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.