Who is selected for interviews?

We select leaders who have built organizations of lasting value. For the most part, these are founders of businesses, though they also include numerous significant not-for-profit organizations. What is key is that there is general agreement in the country in question that the interviewee has made a long-run institutional contribution with his or her organization to that society.

Why are some countries chosen for interviews and not others?

It is logistically challenging to interview on video in international locations. In order to assemble high quality local camera crews and co-ordinate with interviewees, we need a local support base. We have made particular use of Harvard Business School’s network of global research centers. We have also benefitted from the support of local institutions where Harvard affiliated faculty are teaching or former Visiting Fellows hold academic positions. Important examples include the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. The project does not pay the travel for faculty to conduct interviews, so we also depend on interviewing in places where Harvard Business School faculty are visiting for teaching and research. We aspire to widen our geographical reach. For example, we are currently focused on building our African collection of interviews.

Why is China not represented in this collection?

We aspire to interview in the language which interviewees feel most comfortable. For example, most of our Latin American interviews are in Spanish, and many of our Brazilian interviews are in Portuguese. We currently lack sufficient Chinese language capabilities on our faculty to conduct a full program of interviews in Mandarin or other Chinese dialects, and we lack the resources needed for translation and subtitling. We retain the ambition to add China to our list of countries in which we conduct interviews.

Can I use the material freely?

Yes, for both teaching and research purposes. It cannot be used for commercial purposes. Text transcripts and video clips can be downloaded directly from this website. The full-length videos of interviews are held behind a firewall for security purposes. Please contact cem@hbs.edu if you require access to the full videos for teaching or research.

What are the most common ways in which the interviews are used?

Videos and transcripts have been used both for teaching and scholarly research purposes. Please see the CEM case collection and recent publications for examples on how this material has been used. They have also formed the basis of conferences on multiple topics in Boston, Mumbai and Santiago, as well as workshops at the Academy of Management and the Academy of International Business.

Do I need permission from interviewees to use specific quotes from interviews?

You do not need permission. The rights to these interviews have been granted to Harvard University.

Can I use the videos along with other videos?

Yes, this has been done commonly, by us, and by others. For example, you might find videos on popular media sites about more contemporary issues related to a particular organization or company, which you can use along with a clip from the corresponding entrepreneur featured in CEM.

What if I think of another way to use the interview videos?

Please write to us at cem@hbs.edu so that we can share it with the broader community. If you see a clip in the longer videos that you would like to use, we can create a video clip for you on that topic.

Why are interviews not concentrated in the present day? Our students do not want to know about the past.

The design of the CEM project was specifically to focus on leaders of business and NGOs with thirty or forty years of experience, so we could capture the vast changes seen in emerging markets. It is intended to build a permanent resource held by Harvard Business School’s Baker Library which we envisage will be used by researchers a century in the future. That said, many of the lessons that come out of the interviews deal with issues that are highly relevant now.

Can we partner with HBS in developing videos in our country?

We do not have the organizational bandwidth to support this currently. However, we are willing to share all our expertise and past learnings to help you develop your own effort. We also think this is the way to expand the breadth and diversity of the endeavor, as each project is likely to have a different design. For example, some scholars in touch with us are developing video collections specific to a single country, or a single issue; others are focused on small and medium enterprises. There is no specific right way; all these efforts will, we are sure, enhance the available information about emerging markets. We envisage a network of independent sites located around the world, but linked seamlessly for access and research purposes. Everyone is more than welcome to contact us with ideas for teaching and research using the materials and suggesting candidates to interview for the CEM project by writing to cem@hbs.edu. We currently cannot upload externally generated material because of University protocols, but we fully recognize the value this would deliver.