a variety of different airline concepts in search of a viable business model, dominate the industry's early history. As the industry evolved, a new breed of managers emerged who built a dominant business model that enables their companies to grow dramatically. Later, after the industry matured, leaders took center-stage as agents of change to rebuild and revitalize the industry. The lessons of entrepreneurs, managers, and leaders from the airlines can be applied to understanding any industry's evolution.

    Keywords: Business Model; Entrepreneurship; Leadership Development; Managerial Roles; Supply and Industry; Industry Growth; Air Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Mayo, Anthony J., Nitin Nohria, and Mark Rennella. Entrepreneurs, Managers, and Leaders: What the Airline Industry Can Teach Us About Leadership. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. View Details
  4. Building the Information-Age Organization: Structure, Control, and Information Technologies

    J. I. Cash Jr., R. G. Eccles, N. Nohria and R. Nolan

    Keywords: Organizational Structure; Information Technology;

    Citation:

    Cash, J. I., Jr., R. G. Eccles, N. Nohria, and R. Nolan. Building the Information-Age Organization: Structure, Control, and Information Technologies. 3rd ed. Irwin Case Book Series in Information Systems Management. Irwin, 1994. View Details

Journal Articles

  1. Celebrate Innovation, No Matter Where It Occurs

    Nitin Nohria

    The author offers opinions on technological innovations and innovations in business. It is argued that the country of origin of a technological innovation is less economically important than the ability of a society to capitalize on that innovation and convert it into profitable business opportunities. Corporations with superior marketing and distribution abilities are seen as best able to exploit technological innovations.

    Keywords: Technological Innovation; Profit; Commercialization; Marketing; Distribution;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "Celebrate Innovation, No Matter Where It Occurs." Harvard Business Review 90, no. 4 (April 2012). View Details
  2. Why U.S. Competitiveness Matters to All of Us

    Nitin Nohria

    Americans may not realize this, but the world wants the United States to be competitive. For more than a century, global observers have considered the U.S. economy to be an exemplar and America a country to envy and imitate. Unfortunately, America's reign as the global ideal seems to be waning.

    Keywords: Globalization; Competition; Economy; United States;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "Why U.S. Competitiveness Matters to All of Us." Harvard Business Review 90, no. 3 (March 2012). View Details
  3. What Factors Drive Analyst Forecasts?

    Boris Groysberg, Paul Healy, Nitin Nohria and George Serafeim

    A firm's competitive environment, its strategic choices, and its internal capabilities are considered important determinants of its future performance. Yet there is little evidence on whether analysts' forecasts of firm performance actually reflect any of these factors and which are considered most important. We use survey data from 967 analysts ranking 837 companies to judge how their forecasts are related to evaluations of firms' industry competitiveness, strategic choices, and internal capabilities. Forecasts are generally associated with many of the factors that money managers rate as important in their assessments of analyst contributions, including industry growth and competitiveness, low-price strategy, strategy execution, top management quality, innovation, and performance-driven culture. We also find wide variation across variables for ratings consistency among analysts covering the same firm. On average, consistency is higher for sell-side than buy-side analysts, consistent with sell-side analysts facing greater incentives to herd.

    Keywords: Competition; Forecasting and Prediction; Industry Growth; Judgments; Performance; Valuation; Price; Quality; Innovation and Invention; Organizational Culture; Competency and Skills; Surveys;

    Citation:

    Groysberg, Boris, Paul Healy, Nitin Nohria, and George Serafeim. "What Factors Drive Analyst Forecasts?" Financial Analysts Journal 67, no. 4 (July–August 2011). View Details
  4. Wealth and Jobs: The Broken Link

    Nitin Nohria

    This article discusses the weakening connections between business growth and job creation. The industrial economy of the 20th century ensured that growing firms would need to add workers, but the increasingly globalized and information-based economy of the early 21st century makes it possible for businesses to increase profits without adding significant numbers of employees.

    Keywords: Business Ventures; Economic Growth; Jobs and Positions; Employment; Growth and Development Strategy; Business and Government Relations; Welfare or Wellbeing; Value Creation;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "Wealth and Jobs: The Broken Link." Harvard Business Review 88, no. 11 (November 2010): 44. View Details
  5. The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times and Bad

    Claudio Fernandez-Araoz, Boris Groysberg and Nitin Nohria

    This article includes a one-page preview that quickly summarizes the key ideas and provides an overview of how the concepts work in practice along with suggestions for further reading. Few companies are thinking about hiring right now, but that's a mistake. If history is any guide, staffing will become a front-burner issue once the economic upheaval eases. Even now, companies are running into staffing problems in emerging markets, and many will have to find talented replacements for baby-boom retirees. Will they be able to meet their needs? Not likely, say Fern ndez-Ar oz of Egon Zehnder and Harvard Business School professors Groysberg and Nohria. Their research, conducted with scores of CEOs, HR executives, and recruiters, found current hiring practices to be haphazard at best and inept at worst. And no wonder. Ignorant of their staffing needs, most companies treat hiring top-level executives as an emergency. That leaves them little choice. One study found that nearly a quarter of the time, the executive selected was the only candidate considered. Far too few companies conduct reference checks; far too many rely on gut reactions when judging qualifications and cultural fit. Hardly anyone considers whether candidates will be good team players. And, shockingly, only half of the top managers recruited by the companies studied were interviewed by anyone in the C-suite. The result: About a third of promising new hires depart within three years of being recruited. As a remedy, the authors offer their best thinking about state-of-the-art hiring practices for the top levels of the organization. Their recommendations cover the entire hiring cycle in seven steps: anticipating the need for new hires, specifying the job, developing a pool of candidates, assessing the candidates, closing the deal, integrating the newcomer, and reviewing hire-process effectiveness. Whatever the future brings, firms that follow these practices successfully will have a distinct advantage over their shortsighted competitors.

    Keywords: Talent and Talent Management; Economic Slowdown and Stagnation; Recruitment; Selection and Staffing; Management Practices and Processes; Managerial Roles;

    Citation:

    Fernandez-Araoz, Claudio, Boris Groysberg, and Nitin Nohria. "The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times and Bad." Harvard Business Review 87, no. 5 (May 2009): 74–84. View Details
  6. Suspended in Self-Spun Webs of Significance: A Rhetorical Model of Institutionalization and Institutionally Embedded Agency

    Sandy Edward Green, Yuan Li and Nitin Nohria

    This article employs rhetorical theory to reconceptualize institutionalization as change in argument structure. As a state, institutionalization is embodied in the structure of argument used to justify a practice at a given point in time. As a process, institutionalization is modeled as changes in the structure of arguments used to justify a practice over time. We use rhetoric surrounding the institutionalization of total quality management (TQM) practices within the American business community as a case study to illustrate how conceptualizing institutionalization as changes in argument structure can help show how institutions simultaneously constrain and enable social action.

    Keywords: Debates; Management Practices and Processes; Trust; Adoption; Theory; United States;

    Citation:

    Green, Sandy Edward, Yuan Li, and Nitin Nohria. "Suspended in Self-Spun Webs of Significance: A Rhetorical Model of Institutionalization and Institutionally Embedded Agency." Academy of Management Journal 52, no. 1 (February 2009): 11–36. View Details
  7. From Regional Star to Global Leader

    Nitin Nohria

    Yang Jianguo was recently promoted from country manager for China to global head of product development at a staid French perfume maker. He was chosen for his technical smarts and his knowledge of emerging markets—a critical avenue for growth, given that sales in the company's core markets have stalled. Eager to succeed in his new role in Paris, Jianguo has lots of fresh ideas, but they seem to be falling on deaf ears. Members of the executive team, for their part, find Jianguo to be largely indifferent to their input. Can Jianguo adjust to this new culture? And can he succeed without sacrificing his identity? Three experts comment on this fictional case study in R0901A and R0901Z. Katherine Tsang, the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank in Shanghai, explains the cultural differences between China and France and recommends that Jianguo push his thinking beyond the Chinese market. She also suggests that the company give all its executive team members multicultural training so they have the tools to understand one another and work together effectively. Mansour Javidan, the dean of research and a professor at Thunderbird School of Global Management, acknowledges that Jianguo's transition would be easier if he had the full support of the CEO, Alain Deronde. But since that isn't forthcoming, he advises Jianguo to work with Alain to develop targets for growth in emerging and traditional markets and a plan for building an infrastructure to achieve those goals. James Champy, the chairman of consulting for Perot Systems, is surprised that a family business would choose an "outsider" for this important post, but he recognizes it as a wise strategic move. He says that Jianguo needs a coach and should focus on learning the home market first, before trying to make inroads further afield.

    Keywords: Communication Strategy; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Globalized Firms and Management; Leadership Development; Management Teams; Emerging Markets; Product Development; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; China; Paris;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "From Regional Star to Global Leader." Harvard Business Review 87, no. 1 (January 2009). View Details
  8. It's Time to Make Management a True Profession

    Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana

    In the face of the recent institutional breakdown of trust in business, managers are losing legitimacy. To regain public trust, management needs to become a true profession in much the way medicine and law have, argue Khurana and Nohria of Harvard Business School. True professions have codes, and the meaning and consequences of those codes are taught as part of the formal education required of their members. Through these codes, professional institutions forge an implicit social contract with society: Trust us to control and exercise jurisdiction over an important occupational category, and, in return, we will ensure that the members of our profession are worthy of your trust - that they will not only be competent to perform the tasks entrusted to them, but that they will also conduct themselves with high standards and great integrity. The authors believe that enforcing educational standards and a code of ethics is unlikely to choke entrepreneurial creativity. Indeed, if the field of medicine is any indication, a code may even stimulate creativity. The main challenge in writing a code lies in reaching a broad consensus on the aims and social purpose of management. There are two deeply divided schools of thought. One school argues that management's aim should simply be to maximize shareholder wealth; the other argues that management's purpose is to balance the claims of all the firm's stakeholders. Any code will have to steer a middle course in order to accommodate both the value-creating impetus of the shareholder value concept and the accountability inherent in the stakeholder approach.

    Keywords: Competency and Skills; Education; Ethics; Corporate Accountability; Management; Trust; Value Creation;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Rakesh Khurana. "It's Time to Make Management a True Profession." Harvard Business Review 86, no. 10 (October 2008). View Details
  9. Reducing Slack: The Performance Consequences of Downsizing by Large Industrial Firms, 1977-93

    E. Geoffrey Love and Nitin Nohria

    Keywords: Business Ventures; Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Performance; Outcome or Result;

    Citation:

    Love, E. Geoffrey, and Nitin Nohria. "Reducing Slack: The Performance Consequences of Downsizing by Large Industrial Firms, 1977-93." Strategic Management Journal 26, no. 12 (December 2005): 1087–1108. View Details
  10. How to Build Collaborative Advantage

    Morten T. Hansen and Nitin Nohria

    Keywords: Opportunities; Cooperation;

    Citation:

    Hansen, Morten T., and Nitin Nohria. "How to Build Collaborative Advantage." MIT Sloan Management Review 46, no. 1 (fall 2004): 22–30. (

    Winner of PricewaterhouseCoopers Best Article Award For the article published in the MIT Sloan Management Review that has contributed most significantly to the enhancement and advancement of management practice​

    .) View Details
  11. What is the Optimum Amount of Organizational Slack? A Study of the Relationship Between Slack and Innovation in Multinational Firms

    Ranjay Gulati and Nitin Nohria

    Keywords: Organizations; Relationships; Business Ventures; Innovation and Invention;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Nitin Nohria. "What is the Optimum Amount of Organizational Slack? A Study of the Relationship Between Slack and Innovation in Multinational Firms." European Management Journal 15, no. 6 (December 1997): 603–611. (This is a longer version of the paper we jointly published in Academy Management Journal in 1996.) View Details

Book Chapters

  1. Teaching Leadership: Advancing the Field

    Scott Snook, Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana

    Keywords: Leadership Development; Teaching;

    Citation:

    Snook, Scott, Nitin Nohria, and Rakesh Khurana. "Teaching Leadership: Advancing the Field." Chap. 1 in The Handbook for Teaching Leadership: Knowing, Doing, and Being, edited by Scott Snook, Nitin Nohria, and Rakesh Khurana. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2011. View Details
  2. When Does Leadership Matter? A Contingent Opportunities View of CEO Leadership

    Noam Wasserman, Nitin Nohria and Bharat Anand

    There is by now a long-standing debate on the impact that CEOs have on company performance. Studies of leadership describe how CEOs can significantly impact company performance, while the "constraints" perspective argues that leaders are sufficiently constrained by their environments, and that their ability to impact performance is limited. This paper seeks to alter the framing of this debate by asking, instead, "When does leadership matter?" We develop a "contingent opportunities" theory of leadership and empirically examine our predictions on a dataset of 531 companies from 42 industries from 1979 to 1997. We show that CEO impact differs markedly by industry, and that CEOs have the most significant impact where opportunities are scarce or where CEOs have slack resources.

    Keywords: Business Ventures; Leadership; Performance Improvement; Research; Opportunities;

    Citation:

    Wasserman, Noam, Nitin Nohria, and Bharat Anand. "When Does Leadership Matter? A Contingent Opportunities View of CEO Leadership." Chap. 2 in Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, edited by Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana. Harvard Business Press, 2010. View Details
  3. What Is Leadership: The CEO's Role in Large, Complex Organizations

    Michael E. Porter and Nitin Nohria

    What is the role of the CEO in a large, complex enterprise? What makes a CEO effective? At first blush, these questions seem easy to answer. A CEO is the epitome of leadership. He or she exercises ultimate power and is responsible for making the most critical choices facing an organization. However, these questions get far more complicated as one contemplates the realities of large organizations. Actually, the CEO cannot make most decisions, or even review them. The CEO is powerful, but multiple constituencies can exercise power as well, starting with the board. The shortening CEO tenure reveals that many leaders misunderstand the role and how to play it effectively.

    Keywords: Decision Making; Leadership; Managerial Roles; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Porter, Michael E., and Nitin Nohria. "What Is Leadership: The CEO's Role in Large, Complex Organizations." Chap. 16 in Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, edited by Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana. Harvard Business Press, 2010. View Details
  4. Advancing Leadership Theory and Practice

    Rakesh Khurana and Nitin Nohria

    More than a means of getting ahead and gaining power, leadership must be understood as a serious professional and personal responsibility. In this introductory chapter, editors Nitin Nohria, the dean of Harvard Business School, and Rakesh Khurana, a professor of leadership development at HBS, point out that while many university graduate programs in business, law, education, and public policy claim that their mission is to educate leaders who will advance the well-being of society, the reality is that scholarly research on leadership is, at best, at the periphery of these same universities. In fact, the increasing demand for insights about leadership has largely been met by popular writers--consultants, journalists, or "iconic" business leaders. The papers that comprise this book--originally presented at the Harvard Business School Centennial Colloquium, "Leadership: Advancing an Intellectual Discipline"--are a starting point. Nohria and Khurana define five dualities that they believe are at the heart of research on leadership--for example, the duality between the leader's role in producing superior results and the leader's role in creating meaning. The chapter concludes with a brief summary of each of the book's 25 subsequent chapters.

    Keywords: Leadership; Practice; Research; Theory;

    Citation:

    Khurana, Rakesh, and Nitin Nohria. "Advancing Leadership Theory and Practice." Chap. 1 in Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, edited by Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana. Harvard Business Press, 2010. View Details
  5. Management as a Profession

    Rakesh Khurana, Nitin Nohria and Daniel Penrice

    Keywords: Management; Practice;

    Citation:

    Khurana, Rakesh, Nitin Nohria, and Daniel Penrice. "Management as a Profession." Chap. 3 in Restoring Trust in American Business, edited by Jay W. Lorsch, A. Zelleke, and Leslie Berlowitz. Cambridge: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2005. View Details
  6. The Sidekick Effect: Mentoring Relationships and the Development of Social Capital

    M. C. Higgins and N. Nohria

    Keywords: Human Capital; Relationships; Training; Personal Development and Career; Social Psychology;

    Citation:

    Higgins, M. C., and N. Nohria. "The Sidekick Effect: Mentoring Relationships and the Development of Social Capital." In Corporate Social Capital and Liability, edited by S. Gabbay and R. Leenders. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1999. View Details
  7. The Virtual Organization: Bureaucracy, Technology, and the Implosion of Control

    N. Nohria and J. D. Berkley

    Keywords: Organizational Design; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Technology; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Nohria, N., and J. D. Berkley. "The Virtual Organization: Bureaucracy, Technology, and the Implosion of Control." In The Post-Bureaucratic Organization: New Perspectives on Organizational Change, edited by Anne Donnellon and Charles C Heckscher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1994. View Details
  8. Information and Search in the Creation of New Ventures: The Case of the 128 Venture Group

    N. Nohria

    Keywords: Business Startups; Information;

    Citation:

    Nohria, N. "Information and Search in the Creation of New Ventures: The Case of the 128 Venture Group." In Networks and Organizations: Structure, Form and Action, edited by N. Nohria and R. C. Eccles. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1992. View Details
  9. Rediscovering Functions in the MNC: The Role of Expertise in Firms' Response to Shifting Exchange Rates

    D. Lessard and N. Nohria

    Keywords: Experience and Expertise; International Finance;

    Citation:

    Lessard, D., and N. Nohria. "Rediscovering Functions in the MNC: The Role of Expertise in Firms' Response to Shifting Exchange Rates." In Managing the Global Firm, edited by Christopher A. Bartlett, Y. Doz, and G. Hedlund. London: Routledge, 1990. View Details

Working Papers

  1. Structural Closure and Exposure: Market Reactions to Announcements of Acquisitions and Divestitures

    Mikolaj Jan Piskorski and Nitin Nohria

    This paper develops an exchange-network perspective on corporate diversification and proposes two measures of corporate scope: structural closure and structural exposure. Structural closure focuses on exchanges of goods and services inside the firm and proxies for the potential costs of undertaking them through the market instead. By considering exchange relations inside the firm, this measure complements the existing indices that focus on asset relatedness. Structural exposure focuses on exchanges of goods and services across the firm boundary and proxies for the current market-exchange costs as compared to undertaking them inside the firm instead. By focusing on exchanges across the firm boundary, the measure extends the existing approaches in that it captures what the firm could integrate, but decided not to. We posit that higher structural closure will increase firm value, while higher structural exposure will reduce it. We test these hypotheses using stock market reactions to acquisitions and divestitures undertaken by Fortune 100 firms between 1979 and 1992. We find that acquisitions that increase firm structural closure increase firm value, but those that increase structural exposure diminish it. We find equivalent results for divestitures.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Market Transactions; Diversification; Boundaries; Valuation;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Nitin Nohria. "Structural Closure and Exposure: Market Reactions to Announcements of Acquisitions and Divestitures." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 08-087, April 2008. View Details
  2. Moving Higher Education to the Next Stage: A New Set of Societal Challenges, a New Stage of Life, and a Call to Action for Universities

    Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Rakesh Khurana and Nitin Nohria

    Citation:

    Kanter, Rosabeth Moss, Rakesh Khurana, and Nitin Nohria. "Moving Higher Education to the Next Stage: A New Set of Societal Challenges, a New Stage of Life, and a Call to Action for Universities." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 06-021, November 2005. View Details
  3. When Does Leadership Matter? The Contingent Opportunities View of CEO Leadership

    Noam Wasserman, Bharat Anand and Nitin Nohria

    Citation:

    Wasserman, Noam, Bharat Anand, and Nitin Nohria. "When Does Leadership Matter? The Contingent Opportunities View of CEO Leadership." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 01-063, January 2001. ((Later published as Ch. 2 in The Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, 2010.)) View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. General Electric's 20th Century CEOs (Abridged)

    Nitin Nohria, Anthony J. Mayo and Mark Benson

    General Electric thrived in every decade of the 20th century. Since its founding in 1892, GE has placed a high value on picking and training the best people. Staff members worked with other scientists in the company's research lab to design and manufacture new and better products to satisfy the growing American consumer demand for lighting, appliances, and consumer electronics in the 1910s to 1920s as well as in the 1950s and 1960s. GE's top executives have shown a clear understanding of the leadership and managerial styles that were appropriate for the years in which they worked. In the first decade of the 20th century, Charles Coffin demonstrated that he was an adept negotiator who amassed great wealth for GE in building generators and power equipment for local utilities in which GE also had a financial stake through bond issues. In the final decades of the 20th century, Jack Welch emphasized that GE should support only the most profitable businesses in the company's portfolio, a logic that led Welch and GE to phase out GE's consumer electronics division while bolstering the financial position of GE capital. Profiles all of GE's top executives.

    Keywords: Business History; Leadership Style; Growth and Development Strategy; Management Style;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Anthony J. Mayo, and Mark Benson. "General Electric's 20th Century CEOs (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 406-118, May 2006. (Revised February 2012.) View Details
  2. Walt Disney and the 1941 Animators' Strike

    Nitin Nohria, Anthony Mayo and Bridget Gurtler

    Focuses on the leadership lessons drawn from the events precipitating the Animator's Strike of 1941, depicting the growing pains of a company that was as much formed and changed by American culture as American culture was formed and changed by it. The tale of Walt Disney's roller-coaster journey from small-town paperboy to underage ambulance-driving serviceman to amateur animator and thrice-failed businessman to iconic leader is told against the backdrop of swift and seeping change in the beginning of the 20th century. An ambitious creative genius, he masterfully pursued emerging technological advantage and uniquely grasped and personified American social mores, but was reckless and naive about strategic business issues, especially concerning intellectual property and human resources management. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Business History; Leadership; Creativity; Culture; Business Strategy; Technology Adoption;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Anthony Mayo, and Bridget Gurtler. "Walt Disney and the 1941 Animators' Strike." Harvard Business School Case 406-076, December 2005. (Revised May 2014.) View Details
  3. Jesse Holman Jones and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation

    Nitin Nohria, Anthony Mayo and Bridget Gurtler

    Jesse Holman Jones is regarded as one of the most influential men in reviving the American economy from the Great Depression. With only an 8th grade education, he rose to the top of the banking, real estate, and lumber industries, as well as the upper echelons of politics as the head of Reconstruction Finance Corp. (RFC), as secretary of commerce and, during World War I, as director general of military relief for the American Red Cross. He was responsible for the transformation of his adopted city Houston, Texas, into the most important city for international commerce in the South. After Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jones was the single most influential and powerful man in the New Deal by virtue of his control of the billions of dollars RFC held. With this power, he greatly affected many American cities and the way our financial system currently operates. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Financial Crisis; Financial Strategy; Business History; Leading Change; Managerial Roles; Business and Government Relations; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Anthony Mayo, and Bridget Gurtler. "Jesse Holman Jones and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation." Harvard Business School Case 406-029, July 2005. (Revised August 2011.) View Details
  4. Leadership in Energy: Jim Rogers at Cinergy

    Boris Groysberg, Nitin Nohria, Colleen Kaftan and Geoff Eckman Marietta

    Jim Rogers, CEO of the energy company Cinergy, has led the company from the brink of bankruptcy to one of the premier energy companies through selecting a focused strategy, aligning the organization to support it, and mobilizing all the employees to implementation. The case also discusses the strategies used by Rogers to communicate the strategy, which included innovative image maps.

    Keywords: Communication Strategy; Leading Change; Organizational Culture; Organizational Structure; Alignment; Corporate Strategy; Energy Industry;

    Citation:

    Groysberg, Boris, Nitin Nohria, Colleen Kaftan, and Geoff Eckman Marietta. "Leadership in Energy: Jim Rogers at Cinergy." Harvard Business School Case 408-097, December 2007. (Revised July 2011.) View Details
  5. General Electric's 20th Century CEOs

    Nitin Nohria, Anthony Mayo and Mark Benson

    General Electric thrived in every decade of the 20th century. Since its founding in 1892, GE has placed a high value on picking and training the best people. Staff members worked with other scientists in the company's research lab to design and manufacture new and better products to satisfy the growing American consumer demand for lighting, appliances, and consumer electronics in the 1910s to 1920s as well as in the 1950s and 1960s. GE's top executives have shown a clear understanding of the leadership and managerial styles that were appropriate for the years in which they worked. In the first decade of the 20th century, Charles Coffin demonstrated that he was an adept negotiator who amassed great wealth for GE in building generators and power equipment for local utilities in which GE also had a financial stake through bond issues. In the final decades of the 20th century, Jack Welch emphasized that GE should support only the most profitable businesses in the company's portfolio, a logic that led Welch and GE to phase out GE's consumer electronics division while bolstering the financial position of GE capital. Profiles all of GE's top executives.

    Keywords: Business History; Leadership Style; Growth and Development Strategy; Management Style;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Anthony Mayo, and Mark Benson. "General Electric's 20th Century CEOs." Harvard Business School Case 406-048, December 2005. (Revised April 2011.) View Details
  6. C.W. Post

    Nitin Nohria, Anthony Mayo and Mark Benson

    In 1906, C.W. Post had to move his latest breakfast product--corn flakes--from store shelves into cereal bowls nationwide. Post genuinely believed his corn flakes and other breakfast foods would make people well. Through sampling and other innovative sales and marketing techniques, Post convinced consumers and grocers to buy Postum and Grape-Nuts--which generated millions in profits for the Postum Cereal Co. But not Elijah's Manna--the brand name that Post put on his corn flakes boxes when his company introduced the product in 1904. Two years later, it was clearly not selling. To make matters worse, other cereal companies in the burgeoning Battle Creek area where Post's foods were manufactured were cornering the market, in particular, Kelloggs. How was Post going to convince consumers that his corn flakes were better than the rest?

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Innovation and Invention; Brands and Branding; Product Marketing; Sales; Food and Beverage Industry; Battle Creek;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Anthony Mayo, and Mark Benson. "C.W. Post." Harvard Business School Case 406-063, December 2005. (Revised April 2011.) View Details
  7. Solvay Group: International Mobility and Managing Expatriates

    Boris Groysberg, Nitin Nohria and Kerry Herman

    Marcel Lorent, head of International Mobility at Brussels-based Solvay Group, faces decisions on the expatriation status of four of his firm's talented executives. Each decision will impact the candidate's professional and personal life and will have implications for effective management and growth in Solvay's global markets. The case explores these issues, with a close look at Solvay's attempts to develop talent management and mobility processes that allow the firm to align its strategic needs with the complexities of its individual employees' needs and lives.

    Keywords: Leadership Development; Globalized Firms and Management; Work-Life Balance; Talent and Talent Management; Residency Characteristics; Employees; Brussels;

    Citation:

    Groysberg, Boris, Nitin Nohria, and Kerry Herman. "Solvay Group: International Mobility and Managing Expatriates." Harvard Business School Case 409-079, January 2009. (Revised February 2011.) View Details
  8. Note on Human Behavior: Character and Situation

    Nitin Nohria, Sandra J. Sucher and Bridget Gurtler

    When we think of human behavior, especially from a moral perspective, we are often drawn to explanations that rest on character. In simple terms, we conclude that virtuous behavior stems from a person of integrity with strong character and immoral behavior from a person of little integrity with weak character. Discussions of character typically hinge on the extent to which an individual believes in and adheres to the basic moral tenets of honesty, fairness, fidelity to commitments, respect for others and their property, no unjustified harm to others, no theft, and no violation of accepted legal codes. The ability to identify empathetically with others is sometimes seen as a necessary component to understanding and complying with such moral precepts. Character is presumed to influence predictably any individual's behavior across different situations and over time (in the language of rational choice, character can be thought of as a stable system of preferences that informs the tradeoffs and choices an individual is likely to make in different circumstances). Teaching Purpose: To provide background on human behavior.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Ethics; Behavior; Personal Characteristics; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Sandra J. Sucher, and Bridget Gurtler. "Note on Human Behavior: Character and Situation." Harvard Business School Background Note 404-091, January 2004. (Revised February 2011.) View Details
  9. Gordon Bethune at Continental Airlines

    Nitin Nohria, Anthony Mayo and Mark Benson

    A $385 million loss for the final months of fiscal year 1994 signaled Continental might go bankrupt. Could new CEO Gordon Bethune turn Continental around? Continental was in dire straits because the deregulation of the commercial airline industry in 1978 ushered in a new era focused on mergers and acquisitions and bitter employee-management relations. Venerable airline brands with a commitment to quality, like Continental, were prime takeover targets. After Texas Air Chairman Frank Lorenzo (HBS 1963) secured Continental in his hostile takeover bid, tensions escalated between Lorenzo and the old guard--especially when Lorenzo declared Continental bankrupt in the fall of 1983 and then fired and replaced half his staff with cheaper nonunion labor. In October 1994, five months after Continental exited its second bankruptcy, Bethune was elevated to CEO and created a Go Forward Plan to return Continental to profitability. Two years after unveiling the Go Forward Plan, Continental was at the top of the industry in a number of important performance metrics.

    Keywords: Transformation; Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Profit; Leading Change; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Performance Improvement; Labor and Management Relations; Air Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Anthony Mayo, and Mark Benson. "Gordon Bethune at Continental Airlines." Harvard Business School Case 406-073, January 2006. (Revised November 2010.) View Details
  10. HBS Class of 2009: All Talk As They Prepare to Walk?

    Rakesh Khurana, Nitin Nohria and Dalia Rahman

    Max Anderson, HBS Class of 2009, founded the MBA Oath Initiative. The oath was a voluntary pledge "to create value responsibly and ethically." Anderson and a team of students and faculty worked to launch the first MBA Oath Ceremony conducted on campus during Harvard graduation week.

    Keywords: Business Education; Higher Education; Values and Beliefs; Leadership; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Social Issues; Value Creation; Education Industry; Massachusetts;

    Citation:

    Khurana, Rakesh, Nitin Nohria, and Dalia Rahman. "HBS Class of 2009: All Talk As They Prepare to Walk?" Harvard Business School Case 411-024, September 2010. (Revised October 2010.) View Details
  11. Freddie Mac: Managing in Conservatorship

    Robert Steven Kaplan, Nitin Nohria and Ben Creo

    Ed Haldeman has recently become CEO of Freddie Mac, one of three major government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) charged with supporting U.S. residential mortgage finance. The company was placed into conservatorship by the U.S. treasury on September 7, 2008. Conservatorship places various restrictions on Haldeman and the organization in terms of management. Haldeman's challenge is to lead Freddie Mac, build its culture, upgrade its operations, and generally prepare the organization for re-emerging from conservatorship. In the background, housing prices continue to deteriorate, and the company continues to lose money. In addition, political views continue to shift regarding the future regulatory and equity ownership frameworks for Freddie Mac as it emerges from this difficult period.

    Keywords: Change Management; Financial Crisis; Mortgages; Leadership; Organizational Culture; Business and Government Relations; Financial Services Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Kaplan, Robert Steven, Nitin Nohria, and Ben Creo. "Freddie Mac: Managing in Conservatorship." Harvard Business School Case 411-048, September 2010. View Details
  12. Sheikh Mohammed and the Making of 'Dubai, Inc.'

    Anthony Mayo, Nitin Nohria, Umaimah Mendhro and Johnathan Cromwell

    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has converted Dubai from a sleepy little coastal village into a world-class city, famous for its ambition, drive, and economic promise. He is the founder, part-owner, and visionary behind companies such as Emirates Airlines, a UAE-based airline serving over 100 destinations; Nakheel, the property developer that built a trilogy of man-made islands; and DP World, a leader in international marine terminal operations. Despite being surrounded by political instability in the Middle East, Sheikh Mohammed pursued capitalism and embraced Western culture while maintaining safety for millions of annual tourists. By 2010, Dubai had the world's tallest building, the most expensive hotel, and the largest shopping mall. But rapid development did not come without difficulties. While hundreds of thousands immigrated to help build the metropolis, labor conditions suffered and some local Emirati felt like they lost aspects of their cultural identity. Growth was rapid, infrastructure was weak, and the real estate bubble grew as the financial crisis loomed. To produce economic, social, and cultural prosperity for the people of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed had to balance his role as a business leader and a political ruler.

    Keywords: Development Economics; Leadership Style; Emerging Markets; Personal Development and Career; Business and Community Relations; Business and Government Relations; Dubai;

    Citation:

    Mayo, Anthony, Nitin Nohria, Umaimah Mendhro, and Johnathan Cromwell. "Sheikh Mohammed and the Making of 'Dubai, Inc.'." Harvard Business School Case 410-063, February 2010. (Revised August 2010.) View Details
  13. Managing the Client Portfolio

    Nitin Nohria and Ashish Nanda

    The German country managing partner of a global law firm must decide how to respond to a corporate mandate to restructure its client portfolio. The case enables a discussion of different types of clients in a global professional service firm in terms of relative revenues, profitability, and strategic significance. It also highlights the tensions between local subsidiaries and corporate headquarters with respect to managing client portfolios.

    Keywords: Attorney and Client Relationships; Management Style; Corporate Governance; Business Subsidiaries; Business Headquarters; Conflict and Resolution;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Ashish Nanda. "Managing the Client Portfolio." Harvard Business School Case 410-139, June 2010. View Details
  14. Malden Mills (A) (Abridged)

    Nitin Nohria and Thomas R. Piper

    CEO Aaron Feuerstein of Malden Mills decided to pay idled workers after a massive fire at his mill in 1995. Focuses on the decisions made post-fire and the rebuilding process and eventual bankruptcy of the company. Also outlines creditors' struggle to decide whether to lend Feuerstein additional funds to enable him to regain control of the company after emerging from bankruptcy.

    Keywords: Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Financing and Loans; Employees; Leadership; Crisis Management; Social Issues; Manufacturing Industry; Massachusetts;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Thomas R. Piper. "Malden Mills (A) (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 410-083, March 2010. (Revised June 2010.) View Details
  15. William Levitt, Levittown and the Creation of American Suburbia

    Nitin Nohria, Anthony Mayo and Mark Benson

    Demand for low-cost housing after World War II far exceeded supply. Was this a profitable new market? New York developer William Levitt had to decide. During World War II, Levitt was eager to build basic housing for the working class—otherwise, Levitt & Sons would have been idle due to the federal government ban on all nonessential construction, like the luxury homes that Levitt & Sons typically built on Long Island, New York. Under a contract with the U.S. Navy, Levitt & Sons erected 2,000 homes in a year's time, an effort that gave Levitt & Sons the opportunity to perfect rapid home construction techniques. Levitt had to decide if he would apply those techniques to meet the post-war housing demand. Levitt & Sons had the manufacturing know-how. Would sizable profits follow? Levitt needed to understand the implications of the home improvement loans and mortgages the government guaranteed to returning servicemen as part of their veterans benefits. Levitt had the opportunity to parlay his own World War II experience as a Navy Seabee to market these homes by appealing to the sentiments of veterans like himself who were eager to return home and settle down after the fighting stopped. Levitt's decision would have profound social, economic, and political impact on the lives of returning veterans, their spouses, and their children—the Baby Boomers.

    Keywords: Demographics; Construction; Business History; Housing; Leadership; Growth and Development Strategy; Product Development; Business and Government Relations; Construction Industry; Real Estate Industry; United States; New York (state, US);

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Anthony Mayo, and Mark Benson. "William Levitt, Levittown and the Creation of American Suburbia." Harvard Business School Case 406-062, December 2005. (Revised March 2010.) View Details
  16. Managing Talent at Bertelsmann AG (A)

    Boris Groysberg, Nitin Nohria, Mark Maletz and Kerry Herman

    Bertelsmann's EVP HR Immanuel Hermreck and his team were focused on four key HR issues. Three of these were somewhat discreet: improving Bertelsmann's employer brand; managing Bertelsmann talent across the firm's decentralized businesses; and ensuring early identification and appropriate development of Bertelsmann's top 100 high potential managers (hi-pos) to better seed the company's future top management. The fourth issue—recruitment and retention—played an integral role across all three challenges and had to be strengthened and made consistent across the firm, not an easy prospect given Bertelsmann's highly decentralized structure. Hermreck knew navigating these issues would pose significant challenges, but getting them right was critical to Bertelsmann's competitive advantage and survival as a robust media company. He had some good results in from his early efforts, but as he looked forward, what should his action plan set out to do?

    Keywords: Talent and Talent Management; Recruitment; Retention; Selection and Staffing; Leadership Development; Strategic Planning; Competitive Advantage; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Germany;

    Citation:

    Groysberg, Boris, Nitin Nohria, Mark Maletz, and Kerry Herman. "Managing Talent at Bertelsmann AG (A)." Harvard Business School Case 410-010, December 2009. (Revised January 2010.) View Details
  17. Ralph Nader: When Purpose and Legacy Collide

    Nitin Nohria and Umaimah Mendhro

    This case tells the story of Ralph Nader's leadership, from his success as a crusader for consumer interests and active public participation in the political process to his controversial campaigns for the U.S. presidency.

    Keywords: Values and Beliefs; Government and Politics; Leadership; Personal Development and Career; Reputation; Public Opinion; Public Administration Industry;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Umaimah Mendhro. "Ralph Nader: When Purpose and Legacy Collide." Harvard Business School Case 409-117, May 2009. (Revised November 2009.) View Details
  18. Who is the Fairest of Them All? Choosing a Leader at Deronde International

    Nitin Nohria and Martha Spaulding

    Alain Deronde, the CEO of a French personal care company, has to choose a successor to head global product development from a diverse set of candidates with different backgrounds, strengths, and weaknesses. The candidates include Elise Bernier, Vice President of Marketing for Skin Care Products; Antoine Lambert, General Manager of Coeur Tendre (an ex-entrepreneur whose company Deronde had bought); Yang Jianguo, Country Manager of Deronde International's Chinese subsidiary; and Yves Saurac, Vice President of Product Development for Developed Markets.

    Keywords: Talent and Talent Management; Management Succession; Diversity Characteristics; Management Teams; Product Development; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; France;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Martha Spaulding. "Who is the Fairest of Them All? Choosing a Leader at Deronde International." Harvard Business School Case 409-113, May 2009. View Details
  19. J. R. D. Tata

    Nitin Nohria, Anthony Mayo and Mark Benson

    J.R.D Tata, Chairman of the Indian conglomerate Tata & Sons, played a significant role in building India's economic infrastructure. Under his guidance, Tata & Sons built locomotives, steel refineries, airlines, chemical plants, and technology-based enterprises. Inheriting his title as Chairman in 1938, at the outbreak of World War II, Tata was able to navigate his family-owned companies through the tumultuous political climate of India. He worked with British colonial officers, and later closely with several Indian leaders under both pro- and anti-business government regimes. Applying his family's values to the workplace, Tata & Sons helped revolutionize business practices in India. From instituting the eight-hour work day and paid leave to providing a retirement gratuity, Tata's policies created a standard to which other companies--and eventually Indian government regulators--measured themselves. Blending humane business practices with political savvy and a pioneering spirit, J.R.D Tata is remembered as one of India's most important and influential business leaders. Tata is an example of a 20th century business leader who applied contextual intelligence to a variety of businesses, dramatically changing the landscape of India's infrastructure.

    Keywords: Family Business; Development Economics; Working Conditions; Leadership; Infrastructure; Personal Development and Career; Business and Government Relations; India;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Anthony Mayo, and Mark Benson. "J. R. D. Tata." Harvard Business School Case 407-061, December 2006. (Revised April 2014.) View Details
  20. Barbara Norris: Leading Change in the General Surgery Unit

    Boris Groysberg, Nitin Nohria and Deborah Bell

    Barbara Norris struggles to address the many problems facing her as a recently promoted nurse manager in the General Surgery Unit (GSU) at Eastern Massachusetts University Hospital (EMU). She has inherited a unit with the lowest employee satisfaction scores and highest employee turnover rate among all of the departments at EMU. Furthermore, her new unit was infamous for its culture of confrontation, blaming, and favoritism. The staff that has remained is dissatisfied, unmotivated, and not functioning as a team to deliver patient care. In fact, GSU's patient satisfaction scores, although average, had been declining steadily over the past few years. Barbara has been asked by EMU's Director of Nursing to turn the unit around in the midst of an economic crisis and deep cost-cutting measures throughout the hospital. Where and how should she begin?

    Keywords: Employee Relationship Management; Leading Change; Service Delivery; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Culture; Groups and Teams; Motivation and Incentives; Satisfaction; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Groysberg, Boris, Nitin Nohria, and Deborah Bell. "Barbara Norris: Leading Change in the General Surgery Unit." Harvard Business School Case 409-090, March 2009. View Details
  21. Michael Fernandes at Nicholas Piramal

    Michel Anteby and Nitin Nohria

    Michael Fernandes, the Director of Custom Manufacturing Operations at the pharmaceutical company Nicholas Piramal India Limited (NPIL), schedules a meeting with three of his reports, whose interpersonal conflicts with one another are causing his business development function to falter. He struggles to know how to handle these conflicts and bring the three into a productive working collaboration. Fernandes is in charge of incorporating NPIL's new acquisitions in Canada and the United Kingdom to market NPIL globally. His three direct reports are each involved in different aspects of NPIL-the Canadian operations, the British operations, and the global business development-and the case explores the team dynamics among them. Unless Fernandes can resolve the conflicts, the integration of the acquisitions is in jeopardy.

    Keywords: Interpersonal Communication; Management Skills; Groups and Teams; Conflict Management; Cooperation; Pharmaceutical Industry; India; United Kingdom; Canada;

    Citation:

    Anteby, Michel, and Nitin Nohria. "Michael Fernandes at Nicholas Piramal." Harvard Business School Case 408-001, September 2007. (Revised December 2008.) View Details
  22. Li Ka-Shing and the Growth of Cheung Kong

    Nitin Nohria, Anthony J. Mayo and Mark Benson

    Events in the history of Cheung Kong's growth reveal how Li Ka-Shing applied his skills as a "first-class noticer" to complex political and socioeconomic environments. While Li's determination to succeed is legendary, so are his skills in reading and responding to the policies and norms of the People's Republic of China, British colonial Hong Kong, and the post-World War II international system. Since Li became the taipan of Hutchison Whampoa in the late 1970s, he has adjusted his ownership shares in a vast portfolio of businesses—including ports, energy, real estate, retail, telecommunications, and new media. Illustrates how Li applied his business acumen and his ability as a first-class noticer to decisions about raising or lowering his stake in these businesses, and whether to acquire new ones. After starting Cheung Kong Inc. in 1950, at age 21, Li built upon his knowledge and contacts in the plastics industry to become Hong Kong's King of Plastic Flowers. In the 1960s, amid political turmoil and labor unrest on both the mainland and in colonial Hong Kong, Li purchased rights to properties on Hong Kong island that were selling at distressed rates. Li's successes in industry and real estate continued, and he cultivated contacts and built a strong reputation that set the stage for his purchase of the hong Hutchinson Whampoa, thereby becoming the first Chinese taipan. As taipan, Li reorganized and reallocated his various financial holdings in the 1980s and 1990s as conditions were in flux due to the Westernization of China after Deng Xiaoping succeeded Mao Zedong, and amid concerns about the transfer of Hong Kong from Britain back to China in 1997.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Competency and Skills; Decision Choices and Conditions; Investment Portfolio; Business History; Leadership; Personal Development and Career; Hong Kong;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Anthony J. Mayo, and Mark Benson. "Li Ka-Shing and the Growth of Cheung Kong." Harvard Business School Case 407-062, November 2006. (Revised May 2014.) View Details
  23. Henry Luce and the American Century

    Nitin Nohria, Anthony Mayo and Logan Wilcox

    Henry Luce, founder of the publishing company which produced Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, created the largest media company in the world by the mid-20th century. Luce's flagship magazine, Time, was able to gross over $20 million in sales during its first decade of publication and over $400 million by the time Luce retired in 1964. Entering the emerging market of magazine journalism early in the 1930s, Luce was able to cover some of the largest political and social events of the 20th century, including Charles Lindbergh's flight, World War II, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. Combining his unique journalistic ethos and his engaging creative writing style, Luce's magazines often resonated with readers, allowing him to quickly trump competitors such as Newsweek, Forbes, The New Yorker, Esquire, and National Geographic. Yet Luce was also criticized for occasionally using his imaginative style to inject his opinion into stories, going beyond the purview of journalists. Contemporaries complained that Luce was cultivating "middlebrow" cultural tastes instead of striving for journalistic excellence. Nevertheless, Luce's media empire continues to endure into the 21st century, shaping public discourse and influencing public opinion.

    Keywords: Business Growth and Maturation; Business Startups; Entrepreneurship; Business History; Leadership Style; Emerging Markets; Publishing Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Anthony Mayo, and Logan Wilcox. "Henry Luce and the American Century." Harvard Business School Case 407-076, January 2007. (Revised May 2008.) View Details
  24. Kirk Arnold

    Nitin Nohria and Alan Price

    Supplements NerveWire, Inc.

    Keywords: Recruitment; Value; Mission and Purpose; Partners and Partnerships; Business Model; Customer Value and Value Chain; Investment Return; Economic Slowdown and Stagnation; Problems and Challenges; Consulting Industry; Newton;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Alan Price. "Kirk Arnold." Harvard Business School Supplement 402-020, August 2001. (Revised March 2008.) View Details
  25. NerveWire, Inc.

    Nitin Nohria and Anthony Mayo

    NerveWire, a management consulting and systems integration provider based in Newton, MA, was closing in on its second anniversary. In the beginning days of NerveWire, the major challenge was recruiting--finding the right people who embodied its values and business mission. Traditional business enterprises were thirsty for a new type of consulting organization, a partner that would help them utilize the Internet not as a marketing tool, but as a tool to re-design their business models, their internal value chains, and their extended industry value chains to drive significant ROI. NerveWire was created for just that purpose. The year 2001 brought some very new and different challenges. In the fall of 2000, the economy in the United States fell off a cliff, and by the beginning of 2001, NerveWire's Fortune 500 clients, by and large, had frozen all spending in major new technology-centric business initiatives. A Day in the Life of Kirk Arnold, Video and A Day in the Life of Malcolm Frank, Video are required with this case.

    Keywords: Values and Beliefs; Leadership; Mission and Purpose; Behavior; Internet; Newton;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Anthony Mayo. "NerveWire, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 402-022, August 2001. (Revised March 2008.) View Details
  26. Cinergy and Duke Energy 2005: Think BIG

    Boris Groysberg, Nitin Nohria, Colleen Kaftan and Geoff Eckman Marietta

    Jim Rogers, CEO of Cinergy Energy, has just announced the company's merger with Duke Energy to Employees. Rogers has had success in the past leading his firm though a merger, but will he be able to achieve similar results this time around? This case also illustrates integration strategies used in a successful merger.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Leading Change; Integration; Energy Industry;

    Citation:

    Groysberg, Boris, Nitin Nohria, Colleen Kaftan, and Geoff Eckman Marietta. "Cinergy and Duke Energy 2005: Think BIG." Harvard Business School Case 408-096, December 2007. View Details
  27. The 1995 Release of the Institutional Investor Research Report: The Impact of New Information

    Boris Groysberg, Nitin Nohria and Derek Haas

    In 1995, Institutional Investor magazine began selling a complete ranking of the best equity research analysts. This report allowed research firms to assess the relative quality of each analyst across the industry, and this enabled firms to know nearly as much about the quality of analysts at other firms as they knew about the quality of their own analysts. Ponders the impact that increased transparency of performance will have on the labor market for equity research analysts, and asks how the directors of three different research firms ought to respond given each firm's competitive situation.

    Keywords: Talent and Talent Management; Investment Banking; Retention; Selection and Staffing; Reports; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Performance Evaluation; Banking Industry;

    Citation:

    Groysberg, Boris, Nitin Nohria, and Derek Haas. "The 1995 Release of the Institutional Investor Research Report: The Impact of New Information." Harvard Business School Case 408-061, November 2007. View Details
  28. Juan Trippe and Pan American World Airways

    Nitin Nohria, Anthony Mayo and Mark Rennella

    A fascination with flight and a forceful personality helped to create a market for air travel and shape the modern airline industry. Masterfully wielding his power and influence, Juan Trippe built Pan American Airways by combining bold moves and blind ambition. Across decades of sweeping cultural and technological change, his tenacity and cunning played a lead role in defining the arc of the aviation industry not only in the United States, but around the world. By studying the opportunities he exploited and the outcomes of his decisions within their historical context, a nuanced understanding of leadership, strategy, and sustainability emerges.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Leadership; Growth and Development Strategy; Industry Growth; Business and Government Relations; Power and Influence; Air Transportation; Air Transportation Industry; Travel Industry;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Anthony Mayo, and Mark Rennella. "Juan Trippe and Pan American World Airways." Harvard Business School Case 406-086, January 2006. (Revised July 2007.) View Details
  29. UBS: Towards the Integrated Firm

    Rajiv Lal, Nitin Nohria and Carin-Isabel Knoop

    In late June 2005, UBS Group CEO Peter Wuffli--anointed "Master of Zurich" by the financial press--was returning to Zurich from the firm's latest three-day Senior Leadership Conference (SLC). Tapping 600 top managers, this SLC featured an outdoor event at a former military site in the Swiss mountains. Under the banner of "Understanding, Commitment, and Trust," teams of 100 executives engaged in a simulation of six worlds--metaphors for the various regions and parts of UBS business. Initial skepticism about the exercise was replaced with enthusiasm for the "mind-boggling" camaraderie that it created. Held above Montreux, Switzerland, home of the International Jazz Festival, the program opened with a taped interview of jazz great Wynton Marsalis asking the audience to equate the dynamics of jazz with the collaboration required to maintain a complex professional services firm. Marsalis contrasted Duke Ellington, who composed for the specific talents of his band members, with John Coltrane, a master of improvisation. "Coltrane played the themes," Wuffli mused. "That's what we do. We've got the vision. We've got all of our different musicians and we're playing to these themes in an integrated way. It does make beautiful music."

    Keywords: Integration; Programs; Leadership; Talent and Talent Management; Trust;

    Citation:

    Lal, Rajiv, Nitin Nohria, and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "UBS: Towards the Integrated Firm." Harvard Business School Case 506-026, March 2006. (Revised February 2007.) View Details
  30. Robert E. Rubin (A)

    Nitin Nohria, Robert Steven Kaplan and Nicole Davison

    Bob Rubin was a businessman given the task of setting up and running the National Economic Council for the Clinton Administration. Unfamiliar with management in a political climate, Rubin worked hard to design, staff, and position the Council to make better economic and policy decisions. Traces the career of Robert E. Rubin from his practice in law to his work at Goldman Sachs and studies how his work experiences prepared him to establish the National Economic Council.

    Keywords: Personal Development and Career; Government and Politics; Managerial Roles; Macroeconomics; Organizational Design; Economy;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Robert Steven Kaplan, and Nicole Davison. "Robert E. Rubin (A)." Harvard Business School Case 407-064, January 2007. View Details
  31. Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola and Nigeria's Manufacturing Sector

    Nitin Nohria, Anthony Mayo, Foluke Otudeko and Mark Benson

    Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola was an important contributor to Nigeria's manufacturing sector, creating a multimillion-dollar conglomerate including three factories, a retail franchise, a cattle ranch, a 5,000-acre plantation, a sawmill, and an exporting business before the end of British colonial rule in 1960. Seizing business opportunities as he saw demand, Odutola moved between markets at every opportunity, creating companies servicing a diverse variety of needs. Odutola's keen, unwavering interest in improving the infrastructure of Nigeria allowed him to enjoy a successful career in business and politics, despite the vastly fluctuating political landscape of Nigeria. From British rule through civil war and subsequent coups and countercoups, Odutola remained a popular leader for his commitment to promoting Nigerian business ventures. Elevated to Prime Minister of his tribe--the Ijebu-Ode--in 1956, and later selected as the first President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Odutola campaigned for manufacturing interests and consulted with government officials about national fiscal policy. As a statesman and as a business leader, Odutola worked tirelessly to improve the infrastructure of his country.

    Keywords: History; Business Conglomerates; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Success; Leadership Style; Business History; Market Entry and Exit; Personal Development and Career; Business Startups; Manufacturing Industry; Nigeria;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Anthony Mayo, Foluke Otudeko, and Mark Benson. "Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola and Nigeria's Manufacturing Sector." Harvard Business School Case 407-027, December 2006. (Revised January 2007.) View Details
  32. Malden Mills (A)

    Nitin Nohria, Thomas R. Piper and Bridget Gurtler

    CEO Aaron Feuerstein of Malden Mills decided to pay idled workers after a massive fire at his mill in 1995. Focuses on the decisions made post-fire and the rebuilding process and eventual bankruptcy of the company. Also outlines creditors' struggle to decide whether to lend Feuerstein additional funds to enable him to regain control of the company after emerging from bankruptcy.

    Keywords: Wages; Situation or Environment; Ethics; Financing and Loans; Resignation and Termination; Employees; Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Manufacturing Industry; Massachusetts;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Thomas R. Piper, and Bridget Gurtler. "Malden Mills (A)." Harvard Business School Case 404-072, December 2003. (Revised August 2006.) View Details
  33. Giddings & Lewis: In Search of the Cutting Edge (Consolidated) (A)

    Nitin Nohria, Bharat N. Anand and Kyle F. Barnett

    Describes the conditions leading to the acquisition of Cross and Trecker by Gidding & Lewis.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Negotiation; Situation or Environment; Integration; Valuation;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Bharat N. Anand, and Kyle F. Barnett. "Giddings & Lewis: In Search of the Cutting Edge (Consolidated) (A)." Harvard Business School Case 495-018, September 1994. (Revised August 2006.) View Details
  34. Putnam Investments: Rebuilding the Culture

    Nitin Nohria and Charles Nichols

    Charles "Ed" Haldeman Jr. is promoted CEO of Putnam Investments after the firm was badly damaged by a series of improper trading practices. He is charged with the task of managing the crisis, repairing the company culture, and putting the firm back into a pattern of growth. Haldeman realizes that nothing less than a radical change in the culture of Putnam Investments would be enough to win back the trust of clients and employees who felt betrayed by the firm's apparent misconduct. He must confront some tough decisions about recently uncovered questions concerning the handling of certain accounting transactions three years earlier and about the continued lagging performance of Voyager, the firm's flagship equity fund.

    Keywords: Crime and Corruption; Organizational Culture; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Ethics; Investment Funds; Investment; Leading Change; Decision Choices and Conditions; Financial Services Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Charles Nichols. "Putnam Investments: Rebuilding the Culture." Harvard Business School Case 406-009, March 2006. (Revised August 2006.) View Details
  35. Li Ka-Shing

    Nitin Nohria and Bridget Gurtler

    From his humble beginnings in China as a teacher's son, a refugee, and later as a salesman, Li provides a lesson in integrity and adaptability. Through hard work, and a reputation for remaining true to his internal moral compass, he was able to build a business empire that includes: banking, construction, real estate, plastics, cellular phones, satellite television, cement production, retail outlets (pharmacies and supermarkets), hotels, domestic transportation (sky train), airports, electric power, steel production, ports, and shipping. Teaching Purpose: To examine leadership.

    Keywords: Leadership Development; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Leadership Style; Success; Business Conglomerates; Ethics; Values and Beliefs; China;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Bridget Gurtler. "Li Ka-Shing." Harvard Business School Case 405-026, August 2004. (Revised December 2005.) View Details
  36. Leading Anadarko

    Nitin Nohria, Krishna G. Palepu and David Lane

    Describes the challenges facing Jim Hackett, the newly appointed CEO of Anadarko Petroleum, an independent oil and gas exploration company. In addition to strategic and organizational issues, Hackett must address concerns about proper disclosure of the company's oil and gas reserves.

    Keywords: Management Teams; Strategy; Organizations; Corporate Disclosure; Problems and Challenges; Mining Industry; Energy Industry;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, Krishna G. Palepu, and David Lane. "Leading Anadarko." Harvard Business School Case 406-014, July 2005. View Details
  37. Royal Bank of Scotland, The: Masters of Integration

    Nitin Nohria and James Weber

    Describes the acquisition of Nat West by Royal Bank of Scotland. Describes the strategic rationale for the acquisition and the process by which the integration of the two banks was accomplished. The acquisition is remarkable for how successful it was, given the typical high rate of failure of similar acquisitions. Teaching Purpose: To teach about the general lessons of successfully implementing mergers and acquisitions.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Integration; Banks and Banking; Success; Banking Industry; Scotland;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and James Weber. "Royal Bank of Scotland, The: Masters of Integration." Harvard Business School Case 404-026, August 2003. (Revised June 2005.) View Details
  38. Clarence Saunders: The Comeback King

    Nitin Nohria and Bridget Gurtler

    Follows the rise and fall of the founder of the modern supermarket, Clarence Saunders. Prior to 1915, all staple shopping took place in the market or general store, where a clerk behind a counter pulled items from shelves for customers , measured them from a barrel, or retrieved them from the back of the store. The clerk tallied costs and added them to a customer's credit account. Purchases were then either delivered to a home or handed over on the spot--not a terribly efficient process. The entire ritual of shopping for food changed with the vision of Clarence Saunders and his Piggly Wiggly store.

    Keywords: Inflation and Deflation; Mission and Purpose; Business Processes; Leadership; Consumer Behavior; Leadership Style; Advertising; Customer Relationship Management; Customer Value and Value Chain; Order Taking and Fulfillment;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Bridget Gurtler. "Clarence Saunders: The Comeback King." Harvard Business School Case 404-070, May 2004. (Revised July 2004.) View Details
  39. Brief Biographical Note on P. Roy Vagelos

    Nitin Nohria and Bridget Gurtler

    Provides background biographical information on P. Roy Vagelos, chief executive officer of Merck Pharmaceuticals. Teaching Purpose: To chart the development of a leader in the pharmaceutical industry.

    Keywords: Biography; Teaching; Leadership Development; Mission and Purpose; Personal Development and Career; Ethics; Pharmaceutical Industry;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Bridget Gurtler. "Brief Biographical Note on P. Roy Vagelos." Harvard Business School Case 404-132, May 2004. (Revised June 2004.) View Details
  40. Note on Human Behavior: Reason and Emotion

    Nitin Nohria and Bridget Gurtler

    Human beings are driven by reasons and emotions. On the one hand, as rational choice theorists assert, human beings are resourceful and evaluative as they strive to maximize their own interests. An individual's interests can converge or diverge from the interests of the organization. Thus, to bring the resourcefulness of individuals to benefit the organization, control systems must be designed to align the interests of the organization and the individual. On the other hand, it has long been recognized (and reinforced by contemporary research on the human brain) that human beings are also driven by emotions. Emotions can be in accord with rational behavior (e.g., when fear evokes caution in the face of danger, or pride motivates greater effort). But emotions can also be at odds with rational behavior (e.g., when pain avoidance leads to an unwillingness to confront difficult decisions, or shame leads to cover-ups, or hubris leads to excessive optimism). Understanding the importance of both reason and emotion is, thus, critical to designing organizations, control systems, and governance structures that promote desired behaviors. Teaching Purpose: Some model of human nature, implicitly if not explicitly, guides any manager's actions. It is useful for students to be aware of these underlying assumptions and attentive to ways reason and emotion shape their own behavior and those of others around them.

    Keywords: Behavior; Cognition and Thinking; Emotions; Interests; Organizations; Organizational Design; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Bridget Gurtler. "Note on Human Behavior: Reason and Emotion." Harvard Business School Case 404-104, February 2004. View Details
  41. Advice to Section Presidents from Section Presidents

    Lynda M. Applegate, Nitin Nohria and Catherine Rucker

    Helps clarify the role of the section president in the HBS MBA program. Provides helpful advice for new section presidents.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Management;

    Citation:

    Applegate, Lynda M., Nitin Nohria, and Catherine Rucker. "Advice to Section Presidents from Section Presidents." Harvard Business School Background Note 803-197, June 2003. (Revised October 2003.) View Details
  42. Peabody Simpson at the Crossroads

    Rajiv Lal, Nitin Nohria and Leslie Freeman

    Three managing directors at Peabody Simpson had just returned from a firm-wide recruiting event at Columbia University, which they had covered together, as all were alumni. They were commiserating about having to submit revised forecasts to their division heads by the end of the week. Alec Hastings, head of Global Institutional Securities, wanted an update on year-to-date expense. They sat at their favorite watering hole and discussed the challenge of cutting $600 million out of the operating budget.

    Keywords: Forecasting and Prediction; Capital Budgeting; Recruitment; Reports; Organizational Design;

    Citation:

    Lal, Rajiv, Nitin Nohria, and Leslie Freeman. "Peabody Simpson at the Crossroads." Harvard Business School Case 503-112, June 2003. View Details
  43. ICICI (A)

    Bharat N. Anand, Nitin Nohria and John Pegg

    ICICI was the first Indian company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This case is set in 1998, when the company had to decide whether to enter the retail credit segment of the Indian financial market. Although the retail credit sector presents attractive growth opportunities, ICICI lacked many of the capabilities needed to succeed in this space and would have to compete against a host of established domestic and foreign banks. Describes how ICICI, under the visionary leadership of K.V. Kamath, has transformed itself, against all odds, from a development financial institution into a commercially competitive organization.

    Keywords: Growth and Development Strategy; Diversification; Expansion; Strategic Planning; Competition; Competitive Strategy; Growth Management; Markets; Banking Industry; Financial Services Industry; India;

    Citation:

    Anand, Bharat N., Nitin Nohria, and John Pegg. "ICICI (A)." Harvard Business School Case 701-064, February 2001. (Revised March 2003.) View Details
  44. NerveWire (TN)

    Nitin Nohria and Bridget Gurtler

    Teaching Note for (9-402-020), (9-402-021), and (9-402-022).

    Keywords: Economic Slowdown and Stagnation; Recruitment; Mission and Purpose; Internet; Problems and Challenges; Consulting Industry; Newton;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Bridget Gurtler. "NerveWire (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 403-055, August 2002. (Revised March 2003.) View Details
  45. John Smithers

    Nitin Nohria and Todd Jick

    Describes an ill-fated effort to institute a total quality program. Using the vantage point of one of the managers selected to be a quality instructor, the case traces the rise and fall of the quality effort during its very brief existence over the course of six months. Allows students to identify many things that can undermine implementation of change: lack of corporate commitment, overly formalized programs, inflated expectations, lack of initial successes, etc. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Quality; Change Management; Mission and Purpose; Organizational Culture; Failure;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Todd Jick. "John Smithers." Harvard Business School Case 402-041, December 2001. (Revised November 2002.) View Details
  46. NerveWire: A Tale of Two Executives

    Nitin Nohria

    A series of five segments that include NerveWire, Inc., A Day in the Life of Malcolm Frank, A Day in the Life of Kirk Arnold, Employee Observations of Malcolm and Kirk, and Malcolm and Kirk Discuss Co-Leadership.

    Keywords: Employees; Leadership; Organizations; Performance Evaluation; Behavior;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "NerveWire: A Tale of Two Executives." Harvard Business School Video Supplement 403-806, October 2002. View Details
  47. Chrysler: Iacocca's Legacy

    Nitin Nohria and Sandy Green

    Describes the changes fashioned by Iacocca during his tenure as CEO of the Chrysler Corp. Pays particular attention to the rhetoric he employed in mobilizing change and the actions he took to implement change.

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Leading Change; Leadership Style; Management Teams; Communication Strategy; Auto Industry; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Sandy Green. "Chrysler: Iacocca's Legacy." Harvard Business School Case 493-017, September 1992. (Revised January 2002.) View Details
  48. DISC (A) (Abridged)

    Nitin Nohria and Scott A. Snook

    Follows the development and implementation of fundamental organizational change in a large government bureaucracy. The case is set in the Defense Industrial Supply Center (DISC) and follows two senior leaders as they grapple with issues of fundamental change in a rapidly evolving defense establishment from 1992 through 1995.

    Keywords: Government Administration; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Restructuring; Transformation; Decision Choices and Conditions; National Security; Leadership Style;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Scott A. Snook. "DISC (A) (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 496-029, October 1995. View Details
  49. Symantec--1982-90

    Nitin Nohria

    As Symantec grew from a small, upstart software development company to a major player in the software development industry, the channels of information flow and the internal communication needs of the company became more complex. The geographically-dispersed structure of the company, in which product development groups stayed together, lead to the development of great products but hindered information flow. The top managers set out to facilitate information flow across product groups and within the company as a whole through both improving the information technology systems and bringing together employees in certain functional areas for regularly-scheduled meetings. A challenge for Eubanks, the CEO, was to balance the implementation of certain formal systems, and the maintenance of employees' entrepreneurial spirit and development of employees' managerial skills.

    Keywords: Software; Communication Technology; Communication; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Employee Relationship Management; Growth and Development; Knowledge Dissemination; Knowledge Sharing; Knowledge Management; Information Technology Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "Symantec--1982-90." Harvard Business School Case 491-010, July 1990. (Revised August 1995.) View Details
  50. Note on Organization Structure

    Nitin Nohria

    Provides the reader with a basic understanding of organization structure. The first section provides a brief history of the main ideas pertaining to organization structure. The second section outlines some of the concepts and factors that must be taken into account while designing organization structure. Some of the prototypical forms of organization structure and their strengths and weaknesses are described in the third section. Finally, some emerging trends in how organizations are structured are discussed in the last section.

    Keywords: Organizational Structure;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "Note on Organization Structure." Harvard Business School Background Note 491-083, February 1991. (Revised June 1995.) View Details
  51. Colliers International Property Consultants

    Nitin Nohria

    Describes the origins, organizational structure, management practices, and use of information technology (IT) in Colliers, a real estate network. Colliers provides local firms with a way to maintain local autonomy while gaining national and international coverage. Through the use of the network's IT, brokers are able to share information, provide consulting-type services, and refer brokers to Colliers brokers in other markets. While a network structure has certain benefits, it also poses control issues: How does the organization generate the full commitment of its members, many of whom are accustomed to working independently in their local market and are not accustomed to soliciting certain information from their clients, providing an expanded range of services, and sharing information with other brokers? If they maintain their network structure, in what ways can the organization grow without creating tensions or diluting its quality? How does such an entity resolve conflicts among its constituents? While many members believe this structure is best suited to prosper, others question the survival of Colliers as it is now.

    Keywords: Property; Organizational Structure; Information Technology; Management Practices and Processes; Partners and Partnerships; Business Model; Mission and Purpose; Business Growth and Maturation; Conflict and Resolution; Quality; Real Estate Industry;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "Colliers International Property Consultants." Harvard Business School Case 490-049, January 1990. (Revised June 1995.) View Details
  52. Millipore Corporate Strategy

    Nitin Nohria and V. Kasturi Rangan

    Millipore, a $750 million (sales) company with three divisions, had been growing at a rate of 20% in the 1970s, but this growth rate had slowed considerably in the 1980s. CEO John Gilmartin was looking for ways to reenergize the organization and redirect its strategy to achieve a 15% growth rate for the coming decade.

    Keywords: Problems and Challenges; Corporate Strategy; Restructuring; Growth and Development Strategy; Goals and Objectives; Business Processes; Organizational Structure;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and V. Kasturi Rangan. "Millipore Corporate Strategy." Harvard Business School Case 594-009, July 1993. (Revised March 1995.) View Details
  53. Rhetoric of Change

    Nitin Nohria

    Describes the ways in which managers communicate the need to change, specifically the way in which they use vision, crisis, and transition as rhetorical strategies to mobilize change. Also discusses strategies used by those trying to resist change, setting up what may be considered a rhetorical contest that determines whether change is embraced or not.

    Keywords: Change; Communication Strategy;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "Rhetoric of Change." Harvard Business School Background Note 494-036, August 1993. (Revised August 1994.) View Details
  54. Six Principles of Successful Persuasion

    Nitin Nohria

    Describes some of the key principles that managers must follow in order to successfully persuade their organization of their vision for change.

    Keywords: Change Management; Leadership; Organizational Change and Adaptation;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "Six Principles of Successful Persuasion." Harvard Business School Background Note 494-037, August 1993. View Details
  55. Executing Change: Seven Key Considerations

    Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana

    Provides a 7S framework to complement the McKinsey 7S framework. Focuses on some of the critical choices that must be made in implementing change--Strategic Intent, Substance, Scale, Scope, Speed, Sequence, and Style. Overall, the note argues that these choices must be made so that they are coherent and robust.

    Keywords: Change; Framework; Goals and Objectives; Management Style; Time Management; Strategy;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Rakesh Khurana. "Executing Change: Seven Key Considerations." Harvard Business School Background Note 494-038, August 1993. View Details
  56. Executing Change: Three Generic Strategies

    Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana

    Describes the strengths and weaknesses of three generic strategies for implementing change--programmatic change, discontinuous change, and emergent change.

    Keywords: Change; Strategy;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Rakesh Khurana. "Executing Change: Three Generic Strategies." Harvard Business School Background Note 494-039, August 1993. View Details
  57. Ford: Petersen's Turnaround

    Nitin Nohria and Sandy Green

    Discusses the changes that Donald Petersen made to turnaround Ford during his tenure, first as president then as CEO. Describes his major initiatives, including the new emphasis on quality.

    Keywords: Change Management; Transformation; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Leadership Style; Management Teams; Auto Industry; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Sandy Green. "Ford: Petersen's Turnaround." Harvard Business School Case 494-017, August 1993. View Details
  58. General Motors: Smith's Dilemma

    Nitin Nohria and Sandy Green

    Discusses Roger Smith's tenure as CEO of General Motors. Describes his vision for changing General Motors, and how he went about implementing that vision.

    Keywords: Change Management; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Management Teams; Leadership Style; Auto Industry; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin, and Sandy Green. "General Motors: Smith's Dilemma." Harvard Business School Case 494-020, August 1993. View Details
  59. Lithonia Lighting

    Nitin Nohria

    In early 1991, Lithonia, the U.S.'s largest manufacturer of lighting fixtures, faced a major slump in the construction business that threatened to cause its first decline in revenues after over a decade of strong growth. With financial pressures from its parent company mounting, Lithonia was forced to reconsider its investments in LIGHT*LINK(tm), an ambitious information system that tied the company to agents, distributors, and other players in the lighting business. While Light*Link had clearly enabled much of the company's growth, the new economic climate raised a number of questions about the company's investment in information technology. Teaching objective: Requires students to analyze the structure of an industry and to reflect upon the factors that give competitive benefit to information systems investments within the context of an uncertain environment.

    Keywords: Organizational Structure; Industry Growth; Decision Making; Information Technology; Financial Crisis; Investment; Business Growth and Maturation; Electronics Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "Lithonia Lighting." Harvard Business School Case 492-003, June 1991. (Revised May 1992.) View Details
  60. Amgen, Inc.: Planning the Unplannable

    Nitin Nohria

    By the early 1990s, Amgen--a pharmaceutical company started little over a decade ago as Applied Molecular Genetics--was within range of becoming a billion-dollar company. With two extremely successful biotechnology drugs on the market, Amgen stood as the largest and most powerful independent company of its type in the world. Top executives in the company viewed long-range planning as an important ingredient in the firm's success; many others--including some of the firm's scientists--were less sure. With Amgen's sales expected to continue to grow rapidly, the firm's long-range planning process would be put to the test. Shows the different, sometimes paradoxical perspectives held within a single, dynamically changing company toward the issue of long-range planning. Students are challenged to synthesize these views into a coherent picture of a firm's growth amid great uncertainty.

    Keywords: Growth and Development Strategy; Strategic Planning; Success; Risk and Uncertainty; Pharmaceutical Industry;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "Amgen, Inc.: Planning the Unplannable." Harvard Business School Case 492-052, March 1992. View Details
  61. Appex Corp.

    Nitin Nohria

    1990 Business Week named Appex Corp. the fastest growing high-technology company in the United States. Appex provided management information systems and intercarrier network services to cellular telephone companies. During its rapid growth, the company went through several structural changes. At first, there was essentially no structure and no control systems. The atmosphere at Appex eventually became chaotic. As the new CEO, Shikhar Ghosh realized that Appex needed some structure and bureaucracy. Once control was established, he reasoned, he could begin to break down the structure. Much of the structural change he implemented had advantages and disadvantages in terms of company culture and productivity. In 1991, Appex was acquired by EDS. Appex's challenge now was to work out its own structure in the context of its role as a division of a large, bureaucratic organization.

    Keywords: Information Technology; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Design; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Organizational Culture; Wireless Technology; Performance Productivity; Problems and Challenges; Management Practices and Processes; Business Divisions; Information Management; Information Technology Industry; Telecommunications Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "Appex Corp." Harvard Business School Case 491-082, February 1991. (Revised February 1992.) View Details
  62. Allen-Bradley's ICCG: Repositioning for the 1990s

    Nitin Nohria

    Allen-Bradley's Industrial Computer and Communication Group (ICCG) underwent a period of rapid transformation in the 1980s, instituting a wide array of innovations from product development to information systems. In 1990 the Ohio-based group announced a major reorganization of its business and began carrying out a sweeping program of cultural change. The case requires students to develop an overall perspective on the process of organizational change and to think critically about the kind of challenges that lie ahead for ICCG.

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Technological Innovation; Information Technology; Organizational Culture; Business Organization; Problems and Challenges; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "Allen-Bradley's ICCG: Repositioning for the 1990s." Harvard Business School Case 491-066, December 1990. View Details
  63. Internal Revenue Service: Automated Collection System

    Nitin Nohria

    Describes how the IRS's collection operations changed from a largely manual system (COF) to an automated system (ACS). A central aspect of ACS was the electronic scheduling and maintaining of work. While with ACS the IRS accomplished significant improvements in the task efficiency of its collection operations, the system also led to greater turnover and lower employee morale. This raises questions of how the system could be redesigned. The primary teaching objective of the case is to show how information technology, control systems, and organization design are intertwined and how any change effort must address all three aspects simultaneously.

    Keywords: Sovereign Finance; Revenue; Information Technology; Taxation; Change Management; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Design; Human Resources; Public Administration Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Nohria, Nitin. "Internal Revenue Service: Automated Collection System." Harvard Business School Case 490-042, February 1990. (Revised July 1990.) View Details

Presentations

Other Publications and Materials

    Research Summary

  1. Advancing Leadership: Research and Teaching

    by Nitin Nohria

    Despite the fact that most business schools' mission statement proclaim their commitment to developing leaders who can contribute in a meaningful way to the betterment of their organizations and society, research and teaching on leadership remains a fragmented and often marginal enterprise in most schools. This project is designed to stimulate research on leadership that is rigorous and relevant--advancing theory, teaching, and practice.  It aims to mobilize a community of scholars and educators who are committed to advancing that state of research and teaching on leadership.
  2. A Hippocratic Oath for Management

    by Nitin Nohria

    The conduct of doctors is guided by the Hippocratic Oath, which provides a normative framework that shapes their identity and orientation towards society.  In light of the diminished public trust in business managers, is it time for management to embrace its own hippocratic oath, that would spell out a common understanding of their role in society and the conduct expected of them?  Would such an oath be useful?  What would be the content of such an oath? How would it get institutionalized (become accepted and taken for granted)?  How would it be enforced?  These are the questions that animate this line of research.

    Rakesh Khurana and I have been writing about making management a profession and the importance of such an oath. HBS students have now taken the lead in this area. See the oath they have formulated and its signatories here. Read about it in Wikipedia, too!

  3. Leadership in Context

    by Nitin Nohria

    What can we learn from the great business leaders of the 20th century? To answer this question, we have assembled a unique database of 1000 American business leaders, each of whom has left an important legacy. Some of the initial insights we are gleaning from this database is that there is no single characteristic that defines great business leaders. There are many paths to success. We also find that leadership is context-sensitive; to be an effective leader in one era may be quite different from being an effective leader in another. This leads us to conclude that leaders need to have contextual intelligence--they must be able to sense changing contextual circumstances and the business opportunities and challenges they present.
  4. Understanding Human Nature

    by Nitin Nohria

    Recent advances in biological sciences provide great insights into the workings of the human brain and thereby into human nature. Drawing upon this research, my colleague Paul Lawrence and I propose a neo-Darwinian theory of human motivation based on four basic human drives that stem from our common evolutionary heritage as a species. These drives are: D1: the drive to Acquire; D2: the drive to Bond; D3: the drive to Comprehend or make sense of the world; and D4: the drive to Defend. We are now trying to test this theory through experimental and survey research. We are also searching for ways to test the theory more directly using the latest brain imaging technology..
  5. What Really Works: Fundamental Drivers of Corporate Performance

    by Nitin Nohria

    Based on a systematic examination of over 200 management practices that have been hypothesized to influence corporate performance, we identify eight management practices that appear to be the most robust drivers of long term corporate success. We are now trying to test if these fundamental drivers are recognized by investment analysts and if they can prospectively help us better predict future corporate performance.
  6. Globalization & Corporate Transformation in India

    by Nitin Nohria

    Political and economic reforms in India, which started in 1992, have led to a dramatic transformation of Indian companies. The first decade of this transformation focused on improving operational efficiency to rival world class competitors. Having proved to themselves that they can survive in a globally competitive arena, Indian companies are looking to the future with a new optimism. Their goals are now to unleash the latent demand in the Indian market (both in the burgeoning middle class and the huge pool at the bottom of the pyramid). Equally, Indian firms are looking to grow abroad, as the wave of recent global acquisitions attests. This research project aims to understand this new phase of globalization and corporate transformation in India
  7. Globalization of Human Capital

    by Nitin Nohria

    One of the most significant dimensions of the current wave of globalization is the globalization of human capital. Whether it is low cost, skilled manufacturing workers in China, software and customer service professionals in India, or highly skilled employees in Eastern Europe, companies now have the ability to access new pools of human capital across the globe that can have a profound influence on their strategy and structure. The availability of a global pool of human capital also presents new challenges on how firms should organize themselves to take advantage of this opportunity. This research project aims to examine the evolving human capital strategies of firms from different parts of the world to study how they are responding to this important dimension of globalization.  One aspect we are especially interested in studying is the mobility of talent across national boundaries within a company and the circumstances in which such mobility works more or less well.
    1. Winner of the 2005 PricewaterhouseCoopers Best Article Award for "How to Build Collaborative Advantage" (with Morten T. Hansen, MIT Sloan Management Review, fall 2004).

    Areas of Interest