HBS faculty conduct research on a wide variety of topics. In the application you must indicate your top three choices of research areas, in order of preference, from the topics listed below. Top applicants will be matched with faculty-designed research project based on their indicated interests. 

1. Corporate Social Responsibility research explores business impact of delivering economic, social, and environmental benefits to stakeholders.

2. Business and Government researchers study the economic, political, social, and legal environment in which businesses operate. Drawing from perspectives of economic theory, political science, and history, they examine the “rules” and policies established by government and other non-business institutions that affect business in the United States; turn to history to understand the origins of today’s business environment as well as some of the alternatives that have emerged from time to time; and study other countries’ business environments and their historical development. This group of scholars is deeply interested in the impact of globalization and the way rules are emerging to govern international economic transactions as globalization proceeds.

3. Entrepreneurship research focuses on the identification and pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities; domestic and international funding of entrepreneurial endeavors; innovation, particularly technological innovation in international ventures; the environments in which entrepreneurs make decisions; and social entrepreneurship.

4. Performance Measurement and Outcomes scholars study drivers and effectiveness of performance measurement and management control systems.

5. Market Design seeks to translate economic theory and analysis into practical solutions to real-world problems.

6. Finance researchers strive to understand how managers and firms make value-enhancing decisions; and how financial institutions, markets, and instruments contribute to this process.

7. Globalization scholars concentrate on the effectiveness of management practices in global organizations; cross-cultural learning and adaptation processes; the challenges of taking companies global; emerging-market companies with global potential; and international political economy and its impact on economic development.

8. Health Care research studies how potential application management principles and best practices from other industries can be applied; how the process of innovation can be improved; how principles of strategy and consumer choice can be utilized; how information technology can expand access, decrease costs, and improve quality; and devising approaches in developing nations can impact global health.

9. Human Behavior and Decision-Making research focuses on individual and interactive judgment and decision making, with applications to organizational behavior, consumer behavior, behavioral operations, and behavioral economics. Research topics include the psychology of conversation, ethical decision-making (including cheating and self-deception), the impact of rituals on mourning and consumption, team and organizational dynamics and performance, whether money makes people happy, when and why people disclose information, and health behavior change.

10. Leadership research explores questions of organization change, power and influence, innovation management, and the crucial role leadership plays in organizational success. The topic of leadership spans all academic units at HBS and fosters a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach.

11. Social Enterprise research seeks to understand the challenges associated with driving sustained, high-impact social change. Current research focuses on leadership of socially mission-driven organizations; the role of business leaders and corporate citizenship in driving social change; business models that address poverty; management of high-performing K-12 public school districts; and financing models for the non-profit sector

12. Technology and Innovation research focuses on value creation of platforms and two-sided markets; use of open architecture and leverage of its collective value; development and execution of innovation strategies; innovative attributes of executives and firms; development of new markets through the creation of disruptive innovations that displace earlier technologies; development of innovations in sectors; and the impact of innovation on economic growth.

13. Other. It is impossible to capture all that HBS faculty study. If you have a specific interest in an area not listed above, please select this category to describe an area of research within the disciplines of economics, sociology, psychology, policy, or history that is relevant to business academia.

You can learn more about HBS faculty and their research here.