2019 Survey Methodology

A detailed methodology of HBS' 2019 alumni survey on U.S. competitiveness.

A Recovery Squandered

In 2019, HBS faculty members of the U.S. Competitiveness Project conducted the sixth survey on U.S. competitiveness. This report—built on the latest survey findings and eight years of prior research on the competitiveness of the United States—highlights a disturbing pattern: structural failures in the U.S. political system continue to prevent meaningful progress on actions needed to improve U.S. competitiveness. Despite a decade of steady economic growth, the trajectory of the nation’s competitiveness remains disappointing.

Why Competition in the Politics Industry is Failing America

The lens of industry competition helps diagnose why the U.S. political system is failing to deliver results for the average American. A Five Forces analysis explores the nature of competition in the politics industry, identifies the root causes of poor political outcomes for customers (citizens), and provides a strategic framework to determine reforms that are powerful and achievable.

2016 Survey Methodology

A detailed methodology of HBS' 2016 alumni survey on U.S. competitiveness.

Problems Unsolved & A Nation Divided

By: Michael E. Porter, Jan W. Rivkin, and Mihir A. Desai, with Manjari Raman
The 2016 HBS report on the State of U.S. Competitiveness provides a comprehensive analysis of five years of research from the U.S. Competitiveness Project along with the findings of the 2016 HBS survey on U.S. competitiveness. This survey was administered to HBS alumni worldwide, HBS students, and members of the U.S. general public in May—June 2016.

Video: Fixing America’s Talent Supply Chain

America’s labor market has entered a “new normal” phrase. Although the unemployment rate has declined after the Great Recession, underemployment remains a major problem and the percentage of workers stuck in part-time jobs is well above historical norms. Yet, at the same time, employers are posting a record number of positions. Professor Joseph Fuller suggests that resolving this paradox will require education institutions and employers to adopt a new approach to skills training.

Video: Realizing America's Unconventional Energy Opportunity

Professor Michael E. Porter discusses the economic benefits from North America's unconventional oil and gas energy resources. Professor Porter discusses the unconstructive debate around these resources, and what should be done to fully realize their benefits while minimizing environmental and climate impacts.

Video: The Challenge of Shared Prosperity

Professor Michael E. Porter and Professor Jan W. Rivkin discuss the findings of Harvard Business School’s 2015 Alumni Survey on U.S. Competitiveness, The Challenge of Shared Prosperity. Alumni are optmistic about the ability of U.S. firms to compete globally, but they doubt that firms will be able to lift the living standards of the average American.

Prospects for Shared Prosperity: Findings from the 2015 Alumni Survey on U.S. Competitiveness

America’s leading companies are thriving, but the prosperity they are producing is not being shared broadly among U.S. citizens. Jan W. Rivkin presents results of HBS's 2015 Alumni Survey on U.S. Competitiveness.

Business Aligning for Students: The Promise of Collective Impact

This report calls on business leaders to take stock of their efforts to improve pre-K-12 education and commit to an innovative approach called “Collective Impact,” a community endeavor that addresses fundamental weaknesses in the U.S. education ecosystem.

Growth & Shared Prosperity

By: Karen G. Mills with contributions from Joseph B. Fuller and Jan W. Rivkin
In June 2015, nearly 75 experienced leaders from across business, government, labor, academia, and media gathered at Harvard Business School to discuss a topic of increasing concern in America: How can our nation continue to remain competitive while also providing a path to prosperity for more citizens? This report highlights the group’s deliberations and summarizes the HBS research that was presented during the convening.

The Challenge of Shared Prosperity

The 2015 HBS survey on U.S. competitiveness reveals that business leaders are concerned about the economy’s ability to generate shared prosperity. America’s business environment is improving, but alumni doubt that firms in the U.S. will be able to improve living standards for the average American. Alumni see issues like inequality, middle-class stagnation, and economic immobility, as social as well as business challenges.

2015 Survey Methodology

A detailed methodology of HBS' 2015 alumni survey on U.S. competitiveness.

America’s Unconventional Energy Opportunity: A Win-Win Plan for the Economy, the Environment, and a Lower-Carbon, Cleaner-Energy Future

By: Michael E. Porter, David S. Gee, and Gregory J. Pope
America's unconventional gas and oil resources are perhaps the single largest opportunity to improve the trajectory of the nation’s economy, at a time when the prospects for the average American are weaker than experienced in generations. The benefits can be achieved while substantially mitigating local environmental impacts and speeding up the transition to a cleaner-energy future that is both practical and affordable.

An Economy Doing Half Its Job

Michael E. Porter and Jan W. Rivkin discuss the findings of Harvard Business School’s 2013–14 Alumni Survey on U.S. Competitiveness. Their report, "An Economy Doing Half Its Job," focuses on a troubling divergence in the American economy: large and midsize firms have rallied strongly from the Great Recession, and highly skilled individuals are prospering, while middle- and working-class citizens are struggling, as are small businesses.

Partners With Purpose

By: Allen S. Grossman, Ann Lombard, and Jan W. Rivkin
Superintendents find new, deeper ways to work with business beyond a financial gift.

Tax Complexity and the Importance of Simplification

Complexity in the tax code has negative redistributive and growth consequences that have only accelerated over time as more and more policy goals are now implemented through the tax system.

Managing the Talent Pipeline: A New Approach to Closing the Skills Gap

By: Jason A. Tyszko, Robert G. Sheets, and Joseph B. Fuller
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recommends a new demand-driven approach—talent pipeline management—to close the skills gap. Extending lessons learned from innovations in supply chain management, this paper calls for employers to play a new and expanded leadership role as “end-customers” of education and workforce partnerships.

Bridge the Gap: Rebuilding America's Middle Skills

The market for middle-skills jobs—those that require more education and training than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree—is consistently failing to clear. That failure is inflicting a grievous cost on the competitiveness of American firms and on the standard of living of American workers. How can business lead the charge to close the gap?

What It Takes to Reshore Manufacturing Successfully

This paper looks at some of the issues firms moving large assembly operations back to the U.S. have faced, along with recommendations for more successful implementations.