Rosabeth M. Kanter

Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration

Rosabeth Moss Kanter holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, where she specializes in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change. Her strategic and practical insights have guided leaders of large and small organizations worldwide for over 25 years, through teaching, writing, and direct consultation to major corporations and governments. The former Editor of Harvard Business Review (1989-1992), Professor Kanter has been repeatedly named to lists of the "50 most powerful women in the world" (Times of London), and the "50 most influential business thinkers in the world" (Thinkers 50). In 2001, she received the Academy of Management's Distinguished Career Award for her scholarly contributions to management knowledge; and in 2002 was named "Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year" by the World Teleport Association, and in 2010 received the International Leadership Award from the Association of Leadership Professionals.  She is the author or co-author of 18 books.  Her latest book, SuperCorp:  How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good, a manifesto for leadership of sustainable enterprises, was named one of the ten best business books of 2009 by Amazon.com.

Her previous book, Confidence: How Winning Streaks & Losing Streaks Begin & End (a New York Times business and #1 Business Week bestseller), describes the culture and dynamics of high-performance organizations as compared with those in decline, and shows how to lead turnarounds, whether in businesses, hospitals, schools, sports teams, community organizations, or countries. Her classic prizewinning book, Men & Women of the Corporation (which won the C. Wright Mills award winner for the year's best book on social issues) offered insight to countless individuals and organizations about corporate careers and the individual and organizational factors that promote success; a spin-off video, A Tale of ‘O': On Being Different, is among the world's most widely-used diversity tools; and a related book, Work & Family in the United States, set a policy agenda (in 2001, a coalition of university centers created the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award in her honor for the best research on work/family issues).  Another award-winning book, When Giants Learn to Dance, showed how to master the new terms of competition at the dawn of the global information age. World Class: Thriving Locally in the Global Economy identified the rise of new business networks and analyzed dilemmas of globalization

She has received 24 honorary doctoral degrees, as well as numerous leadership awards and prizes for her books and articles; for example, her book The Change Masters was named one of the most influential business books of the 20th century (Financial Times).  Through Goodmeasure Inc., the consulting group she co-founded, she has partnered with IBM on applying her leadership tools from business to other sectors; she is a Senior Advisor for IBM's Global Citizenship portfolio. She advises CEOs of large and small companies, has served on numerous business and non-profit boards including City Year, the urban "Peace Corps" now focused on addressing the school dropout crisis, and national or regional commissions including the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors.  She speaks widely, often sharing the platform with Presidents, Prime Ministers, and CEOs at national and international events, such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  Before joining the Harvard Business School faculty, she held tenured professorships at Yale University and Brandeis University and was a Fellow at Harvard Law School, simultaneously holding a Guggenheim Fellowship.

She is Chair and Director of the Advanced Leadership Initiative of Harvard University, a collaboration across the professional schools to help successful leaders at the top of their professions apply their skills to addressing challenging national and global problems in their next stages of life.

  1. Received the 2013 William Foote Whyte Distinguished Career Award from the Sociological Practice and Public Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.

  2. Won the second place 2011 McKinsey Award for the best article in Harvard Business Review during 2010 for “How Great Companies Think Differently.”

  3. Given the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus for her work on removing barriers to women's inclusion in the corporate and public worlds and for personal service as advisor to Governors and other public officials on economic issues.

  4. Named one of the 125 women who changed our lives over the past 125 years by Good Housekeeping in the May 2010 issue celebrating the magazine's 125th anniversary. She was cited for her ground-breaking research on the toll of tokenism, work/family conflicts, fostering diversity, and the creation of successful organizations which has helped women become stronger, more strategic leaders.

  5. Honored with the 2010 International Leadership Award from the Association of Leadership Professionals at its annual meeting in Fort Worth, Texas.

  6. Rosabeth Moss Kanter was honored with the 2010 International Leadership Award from the Association of Leadership Professionals at their annual meeting in Fort Worth, Texas.

  7. Awarded an Honorary Doctoral degree by Aalborg University, Denmark, in November 2008.