Joseph L. Bower

Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus

JOSEPH L. BOWER, Donald K. David Professor Emeritus, has been a leader in general management at Harvard Business School for 51 years. During its first decade, he also served on the faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School.  He has served in many administrative roles including Senior Associate Dean.  An expert on corporate strategy, organization, and leadership, he has devoted much of his teaching and research to challenges confronting corporate leaders in today’s rapidly changing hyper-competitive conditions. Professor Bower has been active in the development of institutions and programs. Between 1968 and 73 he helped establish the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, Austria. In 1978, he founded the Program for Senior Managers in Government at Harvard’s JFK School of Government; and in 1995 he founded the General Manager Program at Harvard Business School. He was deeply involved in the efforts to build the new joint MBA-MPP degree program offered by the Business School and the Kennedy School of Government.

Presently, he is co-leading a project on The Future of Market Capitalism. The first result of the project was a book co-authored with Dutch Leonard and Lynn Paine, titled Capitalism at Risk: Rethinking the Role of Business, published October 2011 by Harvard Business Press. Based on three years of work and interviews around the world, the book draws on discussions with business leaders to identify ten potential disruptors of the global market system. Presenting examples of companies already making a difference, the authors explain how business must serve both as innovator and activist--developing corporate strategies that effect change at the community, national, and international levels.

Bower is the author or coauthor many articles, some 200 case studies and videos and more than a dozen books: The CEO Within: Why Inside-Outsiders Are The Key To Succession Planning was published in November 2007 by HBS Press and was a Financial Times to 10 for that year; From Resource Allocation to Strategy (with C. Gilbert) was published in 2005 by Oxford University Press, and won the Best Book award in 2006 from “Strategy + Management.” .

Professor Bower has also consulted widely on problems of succession, strategy and organization with companies here and abroad. He is a director of Anika Therapeutics, Inc., Loews Corporation, and New America High Income Fund. He is a life trustee of the New England Conservatory of Music and has served on many other company and non-profit boards.

Professor Bower is a graduate of Harvard University AB '59 magna cum laude, MBA '61 a Baker Scholar with high distinction, DBA '63.  Married to Elizabeth Potter, he lives in Cambridge, has two children, two step-children, five grandchildren, and 3 step-grandchildren.

List of Videos by Professor Bower

Bower, Joseph L. "Interview with Bertrand Collomb, Honorary Chairman and Director, Lafarge." Succession Series. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School, 2008. Video.

Bower, Joseph L. "Interview with Reuben Mark, Chairman & CEO, Colgate Palmolive Co." Succession Series. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School, 2008. Video.

Bower, Joseph L. "Interview with Vittorio Merloni, Chairman, Indesit Company SpA." Globalization Debate Series. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School, 2008. Video.

Bower, Joseph L. "Interview with Jack Rivkin." Post Succession Series. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School, 2008. Video.

Bower, Joseph L. "Interview with Joseph L. Bower." Succession: Series. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School, 2008. Video. (The Crisis in CEO Succession.)

Bower, Joseph L. "Interview with Stuart Rose, CEO, Marks & Spencer." Boston, MA: Harvard Business School, 2007. Video.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellingson Hout. "5 Years On The Job: Interview with Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman & CEO, GE March 24, 2006." Harvard Business School Multimedia/Video Case 307-045.

Bower, Joseph L. "Allianz Cases and Video Series (Allianz A1, A2, B, C, D1, D2) (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 307-111.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellingson Hout. "Allianz SE, "The Euro Company." Interview with Michael Diekmann, Chairman." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 307-712.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonya Hout. "Entrepreneurial Insights." Harvard Business School Multimedia/Video Case 306-703.

Bower, Joseph L. Leadership Is a Choice: The General Manager in the Middle. Faculty Seminar Series. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2005. Cd-rom. (Faculty Lecture: HBSP Product Number 9-882-7C.)

Bower, Joseph L. "Allianz-Dresdner Merger, The: An Interview with Dr. Holger Hatje." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 305-704.

Bower, Joseph L. "Marks & Spencer: The Phoenix Rises - A Multimedia Case Study." Harvard Business School Multimedia/Video Case 304-034.

Bower, Joseph L. "Interview with Martin Sorrell Update, February 5, 2003." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 304-807.

Bower, Joseph L. "Jack Welch at GE: 1981-2001 - The Evolution of a Chief Executive." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 304-809.

Bower, Joseph L. "Jack Welch General Electric-The People Factory at work: Picking My Successor at GE." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 304-808.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja E Hout. "Kenan Systems." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 302-805.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellington Hout. "DoubleTwist - Update Spring 2001." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 302-816.

Bower, Joseph L., Sonja Ellingson-Hout, and Fred Young. "Liz Claiborne China." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 302-807.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellingson Hout. "DoubleTwist Update - Fall 2001." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 302-817.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellingston Hout. "Interview with Philip Casey at AmeriSteel." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 302-809.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellingson Hout. "Interview with Vittorio Merloni." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 302-814.

Bower, Joseph L. "Sir Richard Greenbury-Events Leading to Succession." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 302-812.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellingson Hout. "Teradyne-Managing Discontinuous Change." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 302-804.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellingson Hout. "Viacom, Inc.: CBS Acquisition." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 301-804.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellingson Hout. Entrepreneurial Insights Case Video (Matrix) - Full Version. 1999.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellingson Hout. "Viacom - Carpe Diem (Video)." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 397-508.

Bower, Joseph L., Thomas R. Eisenmann, and Sonja Ellingson Hout. "Viacom, Inc.: Video Supplement." Harvard Business School Case 397-066.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellingson Hout. "WPP--Integrating Icons (Video)." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 397-504.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellingson. "General Electric: Interview with Jack Welch, Chairman and CEO, Summer of 1994, Video." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 395-508.

Bower, Joseph L. "Marks & Spencer Go Global, Supplement to the Video Case." Harvard Business School Paper Supplement to Video 395-220.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellingson Hout. "Marks & Spencer Go Global: a Video case study." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 395-524.

Bower, Joseph L., and Sonja Ellingson. "Marks & Spencer p.l.c.: The Challenges of Complexity-- An Interview with Sir Richard Greenbury, Videotape." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 395-507.

Bower, Joseph L. "PaineWebber: Institutional Equity Division, Video." Harvard Business School Video Supplements 890-505.

Bower, Joseph L. "Continental Airlines (A), (B), and Video, Teaching Note." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 386-116.