Leadership

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. Kathy Giusti and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

    What do you do when your rising professional career is cut short by an unexpected cancer diagnosis? Kathy Giusti shifted careers, built a new organization that transformed how cancer research is done, and now faces the challenge of sustaining the organization and its funding for its newest venture. Since she was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM) in 1996, Giusti had led an effort to better understand and treat the disease. She had co-founded the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), helped form the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), and brought together a diverse body of academics, researchers, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, physicians, and patients to combine their efforts around the disease. The MMRF had helped facilitate clinical trials for promising drugs, sponsored research, and raised a substantial amount of money for these purposes. In 2014, the MMRF was in the midst of its CoMMpass program; a multi-year effort to collect tissue samples from 1,000 patients at key junctures in their disease, sequence these samples to better understand the genetic underpinnings of MM and its many sub-types, and thus enable researchers to study a comprehensive sampling of patients. CoMMpass also had a patient-facing element which allowed the patient community to communicate with one another and with professional moderators. By mid-2014, some 550 patients were enrolled and 85 hospitals were participating. As a non-profit, the MMRF had historically relied on donations to fund its research operations. Giusti wanted to find a way to ensure a reliable revenue stream for the organization and give it greater financial stability. The MMRF had historically given away its resources and knowledge for free in order to speed research; Giusti worried if charging for some of its functions would be at odds with its mission and historical practices. She worked with her executive team to examine potential sources of revenue, and to decide if this was the right thing to do.

    Keywords: leadership; philanthropy; philanthropy funding; entrepreneurship; health care; management styles; management skills; personalized medicine; health care outcomes; cancer; Cancer care in the U.S.; personal care; Leading Change; Social Entrepreneurship; Giving and Philanthropy; Health Care and Treatment; Leadership Style; Management Style; Growth and Development Strategy; Business Strategy; Health; Health Industry; United States; Canada; Spain;

    Citation:

    Hamermesh, Richard G., Joshua D. Margolis, and Matthew G. Preble. "Kathy Giusti and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation." Harvard Business School Case 814-026, June 2014. View Details
  2. Johnson & Johnson: The Pursuit of Wellness

    To create the world's healthiest workforce, diversified health care giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) mandated participation in its "Culture of Health" program globally, customized by location, culture, and specific health needs to offer prevention-focused education, rewards for healthy behavior, and workplace environments that encouraged healthy employee behavior. By 2015, 90% of J&J's 128,000 employees would participate in Culture of Health programs; 80% would know their key health indicators (e.g., blood pressure, body-mass index, blood sugar, cholesterol); and 80% would have a "low risk" health profile. To hit these goals, J&J managers in 2014 sought to: 1) reduce national variation in program adoption and popularity, 2) do more to help employees ensure their overall—physical, mental, and spiritual—health, and 3) accurately measure the investments in and return on the program.

    Keywords: healthcare; human resources; employee motivation; Transformation; Ethics; Health; Human Resources; Leadership; Management; Personal Development and Career; Problems and Challenges; Strategy; Health Industry; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry; North and Central America; Middle East; Latin America; Europe; Asia;

    Citation:

    Quelch, John A., and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "Johnson & Johnson: The Pursuit of Wellness." Harvard Business School Case 514-112, June 2014. View Details
  3. Great Men, Great Pay? Why CEO Compensation Is Sky High

    Keywords: general management; leadership; Leadership; Management; Organizations;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F. "Great Men, Great Pay? Why CEO Compensation Is Sky High." Opinions. Washington Post (June 12, 2014). View Details
  4. Starbucks Coffee Company: Transformation and Renewal

    Starbucks Coffee Company: Transformation and Renewal analyzes the turnaround and reconstruction of Starbucks Coffee Company from 2008 to 2014 as led by CEO and co-founder Howard Schultz. The case offers executives and students an opportunity to examine in depth how Schultz and his team saved Starbucks from near-collapse, by both executing a deep, comprehensive return to its core values and, at the same time, investing in a range of new products, customer experiences and organizational capabilities designed to make the company fit for enduring success in a turbulent global economy. Set against the backdrop of the Great Recession, the case also considers the impact of unprecedented important shifts in consumer spending and confidence as well as new competitive forces on Starbucks' transformation. The case concludes by examining Schultz's own leadership journey, the lessons he learned personally during Starbucks transformation, and how he is using these lessons—within Starbucks and on the national stage—to redefine the roles and responsibilities of a public corporation in the 21st century.

    Based on extensive interviews conducted with Schultz and other Starbucks executives conducted from 2011 to 2014, the case offers a range of vital lessons on leadership, organizational transformation, restructuring, strategy, innovation, entrepreneurial vision, and customer service.

    Keywords: Howard Schultz; Starbucks; transformation; turnaround; Change; Decision Making; Entrepreneurship; Growth and Development; Leadership; Organizations; Problems and Challenges; Risk and Uncertainty; Strategy; Value; Consumer Products Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Retail Industry; North and Central America; Europe; Asia; South America; Middle East; Latin America;

    Citation:

    Koehn, Nancy F., Kelly McNamara, Nora N. Khan, and Elizabeth Legris. "Starbucks Coffee Company: Transformation and Renewal." Harvard Business School Case 314-068, June 2014. View Details
  5. Collective Genius

    Competitiveness depends in great part on the ability to innovate. The perennial challenge, then, is to build an organization capable of innovating again and again. Traditional, direction-setting leadership can work well when the solution to a problem is known and straightforward. But if the problem calls for a truly original response, no one can decide in advance what that response should be. So the role of a leader of innovation is not to set a vision and motivate others to follow it. It's to create a community that is willing and able to innovate.

    Keywords: innovation; leadership; Innovation Leadership; Innovation Leadership;

    Citation:

    Hill, Linda A., Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove, and Kent Lineback. "Collective Genius." Harvard Business Review 92, no. 6 (June 2014): 94–102. View Details
  6. Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation

    Why can some organizations innovate time and again, while most cannot? You might think the key to innovation is attracting exceptional creative talent. Or making the right investments. Or breaking down organizational silos. All of these things may help—but there's only one way to ensure sustained innovation: you need to lead it—and with a special kind of leadership. Collective Genius shows you how. Preeminent leadership scholar Linda Hill, along with former Pixar tech wizard Greg Brandeau, MIT researcher Emily Truelove, and Being the Boss coauthor Kent Lineback, found among leaders a widely shared, and mistaken, assumption: that a "good" leader in all other respects would also be an effective leader of innovation. The truth is, leading innovation takes a distinctive kind of leadership, one that unleashes and harnesses the "collective genius" of the people in the organization. Using vivid stories of individual leaders at companies like Volkswagen, Google, eBay, and Pfizer, as well as nonprofits and international government agencies, the authors show how successful leaders of innovation don't create a vision and try to make innovation happen themselves. Rather, they create and sustain a culture where innovation is allowed to happen again and again—an environment where people are both willing and able to do the hard work that innovative problem solving requires. Collective Genius will not only inspire you; it will give you the concrete, practical guidance you need to build innovation into the fabric of your business.

    Keywords: innovation; leadership; Innovation Leadership;

    Citation:

    Hill, Linda A., Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove, and Kent Lineback. Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2014. View Details
  7. Gunfire at Sea (multi-media case)

    This short video illustrates the challenges of leading innovation and change. This classic case (one of the oldest in the HBS system) retains its timeliness. The case describes how Lt. Sims develops a new form of gunfire at sea—continuous aim gunfire. While 3,000% more accurate than existing guns, the video case describes how the Navy, as a successful social system, systematically rejected Sims' innovation. The case gets at multiple sources of inertia including culture, capabilities, personality, power, structure, Navy processes, and the fact that the U.S. Navy was one of the most successful Navies at the time. The case's extraordinary outcome illustrates the randomness of innovation and the importance of strong executive leadership in leading change associated with seemingly minor (in this case architectural) innovation.

    Keywords: Organization Behavior; Change; innovation; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Leading Change; Innovation Leadership; United States;

    Citation:

    Tushman, Michael, and Tom Ryder. "Gunfire at Sea (multi-media case)." Harvard Business School Video Case 414-707, May 2014. View Details
  8. From Purpose to Impact: Figure Out Your Passion and Put It to Work

    We offer opinions on leadership. A need is seen for executives to have a strong belief in the purpose of their lives as individuals and within an organization to be effective leaders and to accomplish their personal goals. Executives are urged to examine their lives to discover major themes, interests, and values, using that examination to create a short statement of individual purpose which is then used to create a plan for using that purpose to create an impact on their organizations and the leader's own self-actualization.

    Keywords: Leadership;

    Citation:

    Craig, Nick, and Scott Snook. "From Purpose to Impact: Figure Out Your Passion and Put It to Work." Harvard Business Review 92, no. 5 (May 2014): 105–111. View Details
  9. Attracting Long-Term Investors Through Integrated Thinking and Reporting: A Clinical Study of a Biopharmaceutical Company

    Faced with a large percentage of investors that chase short-term returns, companies could benefit by attracting investors with longer-term horizons and incentives that are more consistent with the long-term strategy of the company. The managers of most companies take their investor base as a “given” that cannot be changed through their actions or words. Using the case of Shire, a biopharmaceutical company with a strong commitment to the goals of improving the safety of its products and the reliability of its supply chain, the authors of this article suggest that companies have the ability and the means to change their investor base in ways that are consistent with their strategy. One of the most promising ways of attracting such investors is integrated reporting, which provides companies with a means of credibly communicating the commitment of its top leadership to diffusing integrated thinking across the organization and to building strong relationships with important external stakeholders. In the case of Shire, both a commitment to integrated thinking and the adoption of integrated reporting appear to have helped the company attract longer-term investors, which in turn has strengthened management's confidence to carry out its strategy of stakeholder engagement and investment.

    Keywords: Investing; asset management; long-term investing; Short-termism; sustainability; integrated reporting; leadership; Leadership & Corporate Accountability; pharmaceutical industry; Pharmaceuticals; Leadership; Integrated Corporate Reporting; Investment; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Corporate Finance; Biotechnology Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry;

    Citation:

    Knauer, Andrew, and George Serafeim. "Attracting Long-Term Investors Through Integrated Thinking and Reporting: A Clinical Study of a Biopharmaceutical Company." Journal of Applied Corporate Finance 26, no. 2 (Spring 2014): 57–64. View Details
  10. Managing Change at Axis Bank (A)

    Axis Bank is India's third largest private sector bank. In April 2009, Shikha Sharma, an outsider, was appointed as its CEO. She took over from a person who had overseen ten years of rapid growth at the bank. The selection of an outsider as the new CEO surprised many inside and outside the bank. Sharma changed the bank's hierarchical culture, strengthened the core team by appointing new talent where needed, sought to build its core processes and infrastructure, and filled several gaps in its business portfolio. Despite these changes, the stock market continues to undervalue Axis Bank compared with its chief rivals. In light of this, Axis Bank needs to figure out what more it needs to do to ensure that the market values the franchise correctly.

    Keywords: Change Management; Transformation; Organizational Culture; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Leadership Style; Leading Change; Valuation; Finance; Banks and Banking; Financial Services Industry; Banking Industry; India;

    Citation:

    Healy, Paul, and Rachna Tahilyani. "Managing Change at Axis Bank (A)." Harvard Business School Case 114-082, March 2014. View Details
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