Leadership is a featured research topic and an initiative at Harvard Business School.
As our world grows increasingly global, intricate, and ever-changing, the role of leaders is becoming more and more complex and critical to business success. In the 1950s and 1960s, Fritz Roethlisberger and Elton Mayo's contributions to the "Hawthorne effect," and work by Paul Lawrence and Jay Lorsch on organizational integration, sparked the field of Organizational Behavior. Early work by Michael Beer on leading organizational change, Rosabeth Kanter on innovation for productivity, John Kotter on power and influence, and Michael Tushman on innovation management helped shape today's understanding of organizational transformation. With an interest in Leadership that spans our academic units, our approach to research is collaborative and multi-disciplinary. We leverage a wide range of research methodologies – from onsite field research to surveys, experiments, and extensive longitudinal studies. 
  1. Hewlett Packard Enterprise: The Dandelion Program

    Gary P. Pisano and Robert D. Austin

    This case describes Hewlett Packard Enteprise's “Dandelion Program," which has developed a new service offering for the company’s clients by drawing on the special talents of people with autism. The company has deployed “pods” organized around 8 or 9 employees with autism, to function as high performance mini-ecosystems, which have turned out to be 30% more effective than average service teams (in some areas). The case centers around questions of how to adapt this successful model to new demands in a different service domain, specifically, cybersecurity and defense related areas. The case also explores how the company is innovating and refining its assessment and training processes in support of the program.

    Keywords: leadership; training; organizational behavior; Technology; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Leadership; Talent and Talent Management; Service Operations; Training; Diversity; Innovation and Invention; Technology Industry;


    Pisano, Gary P., and Robert D. Austin. "Hewlett Packard Enterprise: The Dandelion Program." Harvard Business School Case 617-016, September 2016. View Details
  2. FJ Management Inc.

    Lynda M. Applegate and Matthew Preble

    In late 2015, Crystal Call Maggelet, president and CEO of FJ Management, is working with her investment committee to help set the company’s strategic direction. Maggelet, daughter of the company’s founder, has led FJ Management since 2009 when she stepped in as CEO following an unexpected bankruptcy. At that time, FJ Management was known as Flying J. Flying J owned and operated hundreds of truck stops—which it called Travel Plazas—nationwide and was a growing multi-billion dollar business, but broader problems in the oil and credit markets in late 2008 forced it to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
    Maggelet, who had been serving on Flying J’s board, became its new CEO and was able to successfully manage competing stakeholder demands, keep the business running, and ultimately paid back every dollar it owed to its creditors by selling the company’s core assets—its travel plazas—to its main competitor in 2010. Since that time, the company had returned to a healthy financial position, diversified its holdings, and made investments in diverse industries to determine how to grow the company, since renamed FJ Management. In 2015, Maggelet now wants to set a clear path forward for the company.

    Keywords: turnaround; family business; transformation; Volatility; change management; entrepreneurship; ethics; moral sensibility; Values and Beliefs; Cash flow; insolvency and bankruptcy; financial liquidity; financial management; governance; corporate governance; governance controls; company history; leadership; leading change; crisis management; negotiation; Organizational Change and Adaptation; family ownership; business and stakeholder relations; Business Strategy; Family Business; Transformation; Volatility; Change Management; Entrepreneurship; Ethics; Moral Sensibility; Values and Beliefs; Cash Flow; Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Financial Liquidity; Financial Management; Governance; Corporate Governance; Governance Controls; Leadership; Leading Change; Crisis Management; Negotiation; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Family Ownership; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Business Strategy; Energy Industry; Travel Industry; Retail Industry; Service Industry; Utah;


    Applegate, Lynda M., and Matthew Preble. "FJ Management Inc." Harvard Business School Case 817-043, September 2016. View Details
  3. Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Technology & Innovation

    Linda A. Hill and Allison J. Wigen

    This case explores the role of Tom Kalil as Deputy Director for Technology & Innovation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. With the end of President Obama's Administration drawing near, Kalil and his team of "policy entrepreneurs" must work to build an ecosystem of individuals and organizations both inside and outside the Federal government, if they hope to see their science & technology initiatves continue into the next Administration. The case allows for discussion of: leading innovation ecosystems; building public-private and public-public collaborations; leading system innovation; talent management and development; and public sector innovation.

    Keywords: innovation; Innovation Leadership; Government and Politics; government innovation; talent management; collaboration; policy-making; Public sector management; leadership; leadership and managing people; Public-Private Partnerships; Ecosystems; science and technology studies; public entrepreneurship; entrepreneurship; Business and Government; Entrepreneurship; Government and Politics; Leadership; Networks; Partners and Partnerships; Science; Technology; Technology Industry; North and Central America; United States; District of Columbia;


    Hill, Linda A., and Allison J. Wigen. "Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Technology & Innovation." Harvard Business School Case 417-021, August 2016. View Details
  4. Accepting Risk and Rejecting the Status Quo: Fostering an Innovative Higher Ed Culture

    David J. Collis

    Corporations across the globe have been focused on the question of innovation for decades and longer. The desire to become leaner, better, and more efficient has driven innovative leaders for years. In higher education, however, this innovative mindset is a relatively new phenomenon, and one many stakeholders are still coming to terms with. In this interview, I reflect on a few of the lessons and roadblocks that face innovation in the corporate world and share my thoughts on how these ideas can inspire leaders across the postsecondary space.

    Keywords: Higher Education; Innovation Leadership;

  5. Why Brexit Is a Big Deal

    John A. Quelch

    The consequences of yesterday's vote by the British people to leave the European Union will be far-reaching, but there is no reason for global markets to panic.
    Brexit is a vote against the European Union. Once heralded as the engine of a one-for-all and all-for-one economic growth, the EU is now seen by many Britons as an expensive, interfering and sclerotic bureaucracy.

    Keywords: British Vote; Brexit; European Union; Impact; Historical Result; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Disruption; Transition; Volatility; Decision Making; Globalization; Government and Politics; History; Leadership; Outcome or Result; Risk and Uncertainty; Strategy; European Union; Republic of Ireland; United Kingdom;


    Quelch, John A. "Why Brexit Is a Big Deal." Harvard Business School Working Knowledge (June 24, 2016). (Republished by Forbes.com on June 24, 2016 at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2016/06/24/why-brexit-is-a-big-deal/#2c5e5c587297.) View Details
  6. Can Brand Trump Win a Presidency?

    John A. Quelch

    In the marketplace, Brand Trump is authentic. It stands for aspiration and success, but more the ostentatious and flashy success that appeals to the newly wealthy, the entrepreneur, the outsider. For these consumers, brand Trump clearly delivers; Trump hotels, and resorts average a 4.5 rating on TripAdvisor.

    Brand Trump has been extended to other categories, from steaks, to education, to apparel. Not all of these ventures have succeeded. Few guests see the competencies of a good hotelier as relevant to designing distinctive quality suits. But, for a minority of consumers who embrace the Trump lifestyle, these other products can add brand value and, being produced by others under license, they deliver some extra profit to the Trump organization.

    Keywords: brand; Umbrella Brands; political brands; political campaigns; Successful brands; personal brand; Demographics; History; Information; Innovation and Invention; Leadership; Management; Marketing; Outcome or Result; Problems and Challenges; Strategy; Value; Public Administration Industry; Public Relations Industry; United States;


    Quelch, John A. "Can Brand Trump Win a Presidency?" Harvard Business School Working Knowledge (June 7, 2016). (Republished by Forbes.com on June 7, 2016.) View Details
  7. Wicked Problem Solvers: Lessons from Successful Cross-industry Teams

    Amy C. Edmondson

    Companies today increasingly rely on teams that span many industries for radical innovation, especially to solve “wicked problems.” So leaders have to understand how to promote collaboration when roles are uncertain, goals are shifting, expertise and organizational cultures are varied, and participants have clashing or even antagonistic perspectives. I have studied more than a dozen cross-industry innovation projects, among them the creation of a new city, a mango supply-chain transformation, and the design and construction of leading-edge buildings. I have identified the leadership practices that make successful cross-industry teams work: fostering an adaptable vision, promoting psychological safety, enabling knowledge sharing, and encouraging collaborative innovation. Though these practices are broadly familiar, their application within cross-industry teams calls for unique leadership approaches that combine flexibility, open-mindedness, humility, and fierce resolve.

    Keywords: Groups and Teams; Leadership Style; Collaborative Innovation and Invention;


    Edmondson, Amy C. "Wicked Problem Solvers: Lessons from Successful Cross-industry Teams." Harvard Business Review 94, no. 6 (June 2016): 53–59. View Details
  8. Building A Culture of Health - John A. Quelch: Creating A Culture of Health

    John A. Quelch

    All American companies are in the health business whether they like it or not. The private sector directly pays for one-fifth of the whopping 17.5% of GDP spent on healthcare in the United States. Rather than viewing health merely as an insurance expense to be controlled, every company needs to embrace building a culture of health as a business opportunity.

    Keywords: Building A Culture of Health; Intersection of Healthcare and Business; Impact of Healthcare on Business; Population Health Footprint; Healthcare as an Investment; Change; Education; Health; Human Resources; Labor; Leadership; Management; Marketing; Operations; Performance; Personal Development and Career; Problems and Challenges; Risk and Uncertainty; Strategy; Value; Health Industry; Insurance Industry; Canada; North America; United States;


    Quelch, John A. "Creating A Culture of Health." Building A Culture of Health - John A. Quelch (blog). May 31, 2016. http://johnquelch.org/creating-a-culture-of-health/View Details
  9. How Consumers and Businesses are Reshaping Public Health

    John A. Quelch

    Healthcare and education are two issues in which citizens around the world, rich and poor, are passionately interested. It has long been appreciated that the way that a society treats its youngest and oldest members says much about its moral maturity. Economic development specialists also attest to the importance of health care in determining productivity. The connection between child health and nutrition and readiness to learn in schools is also well established. Forthcoming revisions to the Millennium Development Goals are expected to again highlight the importance of disease prevention and health care to the global community.

    Keywords: healthcare; Consumer Power; Innovation in healthcare delivery; Mobile Healthcare; Transition; Transformation; Trends; Customer Satisfaction; Customer Value and Value Chain; Health Care and Treatment; Information; Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Independent Innovation and Invention; Innovation and Management; Innovation Leadership; Management; Marketing; Markets; Planning; Problems and Challenges; Biotechnology Industry; Chemical Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Distribution Industry; Fashion Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Green Technology Industry; Health Industry; Insurance Industry; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry; Public Administration Industry; South America; North and Central America; Middle East; Europe; Asia;


    Quelch, John A. "How Consumers and Businesses are Reshaping Public Health." Harvard Business School Working Knowledge (May 25, 2016). View Details
  10. Build a Culture of Health

    John A. Quelch

    Every company, large and small, has an impact on health. It does so in four ways: first, through the healthfulness and safety of the products and services it sells; second, through its attention to employee health and well-being in its work practices and benefits; third, through contributions to the broader communities in which it operates; and fourth, through the environmental impact of its operations.

    Keywords: public health; Four Pillars; Public Health Footprint; Culture of Health Plan of Action; Change; Education; Health; Human Resources; Knowledge; Labor; Leadership; Management; Operations; Outcome or Result; Personal Development and Career; Programs; Risk and Uncertainty; Strategy; Value; Consumer Products Industry; Chemical Industry; Health Industry; United States; Europe;


    Quelch, John A. "Build a Culture of Health." Huffington Post: What's Working: Purpose + Profit (May 24, 2016). View Details
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