Robert G. Eccles
Professor of Management Practice
Robert G. Eccles first joined the faculty in 1979 and received tenure in 1989. He left in 1993 to work in the private sector and rejoined the faculty in 2007. Right after receiving tenure, Professor Eccles started doing research on corporate reporting, a topic which remains of great interest to him from a research, managerial practice, and public policy perspective. He has written four books on this subject, The Integrated Reporting Movement: Meaning, Momentum, Motives and Materiality (with Michael P. Krzus and Sydney Ribot), The ValueReporting Revolution: Moving Beyond the Earnings Game (with Robert H. Herz, E. Mary Keegan and David M. H. Phillips), Building Public Trust: The Future of Corporate Reporting (with Samuel A. DiPiazza Jr.), and One Report: Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy (with Michael P. Krzus). One Report was the winner of the 2010 PROSE award in the category of Business, Finance, & Management. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the International Integrated Reporting Committee (http://www.integratedreporting.org/) and on the Board of Directors of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) www.sasb.org. Dr. Eccles is the co-founder, with Professor George Serafeim of Harvard Business School, of the Innovating for Sustainability social movement (https://www.facebook.com/innovatingforsustainability), and a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Sustainable Value Creation (https://www.conference-board.org).
Professor Eccles continues his active research program on integrated reporting. His latest book, The Integrated Reporting Movement: Meaning, Momentum, Motives, and Materiality (with Michael P. Krzus and Sydney Ribot) was published in November 2014. This book introduces the ideas of an annual board of directors “Statement of Significant Audiences and Materiality” and the “Sustainable Value Matrix.” In developing these ideas, Professor Eccles worked closely with Mr. Tim Youmans. He and Professor Eccles are now writing a book with the working title of “The Meaning of Materiality” which will be an in depth treatment of the ideas introduced in The Integrated Reporting Movement and will include a public policy perspective on the important but elusive concept of materiality. Youmans received his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School (2013) and is a Harvard Kennedy School Lucius N. Littauer Fellow.
Professor Eccles is working on two other books. The first is in collaboration with Professor George Serafeim of the Harvard Business School with a working title of “Mobilizing the Global 1000.” This is based on an extensive and continuing research program on sustainability the two of them have been engaged in for the past three years. The premise of this book is that the increasing economic concentration in the world’s largest companies makes them a force even more important than governments in creating a sustainable society. Eccles and Serafeim have created an executive education program called “Aligning Sustainablity with Corporate Performance” and a doctoral seminar called “The Role of the Corporation in Society.”
The other book is on professional service firms, being written in collaboration with Professor Das Narayandas of Harvard Business School and Mr. Partha Bose, the author of “Alexander the Great's Art of Strategy: The Timeless Lessons of History's Greatest Empire Builder.” The premise of this book, “Building Capabilities: Ensuring Long-Term Success in a Professional Service Firm,” is that professional service firms need to balance short-term capacity utilization with long-term capability building. The latter is done at the individual and organizational level by properly managing the talent market and the client market in an integrated way.
In 2011, Dr. Eccles was selected as one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior - 2012 for his extensive, positive contribution to building trust in business.
Dr. Eccles received an S.B. in Mathematics and an S.B. in Humanities and Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1973) and an A.M. (1975) and Ph.D. in Sociology (1979) from Harvard University.
Summit TV, South Africa
Bob Eccles and George Serafeim Harvard Business School on their investigation into the King Code of Governance and how it has impacted the way corporates do business in South Africa.
Integrated Reporting: Supporting Sustainable Strategies for a Sustainable Society
One Report - Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Society
Robert G. Eccles & Michael P. Krzus
Integrated reporting begins with a single document, One Report, combining an organization’s financial and nonfinancial (environmental, social and governance) performance and illuminating the relationship between the two. But it also extends beyond a paper document, utilizing the Internet to facilitate the integration of performance reporting, as well as provide detailed information of particular interest to different stakeholders. It is about listening as much as talking - a conversation with all stakeholders about their expectations of the company's commitments and the performance metrics that ensure sustainability in economic, environmental, social and governance terms.
To learn more about integrated reporting, please visit the Web site of the International Integrated Reporting Committee at http://www.integratedreporting.org
Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2012
The Inaugural Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards (EIA) took place on 5 September in Johannesburg. The guest speakers were Professors Robert G. Eccles and George Serafeim of Harvard Business School. The EIA recognized the top 100 South African companies successfully integrating critical financial and non-financial performance measures into their reporting.
Harvard Business School professor Robert G. Eccles and Grant Thornton partner Michael Krzus discuss the growing trend of integrated reporting worldwide and how their book ONE REPORT will help companies succeed in the transition to this new transparency.
Global Reporting Initiative 2010: Justmeans' Martin Smith Interviews Robert Eccles,Senior Lecturer of Business Administration,Harvard and co-Author of "One Report"
Harvard Business School professor Robert Eccles comments on a recent video interview with Gro Harlem Brundtland, a U.N. Special Envoy on Climate Change.
Harvard Business School professor Robert Eccles comments on a recent video interview with Peter Brabeck, the Chairman of Nestle.
Every major company is grappling with the meaning and application of sustainability in relation to its geographic location, industry and business model. Similarly, more and more institutional investors are incorporating sustainability into their resource allocation decision making process. As a result, we are seeing the emergence of a new view of the role of the corporation in society, one that simultaneously meets shareholders' and other stakeholders' objectives. This new model is only beginning to emerge, but some of its outlines are already clear such as a longer-term time horizon, more holistic performance measurement and reporting, more active corporate governance, and greater engagement with shareholders and other stakeholders.
Achieving sustainability - for corporations, investors, analysts, information intermediaries, and other forms of organisations - often requires innovations in processes, products, and business models in order to optimise both financial and nonfinancial (e.g., environmental, social, and governance [ESG]) outcomes. Innovation is a critical element, because in the absence of it managers often need to make trade-offs between financial and ESG goals. Therefore, innovation is the mechanism that allows companies to extend the performance frontier.