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 three books on this subject, 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), which is the first book on this subject. One Report was the winner of the 2010 PROSE award in the category of Business, Finance, & Management. He is a member of the International Integrated Reporting Council (http://www.integratedreporting.org/) and the founding Chairman 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 next book on the subject, The Integrated Reporting Movement: Meaning, Momentum, Motives, and Materiality (with Michael P. Krzus and Sydney Ribot) will be 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.