Ranjay Gulati

Jaime and Josefina Chua Tiampo Professor of Business Administration
Unit Head, Organizational Behavior
Chair, Advanced Management Program

Ranjay Gulati is the Jaime and Josefina Chua Tiampo Professor, the Unit Head of the Organizational Behavior Unit, and the Chair of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Ranjay Gulati is the Jaime and Josefina Chua Tiampo Professor and the Unit Head of the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School. He is an expert on leadership, strategy, and organizational issues in firms. His recent work explores leadership and strategic challenges for building high growth organizations in turbulent markets. Some of his prior work has focused on the enablers and implications of within-firm and inter-firm collaboration. He has looked at both when and how firms should leverage greater connectivity within and across their boundaries to enhance performance.
 
Professor Gulati is the Chair of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He has directed several executive education programs on such topics as Building and Leading Customer Centric Organizations, Leadership in Turbulent Markets, Managing Strategic Alliances, and Sustaining Competitive Advantage.  He is also active in custom executive education. He has received a number of awards for his teaching including the Best Professor Award for his teaching in the MBA and executive MBA programs at the Kellogg School where he was on the faculty prior to coming to Harvard.

His most recent book, Principles of Management (Cengage, 2013), is a primer on the fundamentals of management that provides a new overview of the field using contemporary examples and cases. In his book, Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Organization (Harvard Business Press, 2009), which was a finalist for the George Terry Best Book in Management Award, Professor Gulati explores how "resilient" companies—those that prosper both in good times and bad—drive growth and increase profitability by immersing themselves in the lives of their customers. Based on more than a decade of research in a range of industries including manufacturing, retail, professional services, media, information technology, and healthcare, the book uncovers the path to resilience by showing companies how to break down internal barriers that impede action, build bridges across divisions, and create a network of collaborators. His previous book, Managing Network Resources: Alliances, Affiliations, and other Relational Assets (Oxford University Press, 2007), examines the implications of firms’ growing portfolio of inter-firm connections. He demonstrates how firms increasingly are scaling back what they consider to be their core activities, and at the same time expanding their array of offerings to customers by entering into a web of collaborations. He has also co-edited a book on leading sustainable change that looks at how organizations overcome internal barriers to change in embracing sustainability programs and also co-edited two books that focus on the dynamics of competition in emerging technology-intensive industries.
 
Professor Gulati is the past-President of the Business Policy and Strategy Division at the Academy of Management and an elected fellow of the Strategic Management Society. He was ranked as one of the top ten most cited scholars in Economics and Business over a decade by ISI-Incite. The Economist, Financial Times, and the Economist Intelligence Unit have listed him as among the top handful of business school scholars whose work is most relevant to management practice. He has been a Harvard MacArthur Fellow and a Sloan Foundation Fellow. His research has been published in leading journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Harvard Business Review, American Journal of Sociology, Strategic Management Journal, Sloan Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, and Organization Science. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, strategy+business, and the Financial Times. Professor Gulati sits on the editorial board of several leading journals and was a co-editor of a special issue of the Strategic Management Journal on Alliances and Strategic Networks in 2000 and another special issue on Organizational Architecture that appeared in 2012. He also guest-edited a special issue of the Academy of Management Journal on Relational Pluralism in 2014.

Professor Gulati advises and speaks to corporations large and small around the globe. Some of his representative speaking and consulting clients include: Abbott Laboratories, Aetna, Allergan, American Tower, Bank of America, Bank of China, Baxter, Berkshire Partners, Boston Scientific, Caterpillar, Clifford Chance, Credit Suisse, Ford, Future Brands, GE, General Mills, Henkel, Hitachi, Honda, Hospira, IBM, Levi Strauss, LaFarge, Lockheed Martin, McGraw-Hill, Merck, Metlife, Microsoft, Novartis, Ochsner, Qualcomm, Rockwell Collins, Sanofi Aventis, SAP, Seyfarth Shaw, St Jude, Target, Unilever, and White and Case. He has served on the advisory boards of several companies and has appeared as an expert witness in business litigations.
 
He has been a frequent guest on CNBC as well as a panelist on several of their series on topics that include: the Business of Innovation, Collaboration, and Leadership Vision.  Professor Gulati holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University, a Master's Degree in Management from M.I.T.'s Sloan School of Management, and two Bachelor's Degrees, in Computer Science and Economics, from Washington State University and St. Stephens College, New Delhi, respectively.  He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.

Recent Publications

  1. Markets as Networks: The Dynamics and Implications of Interorganizational Network Structures

    We discuss existing research that applies a relational, socio-structural lens to studying organizations and markets. Research in this field has described markets first and foremost as networks of enduring relationships and repeated interactions among organizations. We start by addressing some of the key findings of extant research regarding the antecedents of network structures and variations in their emergent structural properties. We then evaluate the implications of these network structures for a range of organizational behaviours and outcomes, exploring the underlying mechanisms for the effects of networks.

    Keywords: Networks; Markets;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay. "Markets as Networks: The Dynamics and Implications of Interorganizational Network Structures." In The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management, edited by Mie Augier and David J. Teece. Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming. (Published online October 2013.) View Details
  2. Bringing Agency Back Into Network Research: Constrained Agency and Network Action

    We propose a framework of constrained agency grounded in the actors' resources and motivations within their structurally constrained context. Structural positions influence the resources available to actors and color the motivations that shape their actions. Resources equip actors to exert agency, while motivations propel them to do so. We derive a typology of network actions and illustrate how the form of constrained agency through which a particular network action is taken can affect actors' ensuing structural positions and the nature of the constraints they subsequently face. Our conceptualization of constrained agency identifies new sources of endogenous change in network structure.

    Keywords: Networks; Agency Theory;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Sameer Srivastava. "Bringing Agency Back Into Network Research: Constrained Agency and Network Action." In Contemporary Perspectives on Organizational Social Networks. Vol. 40, edited by Dan Brass, Giuseppe Labianca, Ajay Mehra, Daniel S. Halgin, and Stephen P. Borgatti, 73–94. Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Emerald Group Publishing, 2014. View Details
  3. Management

    Leaders have always faced the challenge of inspiring others while making important strategic decisions for their organizations based on ambiguous and conflicting information. A leader's success or failure is often dependent on his or her ability to accurately interpret and process this information. Today's leaders are confronted with challenges and opportunities that are more dynamic and complex than ever before. Leaders need to understand how to harness technological advances, manage and lead a dispersed and diverse workforce, anticipate and react to constant competitive and geopolitical change and uncertainty, compete on a global scale, and operate in a socially responsible and accountable manner. In writing a new textbook on the principles, purpose, and perspective of management, we sought to demonstrate the mutual interconnectivity between three key facets—(1) strategic positioning, (2) organizational design, and (3) individual leadership—which cannot and should not act independently.

    Keywords: management; leadership; business; organization design; organization structure; strategy; Strategy; Leadership; Organizational Design; Management Practices and Processes;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Anthony J. Mayo, and Nitin Nohria. Management. First ed. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning, 2013. View Details
  4. How Much to Make and How Much to Buy? An Analysis of Optimal Plural Sourcing Strategies

    While many theories of the firm seek to explain when firms make rather than buy, in practice, firms often make and buy the same input—they engage in plural sourcing. We argue that explaining the mix of external procurement and internal sourcing for the same input requires a consideration of complementarities across and constraints within modes of procurement. We create analytical foundations for making empirical predictions about when plural sourcing is likely to be optimal and why the optimal mix of internal and external sourcing may vary across situations. Our framework also proves useful for assessing the possible estimation biases in transaction level make-or-buy studies arising from ignoring complementarities and constraints.

    Keywords: Supply Chain; Forecasting and Prediction; Framework; Prejudice and Bias; Mathematical Methods;

    Citation:

    Puranam, Phanish, Ranjay Gulati, and Sourav Bhattacharya. "How Much to Make and How Much to Buy? An Analysis of Optimal Plural Sourcing Strategies." Strategic Management Journal 34, no. 10 (October 2013): 1145–1161. View Details
  5. Signals across Multiple Networks: How Venture Capital and Alliance Networks Affect Interorganizational Collaboration

    In this paper, we examine the contingent effects of signals generated by different types of networks on new ventures' formation of future strategic alliances. We argue that the signaling value of a given tie in reducing adverse selection is more pronounced when another type of tie is lacking. In particular, we suggest that signals associated with (i) a new venture's affiliations with venture capitalists (VCs) that have prominent positions in syndicate networks and (ii) a new venture's prominent position in alliance networks resulting from previous alliances offer redundant benefits. As a result, the positive effect of VC prominence in determining a new venture's future alliance formation diminishes as the new venture's prominence in alliance networks increases. Evidence from biotech alliances between new ventures and established companies provides support for our theory.

    Keywords: Networks; Venture Capital; Alliances;

    Citation:

    Ozmel, Umit, Jeffrey J. Reuer, and Ranjay Gulati. "Signals across Multiple Networks: How Venture Capital and Alliance Networks Affect Interorganizational Collaboration." Academy of Management Journal 56, no. 3 (June 2013): 852–866. View Details
  6. Jones Lang LaSalle (2012): Integrated Services and the Architecture of Complexity (D)

    This case describes the strategic and organizational challenges that Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) faced between 2008 and 2012. In 2008, in order to strengthen the firm's brokerage team, JLL merged with The Staubach Company, a real estate services provider with a first-rate brokerage team and great cultural fit with JLL. Staubach paid its brokers with a commission model, which accelerated JLL's decision to let go of its long-standing salary and bonus approach. The merger also surfaced two interesting business opportunities. First, local brokers were now empowered and motivated to open up their client relationships to the rest of the company, growing their business from just local transactions to the full array of services JLL provided. Second, local brokers became aware of a great number of mid-sized clients whose real estate needs were not as sophisticated as those of large corporate accounts but who required multi-service solutions in selected geographies. JLL thus created a group called Markets Corporate Solutions, which specifically targeted mid-sized clients. Toward 2012, with its organizational structure expanding to tackle opportunities for multiple types of clients in a myriad of geographies, JLL was facing challenges associated with managing internal and external complexity. Americas CEO Peter Roberts outlines the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for JLL. This is the final case in a series that also comprises cases A, B, and C, and collectively covers JLL's evolution between the years 1999 and 2012.

    Keywords: Organizational Structure; Strategy; Integration; Real Estate Industry; North America; South America; Central America;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Luciana Silvestri. "Jones Lang LaSalle (2012): Integrated Services and the Architecture of Complexity (D)." Harvard Business School Supplement 113-117, March 2013. (Revised October 2013.) View Details
  7. The Two Facets of Collaboration: Cooperation and Coordination in Strategic Alliances

    This paper unpacks two underspecified facets of collaboration: cooperation and coordination. Prior research has emphasized cooperation, and specifically the partners' commitment and alignment of interests, as the key determinant of collaborative success. Scholars have paid less attention to the critical role of coordination—the effective alignment and adjustment of the partners' actions. To redress this imbalance, we conceptually disentangle cooperation and coordination in the context of inter-organizational collaboration, and examine how the two phenomena play out in the partner selection, design, and post-formation stages of an alliance's life cycle. As we demonstrate, a coordination perspective helps resolve some empirical puzzles, but it also represents a challenge to received wisdom grounded in the salience of cooperation. To stimulate future research, we discuss alternative conceptualizations of the relationship between cooperation and coordination, and elaborate on their normative implications.

    Keywords: Alliances; Social and Collaborative Networks; Cooperation;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Franz Wohlgezogen, and Pavel Zhelyazkov. "The Two Facets of Collaboration: Cooperation and Coordination in Strategic Alliances." Academy of Management Annals 6 (2012): 531–583. View Details
  8. The Rise and Fall of Small Worlds: Exploring the Dynamics of Social Structure

    This paper explores the interplay between social structure and economic action by examining some of the evolutionary dynamics of an emergent network that coalesces into a small-world system. The study highlights the small-world system's evolutionary dynamics at both the macro level of the network and the micro level of an individual actor. This dual analytical lens helps establish that, in competitive and information-intensive settings, a small-world system could be a highly dynamic structure that follows an inverted U-shaped evolutionary pattern, wherein an increase in the smallworldliness of the system is followed by its later decline due to three factors: (1) the recursive relationship between the evolving social structure and individual actors' formation of bridging ties, which eventually homogenizes the information space and decreases actors' propensity to form bridging ties, creating a globally separated network; (2) self-containment of the small-world network, or increasing homogenization of the social system, which makes the small world less accepting of and less attractive to new actors, thereby limiting formation of bridging ties to outside clusters; and (3) fragmentation of the small-world network, or the small-world system's inability to retain current clusters. The study uses data on interorganizational tie formation in the global computer industry in the period from 1996 to 2005 to test the hypothesized relationships.

    Keywords: Culture; System; Relationships; Globalization; Industry Clusters; Information; Networks; Competitive Strategy; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Maxim Sytch, and Adam Tatarynowicz. "The Rise and Fall of Small Worlds: Exploring the Dynamics of Social Structure." Organization Science 23, no. 2 (March–April 2012): 449–471. View Details
  9. Meta-Organizational Design: Rethinking Design in Inter-Organizational and Community Contexts

    This paper provides conceptual foundations for analyzing organizations comprising multiple legally autonomous entities, which we call meta-organizations. We assess the antecedents of the emergence of such collectives and the design choices they entail. The paper identifies key parameters on which such meta-organizations' designs differ from each other. It also presents a taxonomy that elucidates how such forms of collective action vary and the constraints they must address to be successful. We conclude with implications for research on meta-organizational design.

    Keywords: Design; Organizations; Civil Society or Community; Relationships;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Phanish Puranam, and Michael Tushman. "Meta-Organizational Design: Rethinking Design in Inter-Organizational and Community Contexts." Special Issue on Strategy and the Design of Organizational Architecture edited by R. Gulati, P. Puranam, M. Tushman. Strategic Management Journal 33, no. 6 (June 2012): 571–586. View Details
  10. Toward a Theory of Extended Contact: The Incentives and Opportunities for Bridging Across Network Communities

    This study investigates the determinants of bridging ties within networks of interconnected firms. Bridging ties are defined as nonredundant connections between firms located in different network communities. We highlight how firms can enter into these relationships because of the incentives and opportunities for action that are embedded in the existing network structure. Specifically, we propose that the dynamics of proximate network structures, which reflect firms' and their partners' direct connections, affect the formation of bridging ties by shaping the value-creation and value-distribution incentives for bridging. We also argue that the evolving global network structure affects firms' propensity to form bridging ties by shaping the structural opportunities for bridging. We test our theory using the network of partnership ties among firms in the global computer industry from 1991 to 2005. We find support for structural incentives and opportunities as influential precursors of bridging ties.

    Keywords: Motivation and Incentives; Opportunities;

    Citation:

    Sytch, Maxim, Adam Tatarynowicz, and Ranjay Gulati. "Toward a Theory of Extended Contact: The Incentives and Opportunities for Bridging Across Network Communities." Organization Science 23, no. 6 (November–December 2012): 1658–1681. View Details

Books

  1. Leading Sustainable Change: An Organizational Perspective

    The business case for acting sustainably is becoming increasingly compelling—reducing our global footprint to sustainable levels is the defining issue of our times, and it is one that can only be addressed with the active participation of the private sector. However, persuading well-established organizations to act in new ways is never easy. This book is designed to support business leaders and organizational scholars who are grappling with this challenge by pulling together leading-edge insights from some of the world's best researchers as to how organizational change in general—and sustainable change in particular—can be most effectively managed. The book begins by laying out the economic case for change, while subsequent chapters describe how leaders at firms such as Du Pont, IBM, and Cemex have transformed their organizations, exploring issues such as the role of the senior team and the ways in which firms shift their identities, build innovative cultures and processes, and begin to change the world around them. Business leaders will find the book a source of both powerful examples and immediately actionable ideas, while scholars will be deeply intrigued by the insights that emerge from the cross cutting exploration of one of the toughest challenges our society has ever faced.

    Keywords: environmental sustainability;

    Citation:

    Henderson, Rebecca, Ranjay Gulati and Michael Tushman, eds. Leading Sustainable Change: An Organizational Perspective. Oxford University Press, forthcoming. View Details
  2. Management

    Leaders have always faced the challenge of inspiring others while making important strategic decisions for their organizations based on ambiguous and conflicting information. A leader's success or failure is often dependent on his or her ability to accurately interpret and process this information. Today's leaders are confronted with challenges and opportunities that are more dynamic and complex than ever before. Leaders need to understand how to harness technological advances, manage and lead a dispersed and diverse workforce, anticipate and react to constant competitive and geopolitical change and uncertainty, compete on a global scale, and operate in a socially responsible and accountable manner. In writing a new textbook on the principles, purpose, and perspective of management, we sought to demonstrate the mutual interconnectivity between three key facets—(1) strategic positioning, (2) organizational design, and (3) individual leadership—which cannot and should not act independently.

    Keywords: management; leadership; business; organization design; organization structure; strategy; Strategy; Leadership; Organizational Design; Management Practices and Processes;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Anthony J. Mayo, and Nitin Nohria. Management. First ed. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning, 2013. View Details
  3. Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Organization

    In an era of raging commoditization and eroding profit margins, survival depends on resilience: staying one step ahead of your customers. Sure, most companies say they're "customer focused," but they don't deliver solutions to customers' thorniest problems. Why? Because they're stymied by the rigid "silos" they're organized around. In Reorganize for Resilience, Ranjay Gulati reveals how resilient companies prosper both in good times and bad, driving growth and increasing profitability by immersing themselves in the lives of their customers. This book shows how resilient organizations cut through internal barriers that impede action, build bridges between warring divisions, and transform former competitors into collaborators. Based on more than a decade of research in a variety of industries, and filled with examples from companies including Cisco Systems, La Farge, Starbucks, Best Buy, and Jones Lang LaSalle, Gulati explores the five levers of resilience: 1) Coordination: connect, eradicate, or restructure silos to enable swift responses. 2) Cooperation: foster a culture that aligns all employees around the shared goals of customer solutions. 3) Clout: redistribute power to "bridge builders" and customer champions. 4) Capability: develop employees' skills at tackling changing customer needs. 5) Connection: blend partners' offerings with yours to provide unique customer solutions.

    Keywords: Competency and Skills; Customer Focus and Relationships; Profit; Organizational Culture; Organizational Structure; Cooperation;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay. Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Organization. Harvard Business Press, 2009. View Details

Journal Articles

  1. Crime and Punishment: The Reputational Consequences of Withdrawals from Venture Capital Syndicates

    Traditional research has long treated reputation as an egocentric attribute, typically described as an intangible asset directly shaped by the focal actor's track record. We argue, however, that reputation is dyadic: that an actor can have different reputations with different alters, and that its various reputations are shaped by three processes—awareness, interpretation and reevaluation. Awareness—the extent of the alter's knowledge of the focal actor's past behavior—is determined by the proximity of the two and by their centrality in the interorganizational network. Interpretation—the alter's processing of that knowledge to make inferences about the focal actor's character—is determined by what the alter perceives to be the root cause of the behaviors in question. Finally, reevaluation—change in the alter's beliefs about the focal actor—is determined by the gap between the alter's prior beliefs and new information. Specifically, when the alter's prior experiences of the focal actor are particularly negative, the latter's poor behavior in other relationships is unlikely to have much marginal effect. We test the resulting hypotheses by examining how a venture capital firm's reputation for unreliability, triggered by repeated withdrawals from investment syndicates, affects its probability of future syndication.

    Keywords: network formation; network search; networks; venture capital; Syndication; Networks;

    Citation:

    Zhelyazkov, Pavel Ivanov, and Ranjay Gulati. "Crime and Punishment: The Reputational Consequences of Withdrawals from Venture Capital Syndicates." Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings (2013). (Finalist for the Best Paper Award, Organization and Management Theory Section, Academy of Management.) View Details
  2. How the Other Fukushima Plant Survived

    In March 2011, Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was devastated by three reactor explosions and two core meltdowns in the days following a 9.0 earthquake and a tsunami that produced waves as high as 17 meters. The world is familiar with Daiichi's fate; less well known is the crisis at its sister plant, Daini, about 10 kilometers to the south. As a result of nature's onslaught, three of Daini's four reactors lacked sufficient power to achieve cooldown. To prevent the disaster experienced up north, the site superintendent, Naohiro Masuda, and his team had to connect them to the plant's surviving power sources. In a volatile environment, Masuda and Daini's hundreds of employees responded to each unexpected event in turn. Luck played a part, but so did smart leadership and sensemaking. Until the last reactor went into cold shutdown, Masuda's team took nothing for granted. With each new problem they encountered, it recalibrated, iteratively creating continuity and restoring order. Daini survived the crisis without an explosion or a meltdown.

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Charles Casto, and Charlotte Krontiris. "How the Other Fukushima Plant Survived." Harvard Business Review 92, nos. 7/8 (July–August 2014): 111–115. View Details
  3. Bringing Agency Back Into Network Research: Constrained Agency and Network Action

    We propose a framework of constrained agency grounded in the actors' resources and motivations within their structurally constrained context. Structural positions influence the resources available to actors and color the motivations that shape their actions. Resources equip actors to exert agency, while motivations propel them to do so. We derive a typology of network actions and illustrate how the form of constrained agency through which a particular network action is taken can affect actors' ensuing structural positions and the nature of the constraints they subsequently face. Our conceptualization of constrained agency identifies new sources of endogenous change in network structure.

    Keywords: Networks; Agency Theory;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Sameer Srivastava. "Bringing Agency Back Into Network Research: Constrained Agency and Network Action." In Contemporary Perspectives on Organizational Social Networks. Vol. 40, edited by Dan Brass, Giuseppe Labianca, Ajay Mehra, Daniel S. Halgin, and Stephen P. Borgatti, 73–94. Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Emerald Group Publishing, 2014. View Details
  4. Relational Pluralism Within and Between Organizations

    Relational pluralism exists when actors maintain multiple kinds of relationships with one another and develop multiple identities as a result. The outcomes of relational pluralism can include greater flexibility in building network ties, more stable exchange relationships, and the ability to adopt tailored innovations. We develop a typology of relational pluralism and examine both the positive and negative features of relational pluralism inside and across organizations. We conclude with a discussion of future directions for research.

    Citation:

    Shipilov, Andrew, Ranjay Gulati, Martin Kilduff, Stan Li, and Wenpin Tsai. "Relational Pluralism Within and Between Organizations." Academy of Management Journal 57, no. 2 (April 2014): 449–459. View Details
  5. Signals across Multiple Networks: How Venture Capital and Alliance Networks Affect Interorganizational Collaboration

    In this paper, we examine the contingent effects of signals generated by different types of networks on new ventures' formation of future strategic alliances. We argue that the signaling value of a given tie in reducing adverse selection is more pronounced when another type of tie is lacking. In particular, we suggest that signals associated with (i) a new venture's affiliations with venture capitalists (VCs) that have prominent positions in syndicate networks and (ii) a new venture's prominent position in alliance networks resulting from previous alliances offer redundant benefits. As a result, the positive effect of VC prominence in determining a new venture's future alliance formation diminishes as the new venture's prominence in alliance networks increases. Evidence from biotech alliances between new ventures and established companies provides support for our theory.

    Keywords: Networks; Venture Capital; Alliances;

    Citation:

    Ozmel, Umit, Jeffrey J. Reuer, and Ranjay Gulati. "Signals across Multiple Networks: How Venture Capital and Alliance Networks Affect Interorganizational Collaboration." Academy of Management Journal 56, no. 3 (June 2013): 852–866. View Details
  6. How Much to Make and How Much to Buy? An Analysis of Optimal Plural Sourcing Strategies

    While many theories of the firm seek to explain when firms make rather than buy, in practice, firms often make and buy the same input—they engage in plural sourcing. We argue that explaining the mix of external procurement and internal sourcing for the same input requires a consideration of complementarities across and constraints within modes of procurement. We create analytical foundations for making empirical predictions about when plural sourcing is likely to be optimal and why the optimal mix of internal and external sourcing may vary across situations. Our framework also proves useful for assessing the possible estimation biases in transaction level make-or-buy studies arising from ignoring complementarities and constraints.

    Keywords: Supply Chain; Forecasting and Prediction; Framework; Prejudice and Bias; Mathematical Methods;

    Citation:

    Puranam, Phanish, Ranjay Gulati, and Sourav Bhattacharya. "How Much to Make and How Much to Buy? An Analysis of Optimal Plural Sourcing Strategies." Strategic Management Journal 34, no. 10 (October 2013): 1145–1161. View Details
  7. The Two Facets of Collaboration: Cooperation and Coordination in Strategic Alliances

    This paper unpacks two underspecified facets of collaboration: cooperation and coordination. Prior research has emphasized cooperation, and specifically the partners' commitment and alignment of interests, as the key determinant of collaborative success. Scholars have paid less attention to the critical role of coordination—the effective alignment and adjustment of the partners' actions. To redress this imbalance, we conceptually disentangle cooperation and coordination in the context of inter-organizational collaboration, and examine how the two phenomena play out in the partner selection, design, and post-formation stages of an alliance's life cycle. As we demonstrate, a coordination perspective helps resolve some empirical puzzles, but it also represents a challenge to received wisdom grounded in the salience of cooperation. To stimulate future research, we discuss alternative conceptualizations of the relationship between cooperation and coordination, and elaborate on their normative implications.

    Keywords: Alliances; Social and Collaborative Networks; Cooperation;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Franz Wohlgezogen, and Pavel Zhelyazkov. "The Two Facets of Collaboration: Cooperation and Coordination in Strategic Alliances." Academy of Management Annals 6 (2012): 531–583. View Details
  8. Toward a Theory of Extended Contact: The Incentives and Opportunities for Bridging Across Network Communities

    This study investigates the determinants of bridging ties within networks of interconnected firms. Bridging ties are defined as nonredundant connections between firms located in different network communities. We highlight how firms can enter into these relationships because of the incentives and opportunities for action that are embedded in the existing network structure. Specifically, we propose that the dynamics of proximate network structures, which reflect firms' and their partners' direct connections, affect the formation of bridging ties by shaping the value-creation and value-distribution incentives for bridging. We also argue that the evolving global network structure affects firms' propensity to form bridging ties by shaping the structural opportunities for bridging. We test our theory using the network of partnership ties among firms in the global computer industry from 1991 to 2005. We find support for structural incentives and opportunities as influential precursors of bridging ties.

    Keywords: Motivation and Incentives; Opportunities;

    Citation:

    Sytch, Maxim, Adam Tatarynowicz, and Ranjay Gulati. "Toward a Theory of Extended Contact: The Incentives and Opportunities for Bridging Across Network Communities." Organization Science 23, no. 6 (November–December 2012): 1658–1681. View Details
  9. Meta-Organizational Design: Rethinking Design in Inter-Organizational and Community Contexts

    This paper provides conceptual foundations for analyzing organizations comprising multiple legally autonomous entities, which we call meta-organizations. We assess the antecedents of the emergence of such collectives and the design choices they entail. The paper identifies key parameters on which such meta-organizations' designs differ from each other. It also presents a taxonomy that elucidates how such forms of collective action vary and the constraints they must address to be successful. We conclude with implications for research on meta-organizational design.

    Keywords: Design; Organizations; Civil Society or Community; Relationships;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Phanish Puranam, and Michael Tushman. "Meta-Organizational Design: Rethinking Design in Inter-Organizational and Community Contexts." Special Issue on Strategy and the Design of Organizational Architecture edited by R. Gulati, P. Puranam, M. Tushman. Strategic Management Journal 33, no. 6 (June 2012): 571–586. View Details
  10. The Rise and Fall of Small Worlds: Exploring the Dynamics of Social Structure

    This paper explores the interplay between social structure and economic action by examining some of the evolutionary dynamics of an emergent network that coalesces into a small-world system. The study highlights the small-world system's evolutionary dynamics at both the macro level of the network and the micro level of an individual actor. This dual analytical lens helps establish that, in competitive and information-intensive settings, a small-world system could be a highly dynamic structure that follows an inverted U-shaped evolutionary pattern, wherein an increase in the smallworldliness of the system is followed by its later decline due to three factors: (1) the recursive relationship between the evolving social structure and individual actors' formation of bridging ties, which eventually homogenizes the information space and decreases actors' propensity to form bridging ties, creating a globally separated network; (2) self-containment of the small-world network, or increasing homogenization of the social system, which makes the small world less accepting of and less attractive to new actors, thereby limiting formation of bridging ties to outside clusters; and (3) fragmentation of the small-world network, or the small-world system's inability to retain current clusters. The study uses data on interorganizational tie formation in the global computer industry in the period from 1996 to 2005 to test the hypothesized relationships.

    Keywords: Culture; System; Relationships; Globalization; Industry Clusters; Information; Networks; Competitive Strategy; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Maxim Sytch, and Adam Tatarynowicz. "The Rise and Fall of Small Worlds: Exploring the Dynamics of Social Structure." Organization Science 23, no. 2 (March–April 2012): 449–471. View Details
  11. How Do Networks Matter? The Performance Effects of Interorganizational Networks

    A growing body of research suggests that an organization's ties to other organizations furnish resources that bestow various benefits. Scholars have proposed different perspectives on how such networks of ties shape organizational behavior and performance outcomes, but they have paid little attention to the underlying mechanisms driving these effects. We propose reach, richness, and receptivity as three fundamental mechanisms that jointly constitute a parsimonious model for explaining how network resources contribute to organizational performance. Reach is the extent to which an organization's network connects it to diverse and distant partners. Richness represents the potential value of the resources available to the organization through its ties to partners. Receptivity denotes the extent to which the organization can access and channel network resources across interorganizational boundaries. Whereas reach specifies how wide-ranging and heterogeneous the organization's network connections are, richness characterizes the value of the combinations of resources furnished by its partners. Receptivity in turn portrays how organizational capabilities and the quality of ties to partners facilitate flows of network resources. We propose that the interplay of these three mechanisms determines the benefits that the organization obtains from its network: reach and richness jointly determine the potential value of the network, while receptivity is crucial in realizing that potential.

    Keywords: Management Systems; Organizational Design; Performance; Performance Effectiveness; Networks; Partners and Partnerships; Research; Perspective; Value;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, D. Lavie, and Ravi Madhavin. "How Do Networks Matter? The Performance Effects of Interorganizational Networks." Research in Organizational Behavior 31 (2011): 207–224. View Details
  12. A Learning Perspective on Intraorganizational Knowledge Spill-Ins

    This exploratory study examines the role of intraorganizational knowledge spill-ins in the process of inferential learning. Drawing on the notions of knowledge reliability (the creation of shared meanings) and validity (understandings of cause and effect), we explore how organizations learn inferentially in dynamic environments, where active experimentation rather than past experience is the underlying basis for learning. We find that intraorganizational knowledge spill-ins transfer heuristics crafted by one unit under local conditions of reliability and validity to other units, where they are reinterpreted and repurposed. Intraorganizational knowledge spill-ins emerge as a mechanism through which reliability and validity are enhanced for organizational learning.

    Keywords: Learning; Perspective; Knowledge; Business Units; Organizations;

    Citation:

    Oldroyd, James, and Ranjay Gulati. "A Learning Perspective on Intraorganizational Knowledge Spill-Ins." Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal (December 2010): 356–372. View Details
  13. Unleashing the Power of Marketing

    The article examines marketing management at General Electric Co. (GE). The transformation of the company's marketing department into an integral part of product development, product management, and strategic planning after years of relative neglect is considered. The role of Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt in initiating and overseeing that change is discussed. The creation of a new marketing strategy by the marketing department, one focused on the role of customer relations in product development, is considered. The creation of a set of basic principles and operating procedures for GE's marketing unit is discussed.

    Keywords: Product Development; Product Marketing; Strategic Planning; Human Resources; Marketing Strategy; Customer Relationship Management; Marketing; Technology Platform; Advertising Industry; Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Comstock, Beth, Ranjay Gulati, and Stephen A Liguori. "Unleashing the Power of Marketing." Harvard Business Review 88, no. 10 (October 2010): 90–98. View Details
  14. Change for Change's Sake

    No one disputes that firms have to make organizational changes when the business environment demands them. But the idea that a firm might want change for its own sake often provokes skepticism. Why inflict all that pain if you don't have to? That is a dangerous attitude. A company periodically needs to shake itself up, regardless of the competitive landscape. Even if the external environment is not changing in ways that demand a response, the internal environment probably is. The human dynamics within an organization are constantly shifting--and require the organization to change along with them. Over time, informal networks mirror the formal structure, which is how silos develop; restructuring gets people to start forming new networks, making the organization as a whole more creative. It also disrupts all the routines in an organization that collectively stifle innovation and adaptability. Finally, restructuring breaks up the outdated power structures that may be quietly misdirecting a company's resource allocation. All these processes--silo formation, the accretion of deadening routines, and the emergence of corporate baronies--take place all the time. But when everything is going well, you tend not to notice them, just as many seemingly fit people don't realize that their arteries may be dangerously clogged. A simple questionnaire can serve as a kind of cholesterol test for your company, enabling you to see if your regimen needs minor or major adjustments.

    Keywords: Interpersonal Communication; Innovation and Invention; Leading Change; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Structure; Creativity; Power and Influence; Adaptation;

    Citation:

    Vermeulen, Freek, Phanish Puranam, and Ranjay Gulati. "Change for Change's Sake." Harvard Business Review 88, no. 6 (June 2010). View Details
  15. Creating Value Together

    Conventional wisdom suggests that companies should avoid growing dependent on their business partners. If one company, the thinking goes, grows too dependent on a counterpart by getting the entire input for a particular activity from it and is not able to switch quickly to alternative sources of supply, then the counterpart company gets powerful levers of influence. By threatening to exit the relationship, the supplier may then renegotiate the relationship toward more favorable terms and claim a bigger share of the economic pie. And this bigger share will come at the purchasing company's expense. What matters for a company's performance in a buyer-supplier relationship is not just the share of the pie it gets, but also how big the entire pie is. Research suggests that, if smartly managed, dependence on one's business partners brings significant benefits to value creation in interorganizational relations; it can boost the overall pool of value to be distributed and, subsequently, the performance of a company. Dependence, therefore, should not be avoided but actively harnessed. We also show that ineffective management of dependence may just as quickly shrink the value in the exchange, hurting all companies' performance in the relationship. In that respect, relying on a tug-of-war in which the more powerful company tries to squeeze out value at the expense of its more dependent partner is particularly detrimental. It results in the dominant partner claiming a bigger share of a rapidly shrinking pie. Remarkably, in such circumstances, a more powerful business can be left with a net loss.

    Keywords: Supply Chain Management; Performance Improvement; Partners and Partnerships; Power and Influence; Value Creation;

    Citation:

    Sytch, Maxim, and Ranjay Gulati. "Creating Value Together." Business Intelligence. MIT Sloan Management Review 50, no. 1 (fall 2008): 12–13. View Details
  16. Breaking up Is Never Easy: Planning for Exit in a Strategic Alliance

    This article highlights several important dimensions of planning for exit from strategic alliances and also offers several examples of the disastrous consequences of inadequate exit-planning. While many companies fall into the trap of having no exit plan, other companies take too simple a planning approach, wondering if the exit will be unconditionally easy or hard. A more effective approach involves questions such as "When should the exit be easy and when should it be hard? And for which partner?" The article develops a framework that stipulates contingency-specific exit provisions for each partner in the alliance-specifically, situations in which exit should be symmetric and easy for both partners, symmetric and hard for both partners, or asymmetric, hard for one partner and easy for the other. Furthermore, many alliances today reflect complex deals that cover several distinct developmental stages, each of which contains a distinct set of contingencies. Such alliances require a dynamic application of the exit framework, wherein each stage of the alliance development entails a different set of exit provisions, and exit from one stage would signify the beginning of the next.

    Keywords: Strategic Planning; Alliances; Partners and Partnerships; Corporate Strategy;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Parth Mehrotra, and Maxim Sytch. "Breaking up Is Never Easy: Planning for Exit in a Strategic Alliance." California Management Review 50, no. 4 (summer 2008): 147–163. View Details
  17. Interorganizational Trust, Governance Choice, and Exchange Performance

    This paper looks at when and how preexisting interorganizational trust influences the choice of governance and in turn the performance of exchange relationships. We theorize that preexisting interorganizational trust complements the choice of governance mode (make, ally, or buy) and also promotes substitution effects on governance mode choice while impacting exchange performance. We evaluate hypotheses using a novel three-stage switching regression model and a sample of 222 component-sourcing arrangements of two assemblers in the automobile industry. Analysis of our data broadly supports our hypotheses. High levels of preexisting interorganizational trust increased the probability that a less formal, and thus less costly, mode of governance was chosen over a more formal one. This finding suggests a substitution effect of interorganizational trust on governance mode choice that in turn shapes exchange performance. We also found a complementary effect of trust on performance: Regardless of the governance mode chosen for an exchange, trust enhanced exchange performance. Additional evidence of the complementary effect of trust on performance was that trust somewhat reduced interorganizational conflict.

    Keywords: Corporate Governance; Organizational Culture; Performance Improvement; Conflict and Resolution; Trust;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Jackson Nickerson. "Interorganizational Trust, Governance Choice, and Exchange Performance." Organization Science 19, no. 2 (March–April 2008): 1–21. View Details
  18. Standing Out from the Crowd: The Visibility-Enhancing Effects of IPO-related Signals on Alliance Formation by Entrepreneurial Firms

    In this study, we explore how multiple signals related to entrepreneurial companies at the time of their initial public offering (IPO) influence the firms' ability to acquire non-financial resources over time. Specifically, the study looks at how signals based on investors' initial reactions to the IPO, analyst coverage and affiliations with experienced venture capitalists and prominent underwriters combine to enhance the IPO firm's visibility and reduce uncertainty, thereby influencing its ability to form post-IPO alliances. We also consider the extent to which the effects of each of the signals are sustained or diminish over time. Their analysis of 404 IPOs conducted by technology companies between 1995 and 2000 shows that these signals are positively related to alliance formation patterns and that the effects of these signals deteriorate at different rates over time.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Venture Capital; Initial Public Offering; Investment; Alliances; Risk and Uncertainty; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Pollock, Tim, and Ranjay Gulati. "Standing Out from the Crowd: The Visibility-Enhancing Effects of IPO-related Signals on Alliance Formation by Entrepreneurial Firms." Strategic Organization 5, no. 4 (November 2007). (A shorter version of this paper appeared in Academy of Management Best Papers Proceedings, pp. 11-16, 2002.) View Details
  19. Dependence Asymmetry and Joint Dependence in Interorganizational Relationships: Effects of Embeddedness on a Manufacturer's Performance in Procurement Relationships.

    Keywords: Relationships; Performance;

  20. Which Ties Matter When? The Contingent Effects of Interorganizational Partnerships on IPO Success

    This paper investigates the contingent value of interorganizational relationships at the time of a young firm's initial public offering (IPO). We compare the signaling value to young firms of having ties with two types of interorganizational partnerships: endorsement relationships such as those with venture capital firms and investment banks, and strategic alliance partnerships. We propose that, under different equity market conditions, potential investors in an issuing firm attend to different types of uncertainty; attention to these different types of uncertainty affects investors' perceptions of the relative value of a young firm's different kinds of endorsements and partnerships and, hence, IPO success. Results from a sample of young biotechnology firms show that ties to prominent venture capital firms are particularly beneficial to IPO success during cold markets, while ties to prominent investment banks are particularly beneficial to IPO success during hot markets; a firm's strategic alliances with major pharmaceutical/health care firms did not have such contingent effects. Implications for understanding the contingent value of interorganizational ties are discussed.

    Keywords: Networks; Venture Capital; Initial Public Offering; Entrepreneurship; Biotechnology Industry;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and M. Higgins. "Which Ties Matter When? The Contingent Effects of Interorganizational Partnerships on IPO Success." Strategic Management Journal 24, no. 2 (February 2003): 127–144. View Details
  21. Size of the Pie and Share of the Pie: Implications of Structural Embeddedness for Value Creation and Value Appropriation in Joint Ventures

    This chapter examines the factors that may influence the total value created in a joint venture (JV) and also the relative value appropriated by each partner in the venture. We look at the effects of both partners' embeddedness in prior networks of relationships and the asymmetry of business relatedness of two partners with the JV on these two important outcomes. Results of an event study of stock market reaction to JV announcements by the largest U.S. firms during 1987–1996 suggest that both network embeddedness of partners and the asymmetry of business relatedness of two firms with the JV affect the total value creation of all partners but not the relative value appropriation between the partners.

    Keywords: Value; Joint Ventures;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Lihua Wang. "Size of the Pie and Share of the Pie: Implications of Structural Embeddedness for Value Creation and Value Appropriation in Joint Ventures." Research in the Sociology of Organizations 20 (2003): 209–242. View Details
  22. Cooperative or Controlling? The Effects of CEO-board Relations and the Contents of Interlocks on the Formation of Joint Ventures

    Keywords: Cooperation; Management; Governance; Relationships; Joint Ventures;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and James Westphal. "Cooperative or Controlling? The Effects of CEO-board Relations and the Contents of Interlocks on the Formation of Joint Ventures." Administrative Science Quarterly 44, no. 3 (September 1999): 473–506. View Details
  23. The Architecture of Cooperation: Managing Coordination Costs and Appropriation Concerns in Strategic Alliances

    Keywords: Design; Cooperation; Management; Cost; Strategy; Alliances;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Harbir Singh. "The Architecture of Cooperation: Managing Coordination Costs and Appropriation Concerns in Strategic Alliances." Administrative Science Quarterly 43, no. 4 (December 1998): 781–814. View Details
  24. The Dynamics of Learning Alliances: Competition, Cooperation, and Relative Scope

    Keywords: Alliances; Learning; Cooperation;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Tarun Khanna, and Nitin Nohria. "The Dynamics of Learning Alliances: Competition, Cooperation, and Relative Scope." Strategic Management Journal 19, no. 3 (March 1998). (A shorter version of this paper appeared in Academy of Management Best Papers Proceedings, 1994.) View Details
  25. What is the Optimum Amount of Organizational Slack? A Study of the Relationship Between Slack and Innovation in Multinational Firms

    Keywords: Organizations; Relationships; Business Ventures; Innovation and Invention;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Nitin Nohria. "What is the Optimum Amount of Organizational Slack? A Study of the Relationship Between Slack and Innovation in Multinational Firms." European Management Journal 15, no. 6 (December 1997): 603–611. (This is a longer version of the paper we jointly published in Academy Management Journal in 1996.) View Details
  26. Customization or Conformity? An Institutional and Network Perspective on the Content and Consequences of TQM Adoption

    Keywords: Networks; Management;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, James Westphal, and Steve Shortell. "Customization or Conformity? An Institutional and Network Perspective on the Content and Consequences of TQM Adoption." Administrative Science Quarterly 42, no. 2 (June 1997): 366–394. (Winner of Academy of Management. Organization and Management Theory Division. Best Paper Award For the empirical or conceptual paper submitted to the Academy of Management annual meeting that offers a significant contribution to the field of organization and management theory presented by Academy of Management. Also appeared in the Academy of Management Best Papers Proceedings.) View Details
  27. Social Structure and Alliance Formation Patterns: A Longitudinal Analysis

    Keywords: Alliances; Society; Theory;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay. "Social Structure and Alliance Formation Patterns: A Longitudinal Analysis." Administrative Science Quarterly 40, no. 4 (December 1995): 619–652. (This paper was part of my dissertation, which received the Free Press Best Dissertation Award at the Academy of Management in 1994.) View Details
  28. Unilateral Commitments and the Importance of Process in Alliances

    How the partners in an alliance view their joint venture can have much to do with its success or failure. Each partner fears that the other will get the larger payoff by acting opportunistically while it cooperates in good faith. The result is that both partners choose not to cooperate and are worse off than if they had cooperated. Each partner's understanding of the alliance's economics is crucial for understanding the incentives to cooperate and for realizing the possible ways each can unilaterally influence the alliance's outcome. Since different payoff situations have different managerial implications, companies should structure and manage alliances to recognize changes in the payoff structure and build in explicit mechanisms to acquire an appropriate managerial style.

    Keywords: Management Style; Partners and Partnerships; Joint Ventures; Management Practices and Processes; Alliances; Trust; Game Theory;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Tarun Khanna, and Nitin Nohria. "Unilateral Commitments and the Importance of Process in Alliances." MIT Sloan Management Review 35, no. 3 (spring 1994): 61–69. View Details

Book Chapters

  1. From Periphery to Core: A Process Model for Embracing Sustainability

    There is a growing call for business enterprises to adopt sustainability principles and practices, yet many established organizations continue to struggle in their quest to embrace them. In this chapter, we analyze how organizations that relegate sustainability to the periphery and those that incorporate it into their core differ in their approaches to identity (how they think about sustainability), strategy (how they plan for sustainability), and design (how they act toward sustainability). Advocating a holistic approach to these three organizational elements, we present a process model that shows, along four specific stages, how an established organization can bring sustainability into its core. We illustrate the model through the experience of the Ford Motor Company.

    Citation:

    Silvestri, Luciana, and Ranjay Gulati. "From Periphery to Core: A Process Model for Embracing Sustainability." In Leading Sustainable Change: An Organizational Perspective, edited by Rebecca Henderson, Ranjay Gulati, and Michael Tushman. Oxford University Press, forthcoming. View Details
  2. Markets as Networks: The Dynamics and Implications of Interorganizational Network Structures

    We discuss existing research that applies a relational, socio-structural lens to studying organizations and markets. Research in this field has described markets first and foremost as networks of enduring relationships and repeated interactions among organizations. We start by addressing some of the key findings of extant research regarding the antecedents of network structures and variations in their emergent structural properties. We then evaluate the implications of these network structures for a range of organizational behaviours and outcomes, exploring the underlying mechanisms for the effects of networks.

    Keywords: Networks; Markets;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay. "Markets as Networks: The Dynamics and Implications of Interorganizational Network Structures." In The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management, edited by Mie Augier and David J. Teece. Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming. (Published online October 2013.) View Details
  3. Creating Superior Customer Value in a Connected World

    "In the early twenty-first century, customers are more demanding than ever, and difficult economic times make them all the more so. As customers tighten their wallets and increase their demands, firms face greater pressure to provide superior customer value. Reducing costs, improving efficiency, and even creating more compelling goods may not be enough to satisfy customers anymore, not if what the customers ultimately want is to design the firm's offerings themselves. What is a firm to do when customers will not be satisfied easily? The answer is, in a word, collaboration—with suppliers, partners, and customers in creating and delivering value—on a scale not seen before in the annals of business. Nearly every aspect of business—from product design to the idea of value itself—stands to be transformed by twenty-first-century collaboration, made possible by twenty-first-century information technologies. Advances in connectivity are fueling a revolution in collaboration, and enhanced collaboration is opening up new opportunities to create superior customer value. In a connected world, the processes by which value is created, delivered, shared, and communicated are being transformed. We are seeing the evolution of collaborative business processes, where firms work closely with partners and suppliers to design, make, and sell their offerings. We are also seeing the rise of collaborative business networks, where traditional value chains are being dismantled and reassembled as business networks where firms leverage the capabilities and resources of a network of partners to reduce costs and to create innovative value propositions. The emergence of collaborative value exchanges, collaborative business processes, and collaborative business networks is a defining theme in the evolution of business enterprises in the new century. Enterprises of the future will need to collaborate in all three ways in order to compete and win customers. In this chapter we explore the new possibilities that digital networks create for firms as they seek to collaborate with customers. Next, we focus on the role that digital media play in transforming the way customers and firms collaborate to create value. We show how these collaborative value exchanges can also extend to the firm's partners. By taking the collaboration concept to the ecosystem level, we suggest that firms can greatly enhance their business processes and value propositions by creating collaborative business networks. We then highlight the important role of enterprise technologies as enablers of collaborative business processes and collaborative business networks. We conclude by identifying key strategy implications for firms as they seek to evolve their offerings, business processes, and ecosystems in a connected world."

    Keywords: Customer Satisfaction; Customer Value and Value Chain; Consumer Behavior; Product Design; Social and Collaborative Networks; Value Creation;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay. "Creating Superior Customer Value in a Connected World." In Business Network Transformation: Strategies to Reconfigure Your Business Relationships for Competitive Advantage, edited by Jeffrey Word. Jossey-Bass, 2009. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Micromax: Scaling the Largest Indian Mobile Handset Company

    It is January 2014 and Rahul Sharma, cofounder of Micromax Informatics (Micromax), the largest Indian mobile handset company, is preparing for an emergency conference call with his private equity investors. In the last six years, Micromax had grown its annual product revenues from $54M to over $1B. Unfortunately, it was difficult for the founding team to keep up with Micromax’s rapid growth, triggering a series of missteps in 2010 that brought the company close to catastrophe. In response, investors had convinced Sharma and his cofounders to hire their first outside CEO, Deepak Mehrotra, and several senior professionals. With the founders working alongside the new “professionals,” frequent overlaps and sometimes run-ins occurred. Now, both Mehrotra and the head of their smartphone division had resigned. Sharma evaluates their options: Would the founders need to reconsider their involvement in the company they created? Or was there still a middle ground where both founders and professionals could coexist in the business?

    Keywords: mobile; scaling; Indian software development; e-commerce; consumer behavior; management turnover; Mobile Technology; Management; Technology Industry; Telecommunications Industry; India;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Rachna Tahilyani, and Alicia DeSantola. "Micromax: Scaling the Largest Indian Mobile Handset Company." Harvard Business School Case 415-034, November 2014. View Details
  2. Indus Towers: From Infancy to Maturity

    Indus Towers, the world's largest telecom tower company, is a joint venture between three telecom rivals in India. These rivals—Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, and Idea Cellular—combined their telecom towers to provide "shared telecom infrastructure" to wireless telecom operators on a nondiscriminatory basis. The CEO has transformed Indus from a struggling startup with a monopolistic mindset into a customer-centric organization. He now wants to grow Indus. To achieve this, however, he needs to reconcile conflicting objectives among Indus's shareholders. All three shareholders are also his customers; often these dual roles engender different perspectives and lead to different requirements. The CEO needs to determine how to convince the board to take a decision that keeps Indus's best interests in mind while balancing the operators' interests.

    Keywords: Decisions; Judgments; Customer Focus and Relationships; Management; Technology; Mobile Technology; Technology Networks; Telecommunications Industry; India;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Maxim Sytch, and Rachna Tahilyani. "Indus Towers: From Infancy to Maturity." Harvard Business School Case 415-005, October 2014. View Details
  3. Corporate Solutions at Jones Lang LaSalle (2001) (A)

    This case describes the strategic and organizational challenges that Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) faced at the turn of the millennium. Until then, JLL sold piecemeal commercial real estate services to its corporate clients, who maintained relationships with a variety of vendors. In 2000, JLL's large corporate clients started globalizing their activities and seeking to outsource their real estate needs. They were looking for integrated solutions delivered through a single point of contact, and they cut their providers to a few strategic vendors. JLL's organizational structure, configured around largely autonomous service lines, was not well suited to supporting the development of integrated services. Executive Peter Barge is put in charge of a new team, called Corporate Solutions, whose mission was to draw connections between the service lines in order to foster integration. How should Barge structure Corporate Solutions to make sure it succeeds in its mission? And how should he configure the group's ties to the service lines to ensure their collaboration? The retention of JLL's most profitable clients was at stake. This case is the first in a case series that comprises cases B, C, and D, and collectively covers JLL's evolution between the years 1999 and 2012.

    Keywords: Organizational Structure; Strategy; Integration; Real Estate Industry; North America; South America; Central America;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Luciana Silvestri. "Corporate Solutions at Jones Lang LaSalle (2001) (A)." Harvard Business School Case 113-114, March 2013. (Revised October 2013.) View Details
  4. Integrated Services at Jones Lang LaSalle (2005) (B)

    This case describes the strategic and organizational challenges that Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) faced between 2001 and 2005. Faced with the need to deliver integrated services to corporate clients in 2001, JLL created Corporate Solutions, a group that aimed to draw connections between JLL's semi-autonomous service lines. Despite initial success, by 2005 the group was finding it challenging to foster integration. Account managers and service line leaders clashed as decision-making power, pay and incentives, and clout were altered and redistributed. JLL realized that its organizational structure was hindering the firm in achieving key strategic goals, such as rapid scalability of corporate accounts and effective local market penetration. Americas CEO Peter Roberts outlines the alternatives JLL's top management analyzed as they considered how to move the organization forward. This case is the second in a case series that also comprises cases A, C, and D, and collectively covers JLL's evolution between the years 1999 and 2012.

    Keywords: Organizational Structure; Strategy; Integration; Real Estate Industry; North America; South America; Central America;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Luciana Silvestri. "Integrated Services at Jones Lang LaSalle (2005) (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 113-115, March 2013. (Revised October 2013.) View Details
  5. Growing Integrated Services at Jones Lang LaSalle (2008) (C)

    This case describes the strategic and organizational challenges that Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) faced between 2005 and 2008. Having dismantled its long-standing service-line-oriented structure, JLL created two interdependent groups: Accounts and Markets. Accounts housed account managers who served JLL's corporate clients. Markets housed brokers specialized in a certain geography. JLL helped drive integration between Accounts and Markets by emphasizing work at the "intersections" between both groups, i.e., instances that required combining both groups' resources. By 2008, however, JLL was facing challenges associated with harnessing the potential of this new structure. There was more growth that could be obtained from penetrating local markets, and top management wondered how to best strengthen their brokerage team. The acquisition of Spaulding and Slye, a renowned Boston-based firm, provided instant growth in some key markets, but organic growth was harder to achieve. While the industry paid brokers with a commission model, JLL did so with a salary and bonus model that aligned well with JLL's culture but proved unattractive to new recruits. Americas CEO Peter Roberts outlines the alternatives JLL analyzed as they considered how to strengthen the organization while maintaining its values and integrity. This case is the third in a case series that also comprises cases A, B, and D, and collectively covers JLL's evolution between the years 1999 and 2012.

    Keywords: Organizational Structure; Strategy; Integration; Real Estate Industry; North America; South America; Central America;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Luciana Silvestri. "Growing Integrated Services at Jones Lang LaSalle (2008) (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 113-116, March 2013. (Revised October 2013.) View Details
  6. Jones Lang LaSalle (2012): Integrated Services and the Architecture of Complexity (D)

    This case describes the strategic and organizational challenges that Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) faced between 2008 and 2012. In 2008, in order to strengthen the firm's brokerage team, JLL merged with The Staubach Company, a real estate services provider with a first-rate brokerage team and great cultural fit with JLL. Staubach paid its brokers with a commission model, which accelerated JLL's decision to let go of its long-standing salary and bonus approach. The merger also surfaced two interesting business opportunities. First, local brokers were now empowered and motivated to open up their client relationships to the rest of the company, growing their business from just local transactions to the full array of services JLL provided. Second, local brokers became aware of a great number of mid-sized clients whose real estate needs were not as sophisticated as those of large corporate accounts but who required multi-service solutions in selected geographies. JLL thus created a group called Markets Corporate Solutions, which specifically targeted mid-sized clients. Toward 2012, with its organizational structure expanding to tackle opportunities for multiple types of clients in a myriad of geographies, JLL was facing challenges associated with managing internal and external complexity. Americas CEO Peter Roberts outlines the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for JLL. This is the final case in a series that also comprises cases A, B, and C, and collectively covers JLL's evolution between the years 1999 and 2012.

    Keywords: Organizational Structure; Strategy; Integration; Real Estate Industry; North America; South America; Central America;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Luciana Silvestri. "Jones Lang LaSalle (2012): Integrated Services and the Architecture of Complexity (D)." Harvard Business School Supplement 113-117, March 2013. (Revised October 2013.) View Details
  7. Corporate Solutions at Jones Lang LaSalle (2001)

    Peter Barge, CEO of the newly created Corporate Solutions Group of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), is executing a restructuring of the U.S. corporate real estate services division that will enable the company to offer its clients integrated solutions. Barge has created an account management function to coordinate the activities of the three product-based business units which, until now, have operated autonomously. As he is executing the restructuring, Bank of America, an important account of the firm, announces its intention to reduce its providers to the two or three who can offer forward-looking, integrated services. While Barge's new organization is not yet fully in place, he is determined to win the Bank of America business and moves quickly to hire a senior account manager and establish an organizational architecture that will encourage collaboration within his group. The case examines the many tradeoffs Barge must make in balancing the benefits of the former organization with those of the new structure to achieve the firm's strategic goal of becoming more customer-solutions oriented.

    Keywords: Business Divisions; Restructuring; Customer Relationship Management; Organizational Design; Organizational Structure; Corporate Strategy; Integration;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Lucia Menzer Marshall. "Corporate Solutions at Jones Lang LaSalle (2001)." Harvard Business School Case 409-111, April 2009. (Revised July 2010.) View Details
  8. Jones Lang LaSalle: Reorganizing around the Customer (2005)

    Peter Roberts, CEO of Jones, Lang, LaSalle (JLL) Americas division, has been charged with expanding the company's presence in its core geographic markets while simultaneously growing its corporate account business. Roberts and his task force have narrowed their options to two proposals. The first is an enhancement of the account management model put in place in 2001 where independent service units co-existed with an account management group. The second is a realignment of the firm's operations around geography and key accounts. By examining the tradeoffs required by each option, the case illustrates the tensions involved in structuring an organization around product, geography, and key customers. It also explores the importance of aligning strategic choices with organizational architecture.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Global Strategy; Growth and Development Strategy; Organizational Structure; Business Strategy; Real Estate Industry;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Lucia Menzer Marshall. "Jones Lang LaSalle: Reorganizing around the Customer (2005)." Harvard Business School Case 410-007, August 2009. (Revised July 2010.) View Details
  9. Jones Lang LaSalle: Reorganizing around the Customer (2005) (TN)

    Teaching Note for [410007].

    Keywords: Restructuring; Customers;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Lucia Menzer Marshall, and Patrick Cullen. "Jones Lang LaSalle: Reorganizing around the Customer (2005) (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 410-069, December 2009. (Revised July 2010.) View Details
  10. Cisco Systems (2001): Building and Sustaining a Customer-Centric Culture

    Customer centricity has been an important part of the culture at Cisco Systems since its inception. While part of this is attributable to values put in place by the founders and retained by subsequent management, it is also closely interwoven with its organizational architecture that reaffirmed those values. Until 2001, Cisco had a decentralized organizational structure with three business units organized around each of its three main customer types: Service Provider, Enterprise, and Commercial. Each unit developed and marketed a complete product line for its specific customer group further reaffirming its belief in the centrality of distinct customers. A number of other systems, structures, and behavioral mechanisms reaffirmed the importance of customer centricity. The 2001 market downturn, however, brought new challenges as Cisco was forced to lay off 18% of its workforce and reexamine its organizational structure that was costly due to duplication of activities across each of the three customer-facing business units. Ultimately, Cisco Systems decided to transform the company from a decentralized to centralized organization. While recognizing that a centralized, functional structure was necessary to avoid product and resource redundancies, it also threatened Cisco's customer-centricity in that the centralization of R & D and marketing made them more distant from Cisco's customers. To overcome the perceived misalignment between its structure and culture, Cisco introduced a number of initiatives like the Customer Focus Initiative (CFI) to ensure that while the structure was turning away from customer centricity, the beliefs and actions of its employees maintained that focus. In doing so, management accepted the likely misalignment between its structure and culture and sought ways to compensate for this perceived gap.

    Keywords: Customer Satisfaction; Organizational Design; Organizational Structure; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Change Management; Organizational Culture; Research and Development; Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Employees; Brands and Branding; Customer Relationship Management; Business Units;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay. "Cisco Systems (2001): Building and Sustaining a Customer-Centric Culture." Harvard Business School Case 409-061, January 2009. (Revised June 2010.) View Details
  11. Cisco Business Councils (2007): Unifying a Functional Enterprise with an Internal Governance System

    In response to the 2001 market downturn, Cisco Systems implemented a major restructuring that transformed the company from a decentralized to centralized organization. While recognizing that a centralized, functional structure was necessary to avoid product and resource redundancies, it also risked making the company less customer-centric. To mitigate this risk, Cisco implemented a cross-functional system of executive-level councils that would bring leaders of different functions together to collaborate and focus on the needs and issues of specific customer groups. Each council employs a "Three-in-a-Box" leadership model consisting of an executive leader from the engineering or technology business unit, a member of the go-to-market team, and an operations resource director. Each council is also accountable to the Operating Committee, which is chaired by CEO John Chambers and determines the long-term corporate strategy and allocation of corporate resources. Many other companies have failed at facilitating collaboration across functions-particularly large organizations-but Cisco's system has been successful because the company remained committed to the system, required a consistent infrastructure while also allowing for flexibility, gave members decision making authority, and used council leaders who thrive in collaborative environments. The success of the council system led to the creation of 20 boards of "sub-councils" in 2007. The boards are charged with driving development efforts and customer reach further into the organization by addressing specific issues too narrow for the councils to address.

    Keywords: Restructuring; Customer Focus and Relationships; Governing and Advisory Boards; Resource Allocation; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Structure; Corporate Strategy; Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay. "Cisco Business Councils (2007): Unifying a Functional Enterprise with an Internal Governance System." Harvard Business School Case 409-062, January 2009. (Revised June 2010.) View Details
  12. Cisco Business Councils (2007): Unifying a Functional Enterprise with an Internal Governance System (TN)

    Teaching Note for 409062.

    Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; System; Business Units; Corporate Strategy; Infrastructure; Growth and Development; Decision Making; Restructuring; Resource Allocation; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, and Marlo Goetting. "Cisco Business Councils (2007): Unifying a Functional Enterprise with an Internal Governance System (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 410-126, June 2010. View Details
  13. Cisco in 2012: Reorganizing for Efficiency and Flexibility

    In 2012, Cisco was under intense pressure to show results: growth in its core business was decelerating and a number of exploratory ventures and acquisitions had not proven as profitable as expected. CEO John Chambers vowed to restore the company's health in a way that would support the agility and entrepreneurial mindset required to be successful in emerging sectors while continuing to achieve efficiency and profitability in Cisco's core business. In a world where technologies and customer segments were rapidly evolving, Cisco executives realized that their emphasis on working collaboratively through councils and boards (the company's staple organizational structure in the 2000s) might be impacting Cisco's ability to be nimble and responsive. This case explores these challenges and Cisco's strategic and organizational response, with a particular focus on Cisco's comprehensive restructuring.

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Restructuring; Adaptation; Performance Efficiency; Emerging Markets; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Alison Berkley Wagonfeld, and Luciana Silvestri. "Cisco in 2012: Reorganizing for Efficiency and Flexibility." Harvard Business School Case 413-069, November 2012. (Revised August 2014.) View Details
  14. Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2009

    This case, a supplement to the “Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2001 (Abridged)” case (710-450) and the “Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2007” case (710-451), reviews the FBI's progress in its transformation effort from 2007 to 2009.

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Public Administration Industry; District of Columbia;

    Citation:

    Rivkin, Jan W., Michael Roberto, and Ranjay Gulati. "Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2009." Harvard Business School Case 710-452, March 2010. (Revised May 2010.) View Details
  15. Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2007

    In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Robert Mueller, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sought to transform the storied Bureau. The FBI had long served as both the chief law enforcement agency and the main domestic intelligence wing of the U.S. government. In practice, though, law enforcement had overshadowed intelligence at the FBI. The terrorist attacks made it tragically clear that the United States required a much stronger domestic intelligence service, and Mueller believed that that service should reside within the FBI. Critics, however, called for the Bureau to narrow its scope, focus on law enforcement, and cede domestic intelligence to a new, specialized agency. Should the FBI retain both the law enforcement mission and the domestic intelligence mission? If so, how should it change itself to succeed in both missions? This case, a supplement to the “Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2001 (Abridged)” case (710-450), reviews the FBI's progress from 2001 to 2007.

    Keywords: Transformation; Organizational Structure; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Government Administration; National Security; Corporate Strategy; Knowledge Acquisition; Law Enforcement; Public Administration Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Rivkin, Jan W., Michael Roberto, and Ranjay Gulati. "Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2007." Harvard Business School Case 710-451, March 2010. View Details
  16. Target: Responding to the Recession

    Within 10 months of Gregg Steinhafel's taking over as CEO at Target, the U.S. was mired in the most significant economic downturn in 50 years. Top competitor Wal-Mart had positioned itself well for the crisis, while Target's same store sales began to slide. While Steinhafel believed that Target's long-term strategy and positioning were right, he pondered a set of strategic and operational challenges. Did Target have the right mix of offensive and defensive tactics to weather the downturn and position itself for the economy's eventual recovery? How far could Target go in emphasizing low price-the "pay less" side of its slogan-without eroding the company's core promise of offering unique and upscale products that customers would not see at other low-priced retailers? Would the benefits of adding fresh food to Target's general merchandise stores outweigh the associated challenges?

    Keywords: Financial Crisis; Strategy; Operations; Brands and Branding; Product Launch; Product Positioning; Competition; Retail Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Rajiv Lal, and Cathy Ross. "Target: Responding to the Recession." Harvard Business School Case 510-016, March 2010. View Details
  17. Indus Towers: Collaborating with Competitors on Infrastructure

    The case describes the formation of Indus Towers, the largest telecom tower company in the world that has a joint venture created to build and manage the passive infrastructure of wireless telecom operators by bringing together three competitors in India's tough telecom market—Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, and Idea Cellular—and merging their tower holdings. It focuses on the issue as to how do you collaborate with your competitors in setting up towers but engage in a brutal competition with them in the marketplace?

    Keywords: Joint Ventures; Cost Management; Infrastructure; Alliances; Competition; Cooperation; Telecommunications Industry; India;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Francisco de Asis Martinez-Jerez, V.G. Narayanan, and Rachna Tahilyani. "Indus Towers: Collaborating with Competitors on Infrastructure." Harvard Business School Case 110-057, February 2010. (Revised November 2012.) View Details

Presentations

  1. Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Organization to Realize Profitable Growth

    Keywords: Customers; Organizations; Growth and Development; Profit;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay. "Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Organization to Realize Profitable Growth." Paper presented at the Midwest ACG Capital Connection, Association for Corporate Growth, Chicago, IL, October 19, 2010. View Details

Other Publications and Materials