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. 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; Public entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, leadership, 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. A Succession as the Engine for Success

    Jay Lorsch, Emily McTague and Rosa Maria Fite

    Francisco J. Riberas sat in his office reflecting on his first summer working at the family business, in 1989. Growing up, Francisco Riberas had learned about the company through conversations with his father, Francisco Riberas Pampliega, over the dinner table and in their business trips. From a young age his father had instilled in him and his brother the importance of hard work, compassion, and integrity and given him opportunities to gain exposure to all aspects of the business.

    Keywords: organizational alignment; organizational behavior; corporate governance; family business; Family-owned business; succession; CEO mentoring; Spain; Family and Family Relationships; Management; Leadership; Auto Industry; Europe; Spain;


    Lorsch, Jay, Emily McTague, and Rosa Maria Fite. "A Succession as the Engine for Success." Harvard Business School Case 416-060, May 2016. (Revised June 2016.) View Details
  8. The Power of C.E.O. Activism: How Politically Outspoken Executives Sway Public (and Consumer) Opinion

    Aaron K. Chatterji and Michael W. Toffel

    Some CEOs are making news by taking public stances on controversial social issues largely unrelated to their core business. This article summarizes the insights from our research paper that shows that such "CEO activism" can influence public opinion and consumer attitudes.

    Keywords: leadership; Leadership &Corporate Accountability; Non-market Strategy; corporate social responsibility; politics; political influence; political strategy; political risk; equity; gender; climate change; Communication Strategy; Law; Leadership; Brands and Branding; Media; Problems and Challenges; Civil Society or Community; Social Issues; Public Opinion; United States; Georgia (state, US); North Carolina; Indiana; Indianapolis;


    Chatterji, Aaron K., and Michael W. Toffel. "The Power of C.E.O. Activism: How Politically Outspoken Executives Sway Public (and Consumer) Opinion." Grey Matter. New York Times (April 3, 2016), SR10. View Details
  9. The Three Box Solution: A Strategy for Leading Innovation

    Vijay Govindarajan

    How to Innovate and Execute. Leaders already know that innovation calls for a different set of activities, skills, methods, metrics, mind-sets, and leadership approaches. And it is well understood that creating a new business and optimizing an already existing one are two fundamentally different management challenges. The real problem for leaders is doing both, simultaneously. How do you meet the performance requirements of the existing business—one that is still thriving—while dramatically reinventing it? How do you envision a change in your current business model before a crisis forces you to abandon it? Innovation guru Vijay Govindarajan expands the leader's innovation tool kit with a simple and proven method for allocating the organization's energy, time, and resources—in balanced measure—across what he calls "the three boxes": Box 1: The present—Manage the core business at peak profitability; Box 2: The past—Abandon ideas, practices, and attitudes that could inhibit innovation; Box 3: The future—Convert breakthrough ideas into new products and businesses. The three-box framework makes leading innovation easier because it gives leaders a simple vocabulary and set of tools for managing and measuring these different sets of behaviors and activities across all levels of the organization. Supported with rich company examples—GE, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hasbro, IBM, United Rentals, and Tata Consultancy Services—and testimonies of leaders who have successfully used this framework, this book solves once and for all the practical dilemma of how to align an organization on the critical but competing demands of innovation.

    Keywords: Innovation Strategy; Innovation Leadership;


    Govindarajan, Vijay. The Three Box Solution: A Strategy for Leading Innovation. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2016. View Details
  10. Building the Future: Big Teaming for Audacious Innovation

    Amy C. Edmondson and Susan Salter Reynolds

    Machiavelli famously wrote, "There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." That's what this book is about—innovation far more audacious than a new way to find a restaurant or a smart phone you can wear on your wrist. Amy C. Edmondson and Susan Salter Reynolds explore large-scale systemic innovation that calls for "big teaming": intense collaboration between professions and industries with completely different mindsets. To explore the kind of leadership required to build the future, Edmondson and Reynolds tell the story of an award-winning "smart city" start-up launched with the ambitious goal of creating a showcase high-tech city from scratch. The collaboration brought together software entrepreneurs, real estate developers, city government officials, architects, builders, and technology corporations. Taking a close look at the work, norms, and values in each of these professional domains, readers gain insight into why teaming across fields is so challenging, and what leaders can do to help.

    Keywords: teaming; innovation; leadership; Leadership; Groups and Teams; Innovation and Invention;


    Edmondson, Amy C., and Susan Salter Reynolds. Building the Future: Big Teaming for Audacious Innovation. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2016. View Details
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