Steven S. Rogers

MBA Class of 1957 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

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Unit: General Management


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Steven Rogers is the MBA Class of 1957 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration. He teaches Entrepreneurial Finance and a new course titled Black Business Leaders and Entrepreneurship. He taught FIELD 3, which is the practicum on entrepreneurship where 150 teams of students create companies each year.  His teams placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th over a three year period. A 1985 graduate of the school, Professor Rogers holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College. Prior to teaching at HBS, he taught for 17 years at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, in the MBA, PhD and Executive programs in the U.S., Toronto, Germany, and Hong Kong. He received the Outstanding Professor Award for the Executive Program 26 times and the MBA Lawrence Levengood Outstanding Professor of the Year award twice. He was the first professor in the school’s history to receive the latter award more than once.

Before joining the Kellogg Faculty, he owned and operated two manufacturing firms and one retail operation. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Professor Rogers worked at Bain and Company Consulting firm, Cummins Engine Company and UNC Ventures, a venture capital firm.

Professor Rogers is also a volunteer Visiting Professor at the United States Military Academy for the Army at West Point where he teaches Entrepreneurial Finance.

Professor Rogers was selected to give a speech on the topic of Entrepreneurship at the United Nations in 2013 as part of the TEDxUNPlaza Program. In 2011, he joined Chicago Mayor Emmanuel’s Supplier Diversity Task Force. In 2009, Ebony Magazine named him one of the top 150 influential people in America. In 2006, he was selected as one of the “100 Men Impacting Supplier Diversity.”  In 2005, he received the ‘Bert King Award for Service’ from the African American Student Union at Harvard Business School.  In 2000, he received the ‘Bicentennial Medal for Distinguished Achievement’ by an alum from Williams College. In 1998, he was selected as Entrepreneur of The Year (supporter category) by Ernst & Young.  In 1997 BusinessWeek named him one of the 14 “New Stars of Finance.” In 1996, BusinessWeek named him one of the top 12 entrepreneurship professors at graduate business schools in the U.S.

Professor Rogers currently serves on the Advisory Board of Private Equity Firm OCA Ventures. He also serves on the Board of Directors of SC Johnson Wax, W.S. Darley & Company and Oakmark Mutual Funds. He is a former member of the Board of Directors at SuperValu (NYSE) and JP Morgan Chase’s Capital Investment Committee. His non-profit work includes board membership for the A Better Chance Program and Urban Prep High School. He is a former Trustee of Williams College and a member of the Harvard Business School Visiting Committee.

He has often been quoted in many publications, including Black Enterprise, Crain’s Business Journal, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Fortune, Monarch and BusinessWeek, NPR, the Tom Joyner Show and Life-Changing Quotes from the World’s Best Business Schools, a 2013 Japanese publication.In 2002 Professor Rogers published his first book, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finance and Business. The second edition was published in 2008. The 3rd edition was published in 2014. Professor Rogers has also published five case studies. He has been a guest speaker at the New York University – Stern School of Business, University of Chicago – Booth School of Business, Harvard Kennedy School, University of Vienna, University of Illinois, YPO in Australia, and the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines.

He has completed five Triathlons.

He is part owner of the Chicago Sky in the WNBA.


Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Ebony Magazine

    Steven Rogers and Derrick Jackson

    For nearly 75 years, the Johnson Publishing Company has been the most successful African American magazine publisher. Its flagship Ebony magazine was an iconic coffee table fixture for decades in black households of all classes, making founder John H. Johnson the first African American to make the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans. But the privately-held company was now in the hands of his daughter and faced the bracing, debilitating winds besetting the entire magazine and newspaper industry. Linda Johnson Rice now had to decide what to do with the publications and brands of the company.

    Keywords: Business restructuring; Decisions; media; race characteristics; corporate entrepreneurship; business history; social history; contemporary history; Innovation and Management; fairness; brands and branding; crisis management; culture; adaptation; consolidation; Fairness; Race; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Adaptation; Consolidation; Culture; Brands and Branding; Journals and Magazines; Decisions; Business History; Restructuring; Innovation and Management; Crisis Management; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Journalism and News Industry; Publishing Industry; Chicago;


    Rogers, Steven, and Derrick Jackson. "Ebony Magazine." Harvard Business School Case 317-043, December 2016. View Details
  2. United Housing — Otis Gates

    Steven Rogers and Mercer Cook

    Otis Gates has built a successful affordable housing firm. Along the way, he and his partners have engaged in large amounts of community service in the neighborhoods wherein they own properties. Now 80 and ready to retire, Gates is creating a request for proposal for his firm. In doing so, he has to evaluate his firm’s total value and decide whether their social-good mission is helping or harming their bottom line.

    Keywords: affordable housing; real estate; community engagement; social-good; request for proposal; diversity; entrepreneurship; Social Entrepreneurship; Moral Sensibility; Fairness; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Housing; Real Estate Industry;


    Rogers, Steven, and Mercer Cook. "United Housing — Otis Gates." Harvard Business School Case 317-059, January 2017. View Details
  3. A Brief History of African American Leaders in Unions and the Labor Movement

    Steven Rogers and Mercer Cook

    This historically focused background note highlights the role of African American Labor Leaders in both the Labor Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. In doing so, it attempts to both highlight these noteworthy individuals and demonstrate the innate connection between the labor and civil rights movements.

    Keywords: Labor unions; Wages; Working Conditions; political history; social history; Economic History; business history; fairness; moral sensibility; rights; leading change; labor and management relations; Civil Society or Community; social issues; culture; equality and inequality; Rights; Leading Change; Race; Civil Society or Community; Labor Unions;


    Rogers, Steven, and Mercer Cook. "A Brief History of African American Leaders in Unions and the Labor Movement." Harvard Business School Background Note 317-004, September 2016. View Details
  4. Gilbert Lumber Company

    Steven Rogers and Kenneth Cooper

    The Gilbert Lumber Co. is faced with a need for increased bank financing due to its rapid sales growth and low profitability. Students must determine the reasons for the rising bank borrowing, estimate the amount of borrowing needed, and assess the attractiveness of the loan to the bank. A rewritten version of an earlier case. Allows students to practice ratio analysis, financial forecasting, and evaluating financing alternatives.

    Keywords: Commercial Banking; Financial Crisis; Borrowing and Debt; Financial Strategy; Financing and Loans; Capital Structure; Forecasting and Prediction;


    Rogers, Steven, and Kenneth Cooper. "Gilbert Lumber Company." Harvard Business School Case 315-137, June 2015. (Revised July 2016.) View Details