Doctoral Student

Michael Quinn Christensen

Michael Christensen received an A.B., with Honors, in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard College and an MBA with High Distinction from Harvard Business School where he graduated as a George F. Baker Scholar.  He is receiving his M.S. in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University this fall.  Michael has also worked for a number of leading strategy and innovation consulting firms, including Monitor Group, IDEO, and Innosight, where he engaged with clients across a wide variety of industries.  His main research interests include firm and product positioning, user innovation, and organizational design.

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Lady Gaga (B)

    Anita Elberse and Michael Christensen

    In March 2011, Troy Carter, manager of pop star Lady Gaga, reflects on decisions made regarding his artist's concert tour and faces a new set of challenges regarding the launch of Lady Gaga's new album, Born This Way. Is a huge, expensive launch akin to that of a "tent-pole" movie the best way to capitalize on Gaga's popularity, or is a more moderate approach that relies on word-of-mouth the right way to proceed? Designed to help students understand the decisions that helped propel Lady Gaga into one of the entertainment world's biggest names. Written from the perspective of her manager, the case provides rich insights into the artist's touring, recorded-music, and social-media activities, as well as supporting economic data.

    Keywords: Music Entertainment; Product Launch; Product Development; Talent and Talent Management; Music Industry;

    Citation:

    Elberse, Anita, and Michael Christensen. "Lady Gaga (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 512-017, August 2011. (Revised October 2011.) View Details
  2. Lady Gaga (A)

    Anita Elberse and Michael Christensen

    In September 2009, Troy Carter, manager of up-and-coming pop star Lady Gaga, has to decide on a new course of action now that his artist's planned co-headlining arena tour with hip-hop superstar Kanye West has been cancelled. Carter knows that continuing the tour, but doing so solo, comes with huge risks, but scaling it back to smaller theaters or postponing the tour altogether has disadvantages as well. Making matters more complicated, Carter also has to consider the implications for Gaga's partners, including the concert promoter Live Nation and the William Morris Endeavor agency. What is the best strategy? Designed to help students understand the decisions that helped propel Lady Gaga into one of the entertainment world's biggest names. Written from the perspective of her manager, the case provides rich insights into the artist's touring, recorded-music, and social-media activities, as well as supporting economic data.

    Keywords: Employee Relationship Management; Marketing Strategy; Product; Product Development; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Creativity; Music Industry;

    Citation:

    Elberse, Anita, and Michael Christensen. "Lady Gaga (A)." Harvard Business School Case 512-016, July 2011. (Revised October 2011.) View Details