Howard H. Stevenson

Sarofim-Rock Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus

Howard H. Stevenson is Sarofim-Rock Baker Foundation Professor emeritus, former Senior Associate Dean, Director of Publishing, and Chair of the Harvard Business Publishing Company board. The Sarofim-Rock Chair was established in 1982 to provide a continuing base for research and teaching in the field of entrepreneurship. Professor Stevenson is its first incumbent. The program for entrepreneurial studies uses a multi-disciplinary approach to the creation and maintenance of entrepreneurial focus of business organizations. He served as the Vice Provost for Harvard University Resources and Planning and as Senior Associate Provost from 2005 to 2007. As Senior Associate Dean and Director of External Relations at Harvard Business School from 2001 to 2005 he led the successful capital campaign. From 1999 to 2001 he served as Chair of the Latin American Faculty Advisory Group. He also served as Senior Associate Dean and Director of Financial and Information Systems for Harvard Business School from 1991 to 1994. He has been chairperson of the Owner/President Management Program in Executive Education and of the Publications Review Board for the Harvard Business School Press of Harvard Business Publishing Company.

Howard was a founder and first president of the Baupost Group, Inc. which manages partnerships investing in liquid securities for wealthy families. When he resigned from active management, Baupost assets had grown to over $400 million. He is now co-chairman of the Advisory Board of Baupost LLC, a $27 billion registered investment company. From 1978 to 1982, Professor Stevenson was Vice President of Finance and Administration and a Director of Preco Corporation, a large privately-held manufacturing company. In addition, in 1970-71, he served as Vice President of Simmons Associates, a small investment banking firm specializing in venture financing.

Prior to 1978, he held various academic appointments at Harvard University, specializing in Real Property Asset Management and General Management. He received his B.S. in mathematics, with distinction, from Stanford and his M.B.A., with high distinction, and D.B.A. degrees from Harvard University. He was a recipient of the ALCOA and Ford Foundation Fellowships for graduate study. He was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in 2007 by the Universite de Montreal.

He has authored, edited or co-authored twelve books and forty-two articles including New Business Ventures and the Entrepreneur, with Michael J. Roberts and H. Irving Grousbeck; Policy Formulation and Administration, with C.R. Christensen, N. Berg and M. Salter; The Entrepreneurial Venture with William Sahlman, 'The Importance of Entrepreneurship' and 'Capital Market Myopia,' with William Sahlman; 'A Perspective on Entrepreneurship,' and 'Preserving Entrepreneurship As You Grow.' 'The Heart of Entrepreneurship', 'How Small Companies Should Deal with Advisers', 'Why Be Honest If Honesty Doesn't Pay' and 'Success That Lasts' have appeared in The Harvard Business Review. Other scholarly papers of his have appeared in Sloan Management Review, Real Estate Review, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Business Strategy , Strategic Management Journal and elsewhere. He has also authored, co-authored or supervised over one-hundred fifty cases at Harvard Business School. He is the author of Do Lunch or Be Lunch: The Power of Predictability in Creating Your Future, published by HBS Press and co-author, with David Amis, of Winning Angels: The Seven Fundamentals of Early Stage Investing. He co-authored with Laura Nash Just Enough: Tools for Creating Success in Your Work and Life and with Eileen C. Shapiro Make Your Own Luck; Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector was written with Jane Wei-Skillern, James E. Austin, and Herman Leonard; Getting to Giving: Fundraising the Entrepreneurial Way was written with Shirley Spence.

He is currently a director of Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. as well as a trustee for several private trusts and foundations. He is a life trustee of the Boston Ballet and has been a director of Sudbury Valley Trustees where he served as president from 1996 to 2000. He is on the board of National Public Radio and served as chairman of National Public Radio Board of Directors from 2008-2010. He is a trustee of Mount Auburn Hospital and a trustee emeritus of the Nature Conservancy. He is a member of the governing board of INSPER School of Business in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a trustee of Olin College of Engineering a trustee of the Museum of Science and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

  1. Enduring Success

    Harvard Business School graduates have achieved many different kinds of success as leaders of businesses, as entrepreneurs and in their public and private lives. After authoring or co-authoring 150 cases, serving on many corporate and non- profit boards, Howard Stevenson's most recent research has focused on observing the patterns in peoples lives that create enduring success. The observations made by Stevenson and his co-author, Laura Nash, differ from the current rash of 'how to' books that offer simple solutions to the problem of living 'the good life'. Their conclusion is that 'it is not about balance' and it is not about maximization. It is about a juggling process that starts young and continues throughout one's life. The core drivers for most of us create warnings when life becomes too focused on a single domain of success. On the other hand, we all wince when we see others with whom we identify getting something we could have had. Stevenson and Nash are writing a book based on the framework that has been developed to help individuals achieve success in constancy to their core drivers.
  2. Entrepreneurial Management

    Howard H. Stevenson is researching and writing on the need for and consequences of predictability. In work designed for a managerial audience, he is examining the roles played by organizations, cultures, and ethical systems in enabling individuals to predict the consequences of their own and others' actions. Stevenson's fundamental thesis is that predictability is a requirement for coordinated action.