Mukti Khaire

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Mukti Khaire is an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School. She teaches an elective course on entrepreneurship in creative industries that examines the relationship between business and culture.  She has previously taught the required first-year MBA course, “The Entrepreneurial Manager.” She has also taught in the HBS Executive Education programs, including custom executive education offerings, the preMBA, and START. Mukti currently serves as the Faculty Chair of the School's 2+2 initiative.

Mukti received her PhD in Management from Columbia Business School. Her dissertation explored how intangible resources such as legitimacy and status help new ventures grow despite their inherent financial constraints. She studied young ad agencies in New York and Chicago and examined how they overcame financial constraints and the problems associated with founder departure. In addition to quantitative analysis of longitudinal data, she interviewed several ad agency founders to understand how new ventures whose products are direct manifestations of their founders’ talents or abilities cope with expansion and founder departure.

Mukti’s research interests lie at the intersection of entrepreneurship, culture, and creative industries. She has studied how entrepreneurs construct the value of new products, creating new markets and affecting broader cultural institutions in the process. Her work has shed light on how entrepreneurs created a global market for modern Indian art and constructed a distinctive identity for Indian fashion. In other papers, she has examined the interaction among the media and entrepreneurs in the process of market-creation and is currently exploring the process of value-construction in market exchanges.

Mukti's case-writing focuses on entrepreneurship in uncertain or new markets and in the creative or cultural industries, market-creation, and the re-construction of value by entrepreneurs and its impact on society and culture.

Mukti received an award from the Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School for her research on entrepreneurship in the advertising industry. Her paper, “Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow: Strategies for New Venture Growth,” based on her dissertation is included in the Best Paper Proceedings of the 2005 Academy of Management Conference. Her papers have been accepted at various conferences including the American Sociological Association Conference, and the Organization Science Winter Conference. Her paper with Heather Haveman (on founder ideology) was included in “Columbia Ideas at Work” which showcases cutting-edge research at Columbia Business School which has practical applications. Mukti’s research has also been featured twice in the Entrepreneurship section of HBS Working Knowledge. One of these articles was among the top 20 most-read HBS Working Knowledge articles in 2008

Before Columbia University, Mukti got her Masters in Management from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay. For her B.S and M.S. from the University of Pune she received the Sathe Memorial Award and the Joshi Memorial Award for the top-ranked graduate. She worked as an environmental management consultant before IIT and co-founded a non-profit venture for enabling grassroots level biodiversity conservation.

Mukti currently lives in Cambridge. She and her husband Samir Patil are foodies and enjoy independent films and traveling. Most recently they visited Lisbon.

  1. Pioneer- Entrepreneurship and Industry Emergence

    This set of projects studies entrepreneurship in a creative industry-i.e. high-end fashion in India-with the main aim of understanding industry emergence and the role of pioneer-entrepreneurs.

    Fashioning an Industry: How Entrepreneurs and Others Shaped the Emergence Shape the Emergence and Evolution of an Industry.

    Mukti is studying the evolution of the nascent fashion industry in India. This project provides insights into how entrepreneurs individually and collectively deal with the multiple levels of uncertainty inherent in being entrepreneurs in a new industry, and how the ecosystem of the industry contributes to uncertainty-alleviation. It also shows how industries evolve by borrowing institutional norms from other contexts, and adapting them to suit their specific needs.

    Medium and Message: The Role of the Media in Establishing Institutional Logics

     This working paper involves a massive effort to collect magazine articles on Indian fashion published in leading Indian magazines for the last 20 years in order to understand how the identity of an industry is iteratively understood and constructed.

  2. Entrepreneurship, Value-construction, and Market-creation

    Changing Landscapes: Creating a Market for Modern Indian Art

    In this project on the creation and consolidation of a market for modern and contemporary Indian art, Mukti and her co-author Daniel Wadhwani study the role of entrepreneurs and incumbent firms in constructing a market for products with subjective attributes and intangible value.

    Height Taken but Worth Unknown: Valuation as an Institutional Process

    This theoretical conceptualization of the process by which value is constructed provides a new perspective for understanding entrepreneurship as a process of reinterpretation of value in market contexts, which in turn influences culture.

  3. New Venture Growth

    Young and no Money? Never Mind: Strategies for New Venture Growth. Being revised (R&R) for Organization Science.

    Mukti's dissertation, "Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow: Strategies for New Venture Growth," explored how intangible resources such as legitimacy and status help new ventures grow despite their inherent financial constraints. In this paper she studied how young ad agencies in New York and Chicago acquired legitimacy by imitating existing large firms, and acquired status from high-status clients. These intangible resources helped the agencies grow despite their limited financial resources.

  4. Intangible Resources

    Getting Known by the Company you Keep: Publicizing the Qualifications and Associations of Skilled Employees to Indicate Producer Quality (with Peter Roberts) Under second review at Industrial and Corporate Change.

    In a second paper with Peter Roberts (Emory University), and Chris Rider (U. Cal, Berkeley), Mukti surveys winemakers in California to examine the interaction between winemaker careers, their resultant reputation, and winery reputations.