Gautam Mukunda

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Gautam Mukunda is an Assistant Professor in the Organizational Behavior Unit of Harvard Business School. Before joining the business school he was the National Science Foundation Synthetic Biology ERC Postdoctoral Fellow resident at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies. He received his PhD from MIT in Political Science and an A.B. in Government from Harvard, magna cum laude. His research focuses on leadership, international relations, and the social and political implications of technological change. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and MIT's Security Studies Program and Program on Emerging Technologies.

Before graduate school he was a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he focused on the pharmaceutical sector. He is Founding Managing Director of The Two Rivers Group, a strategy consulting firm focusing on applying insights from academia to private and public sector problems. He is a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Mentorship Committee of The Upakar Foundation, a national non-profit devoted to providing college scholarships to underprivileged students of South Asian descent. He is a Paul & Daisy Soros New American Fellow, an NSF IGERT Fellow, and a Next Generation Fellow of The American Assembly. He has published articles on leadership, military innovation, network-centric warfare, and the security and economic implications of synthetic biology in Security Studies, Parameters, Politics and the Life Sciences, Systems and Synthetic Biology, and the Washington Post. His first book, "Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter," was published in September 2012 by Harvard Business Review Press.

  1. Overview

    Professor Mukunda teaches Leadership and Organizational Behavior (LEAD.)  This course focuses on how managers become effective leaders by addressing the human side of enterprise.

    The first modules examine teams, individuals, and networks in the context of:

    The determinants of group culture.

    Managing the performance of individual subordinates.

    Establishing productive relationships with peers and seniors over whom the manager has no formal authority.

    The intermediate modules look at successful leaders in action to see how they:

    Develop a vision of the future.

    Align the organization behind that vision.

    Motivate people to achieve the vision.

    Design effective organizations and change them to achieve superior performance.

    The final module introduces a model for strategic career management.