Gautam Mukunda

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Gautam Mukunda is an Assistant Professor in the Organizational Behavior Unit of Harvard Business School and a Distinguished Visiting Professor for the Schwarzman Scholarship. His research focuses on leadership, international relations, and the political and economic implications of technological change. He is a Principal Investigator on the National Science Foundation’s Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and The Chief of Naval Operation’s Executive Advisory Panel, and a Jeopardy Champion. Before joining HBS he was a 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, where he was Team Captain of its National Champion Quiz Bowl Team.

Before graduate school he was a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he focused on the pharmaceutical sector. He is on 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, a Next Generation Fellow of The American Assembly, a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership, and a member of the New England Regional Selection Committee for the White House Fellowship. He has published articles on leadership, financial reform, military innovation, network-centric warfare, and the security and economic implications of synthetic biology in Harvard Business Review, Foreign Policy, Security Studies, Parameters, Politics and the Life Sciences, Systems and Synthetic Biology, the Washington Post, Fast Company, and Slate. His first book, "Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter," was published in 2012 by Harvard Business Review Press. His work has been profiled in The New York Times, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and All Things Considered.

  1. Overview

    by Gautam Mukunda

    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.