Laura Phillips Sawyer

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Laura Phillips Sawyer is an assistant professor in the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit, where she teaches the course of the same name in the MBA required curriculum. Previously, she held the Harvard-Newcomen Fellowship in Business History at HBS.

Professor Sawyer studies the history of capitalism in the United States, focusing on post-Civil War U.S. political economy. She explains how changes in legal theory, economic thought, and business methods influenced the emergence of various types of regulation—both seen and unseen—and shaped trends in American business organization and consumer culture. Her work has been published in the Journal for the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and Business and Economic History; her book, American Fair Trade: Proprietary Capitalism, Networks, and the New Competition, 1890-1940, is under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Professor Sawyer received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Virginia and subsequently held a postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University’s Political Theory Project. While at Brown, she taught courses in both history and political science.