Karim R. Lakhani is a Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, the Principal Investigator of the Crowd Innovation Lab and NASA Tournament Lab at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science and the faculty co-founder of the Harvard Business School Digital Initiative. He specializes in technology management and innovation. His research examines crowd-based innovation models and the digital transformation of companies and industries. Professor Lakhani is known for his pioneering scholarship on how communities and contests can be designed and managed to achieve innovative outcomes. He has partnered with NASA, TopCoder and the Harvard Medical School to conduct field experiments on the design of crowd innovation programs. His research on digital transformation has shown the importance of data and analytics as drivers of business and operating model transformation and source of competitive advantage
Professor Lakhani’s research has been published in Harvard Business Review, Innovations, Journal of Organization Design, Management Science, Nature Biotechnology, Organization Science, RAND Journal of Economics, Research Policy and MIT Sloan Management Review. He is the co-editor of two books from MIT Press on distributed innovation models including Revolutionizing Innovation: Users, Communities and Open Innovation (2016) and Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software (2005). His research has been featured in BusinessWeek, The Boston Globe, The Economist, Fast Company, Inc., The New York Times, The New York Academy of Sciences Magazine, Science, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Wired.
Professor Lakhani’s research has been recognized on several occasions, including as one of three finalists for the best paper published in operations management in Management Science (2010-2012), as runner up for the Harvard Business Review-McKinsey Award (2013) and as the winner of the Production and Operations Management Award by The Case Centre in 2015. The totality of his research output was recognized by the Technical University of Munich’s Peter Pribilla Foundation Prize for Research in Innovation in 2008 and by the University of Innsbruck’s Innovation Management Partner Award for Excellence in Innovation Research in 2011.
Professor Lakhani has taught extensively in Harvard Business School’s MBA, executive and doctoral programs. He co-developed a new course on Digital Innovation and Transformation for the elective MBA curriculum and co-chairs the executive program on Competing with Big Data and Business Analytics.
He serves on the Board of Directors of Mozilla Corporation and Local Motors.
Professor Lakhani was awarded his Ph.D. in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds an SM degree in Technology and Policy from MIT, and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and Management from McMaster University in Canada. He was a recipient of the Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship and a doctoral fellowship from Canada's Social Science and Humanities Research Council. Prior to coming to HBS he served as a Lecturer in the Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship group at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Professor Lakhani has also worked in sales, marketing and new product development roles at GE Healthcare and was a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group.