Robert S. Huckman

Albert J. Weatherhead III Professor of Business Administration

Robert Huckman is the Albert J. Weatherhead III Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the faculty co-chair of the HBS Healthcare Initiative. He teaches the first-year MBA course in Technology and Operations Management and has taught the second-year MBA course in Operations Strategy. Professor Huckman is on the faculty of Executive Education's Managing Health Care Delivery  and Leadership and Strategy in Pharmaceuticals and Biotech.  He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the co-chair of the management track of Harvard's doctoral program in health policy.

Professor Huckman's research focuses on the linkages between organizational characteristics and operating performance, with an emphasis on the health care industry. His articles have appeared in publications including the American Economic Journal, the American Economic Review, Harvard Business Review, Health Affairs, the Journal of Health Economics, Management Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, Organization Science, and the Strategic Management Journal. His worked has been cited in numerous media outlets, including a 2007 profile in The Financial Times. He is an associate editor of Management Science, a senior editor of Production and Operations Management, and a member of the editorial review board of Organization Science.

Professor Huckman received a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University and an A.B. in Public Policy, summa cum laude, from Princeton University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Prior to his graduate studies, Professor Huckman was a Principal and Founding Equity Member of Stamos Associates, Inc., a strategy and operations consulting firm serving clients in the health care industry. In 1997, Stamos Associates was acquired by Perot Systems, Inc. Professor Huckman has also worked at Booz Allen & Hamilton, Inc.

  1. The Impact of Team Familiarity on Operational Performance

    by Robert S. Huckman

    This stream of Professor Huckman's research examines the impact of team familiarity--the degree to which individuals have previously worked with each other--on operational performance in a variety of settings ranging from health care to software development. This work addresses several specific issues. To what extent is the performance of a team attributable to the individual experience of its members versus their familiarity with each other? To what extent can familiarity compensate for the coordination challenges created by the diverse sets of prior experience held be individual team members? Professor Huckman's work related to these questions suggests that team familiairity plays an important role in improving performance.
  2. Balancing Specialization and Diversification in Operations

    by Robert S. Huckman

    In a series of papers and cases, Professor Huckman considers how firms balance the competing benefits of specialization and diversification in operations. His work provides a framework for the design and implementation of multispecialty operating models that help organizations manage this tradeoff.
  3. Restructuring Diversified Operations in Response to Focused Competitors: Evidence from Health Care

    by Robert S. Huckman

    Professor Huckman's research in this area considers how existing diversified firms in two health care industries--hospitals and pharmaceuticals--are impacted by competition from more focused competitors. In addition to identifying how the entry of focused competitors affects the behavior of diversified firms, Professor Huckman also considers the implementation issues that diversified organizations face as they attempt to restructure in response to such competition.