Prithwiraj Choudhury - Faculty & Research - Harvard Business School
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Prithwiraj Choudhury

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Technology and Operations Management

Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury is an Assistant Professor in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at the Harvard Business School. He was an Assistant Professor at Wharton prior to joining HBS. He studies knowledge worker productivity and innovation, with a focus on studying how global R&D, talent flows and AI will shape the future of work.

His research has been published or is forthcoming in Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Review of Financial Studies, Harvard Business Review, Journal of International Business Studies, and has been cited in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes among other outlets. He was awarded the Haynes Prize by the Academy of International Business and won the 2017 Best Paper Award in Strategic Human Capital awarded by the Strategic Management Society. He earned his Doctorate from the Harvard Business School and has degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology and Indian Institute of Management. Prior to academia, he worked at McKinsey & Company, Microsoft and IBM.

Journal Articles
  1. The Ethnic Migrant Inventor Effect: Codification and Recombination of Knowledge Across Borders

    Prithwiraj Choudhury and Do Yoon Kim

    Ethnic migrant inventors may differ from locals in terms of the knowledge they bring to host firms. We study the role of first-generation ethnic migrant inventors in cross-border transfer of knowledge previously locked within the cultural context of their home regions. Using a unique dataset of Chinese and Indian herbal patents filed in the United States, we find that an increase in the supply of first-generation ethnic migrant inventors increases the rate of codification of herbal knowledge at U.S. assignees by 4.5%. Our identification comes from an exogenous shock to the quota of H1B visas and from a list of entities exempted from the shock. We also find that ethnic migrant inventors are more likely to engage in reuse of their prior knowledge, whereas knowledge recombination is more likely to be pursued by teams comprising inventors from other ethnic backgrounds.

    Keywords: skilled migration; ethnic migration; first-generation migrant; cultural context; knowledge flows; knowledge reuse; knowledge recombination; recombinant creation; H1B visas; Knowledge Sharing; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Knowledge Dissemination; Immigration; Ethnicity; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, and Do Yoon Kim. "The Ethnic Migrant Inventor Effect: Codification and Recombination of Knowledge Across Borders." Strategic Management Journal (forthcoming).  View Details
  2. Scope versus Speed: Team Diversity, Leader Experience, and Patenting Outcomes for Firms

    Prithwiraj Choudhury and Martine R. Haas

    How does the organization of patenting activity affect a firm’s patenting outcomes? We investigate how the composition of patenting teams relates to both the scope of their patent applications and the speed of their patent approvals by examining the main effects of team members’ intra-organizational diversity (based on affiliations with formal organizational units and informal organizational communities) and the moderating effects of team leader experience. We test our moderated mediation model in a sample of 121 teams that filed patents in a Fortune 50 company’s India R&D center between 2005 and 2015 using proprietary employee data combined with newly released micro-data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Our findings illuminate the micro-foundations of innovation in firms by highlighting a trade-off between organizing patenting activity to maximize scope versus speed.

    Keywords: leader experience; micro-foundations of innovation; patents; scope; speed; Team diversity; within-firm data; Groups and Teams; Diversity; Patents; Leadership; Experience and Expertise; Outcome or Result;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, and Martine R. Haas. "Scope versus Speed: Team Diversity, Leader Experience, and Patenting Outcomes for Firms." Strategic Management Journal 39, no. 4 (April 2018): 977–1002.  View Details
  3. Innovation Outcomes in a Distributed Organization: Intrafirm Mobility and Access to Resources

    Prithwiraj Choudhury

    Prior research has established a relation between intra-firm mobility and innovation outcomes at distributed organizations. The literature has also uniformly agreed on the mechanism underlying this relationship: the sharing of tacit knowledge and recombination of ideas that occurs because of intra-firm mobility. But a second mechanism may also be at work: intra-firm mobility might help distant employees secure access to resources for their innovative projects. Using unique data on travel, employment, and patenting for 1,315 inventors at the Indian R&D center of a Fortune 50 multinational, I find that intra-firm mobility in the form of short-duration business trips from a distant R&D location to headquarters is positively related to higher subsequent patenting at the individual level. I also find mobility immediately prior to meetings at which R&D funds are most likely to be disbursed to be related to higher subsequent patenting. This study sheds new light on how intra-firm mobility and possible face-to-face interactions with those who allocate resources might affect innovation outcomes and the matching of resources to individuals within a distributed organization.

    Keywords: Organizational Structure; Innovation and Invention; Resource Allocation;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj. "Innovation Outcomes in a Distributed Organization: Intrafirm Mobility and Access to Resources." Organization Science 28, no. 2 (March–April 2017): 339–354.  View Details
  4. Sink or Swim: The Role of Workplace Context in Shaping Career Advancement and Human-Capital Development

    Shinjinee Chattopadhyay and Prithwiraj Choudhury

    We develop and test predictions on how early-career challenges arising from the workplace context affect short- and long-term career advancement of individuals. Typically an organization’s decision to deploy a manager to one of several possible contexts is endogenous to unobservable factors, and selection makes it challenging to disentangle the effect of workplace context on individual career advancement. We work around this problem by studying an organization, the Indian Administrative Services, which deploys entry-level managers quasi-randomly across India. We find that managers deployed to more challenging contexts early in their careers experience faster career advancement in the short term. We present suggestive evidence that this is because challenging contexts provide managers more opportunities to develop skills (“crucible experiences”) and a greater motivation to relocate out of the challenging context. We also find that managers deployed to a challenging context early in their careers continue to experience faster advancement in the long term, suggesting that initial deployment to a challenging context is associated with human capital development. Managers initially deployed to more challenging contexts were not, however, more likely to break into the upper echelons of the organization.

    Keywords: Workplace context; human capital; Career advancement; Performance; context; Situation or Environment; Human Capital; Personal Development and Career; Performance;

    Citation:

    Chattopadhyay, Shinjinee, and Prithwiraj Choudhury. "Sink or Swim: The Role of Workplace Context in Shaping Career Advancement and Human-Capital Development." Organization Science 28, no. 2 (March–April 2017): 211–227.  View Details
  5. Return Migration and Geography of Innovation in MNEs: A Natural Experiment of Knowledge Production by Local Workers Reporting to Return Migrants

    Prithwiraj Choudhury

    I study whether return migrants facilitate knowledge production by local employees working for them at geographically distant R&D locations. Using unique personnel and patenting data for 1,315 employees at the Indian R&D center of a Fortune 500 technology firm, I exploit a natural experiment where the assignment of managers for newly hired college graduates is mandated by rigid HR rules and is uncorrelated to observable characteristics of the graduates. Given this assignment protocol, I find that local employees with returnee managers file disproportionately more US patents. I also find some evidence that return migrants act as a 'bridge' to transfer knowledge from the MNE headquarters to the local employees working for them.

    Keywords: innovation; Innovation and Invention;

  6. Toward Resource Independence—Why State-Owned Entities Become Multinationals: An Empirical Study of India's Public R&D Laboratories

    Prithwiraj Choudhury and Tarun Khanna

    In this paper, we build on the standard resource dependence theory and its departure suggested by Vernon to offer a novel explanation for why state-owned entities (SOEs) might seek a global footprint and global cash flows: to achieve resource independence from other state actors. In the context of state-owned entities, the power-use hypothesis of standard resource dependence theory can be used to analyze the dependence of SOEs on other state actors, such as government ministries and government agencies that have ownership and control rights in the SOE. Building on Vernon, we argue that the SOE can break free from this power imbalance and establish resource independence from other state actors by becoming a multinational firm and/or by generating global cash flows. We leverage a natural experiment in India and outline both quantitative and qualitative evidence from 42 Indian state-owned laboratories to support this argument.

    Keywords: Multinational Firms and Management; Resource Allocation; Supply Chain; State Ownership; Growth and Development Strategy; India;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, and Tarun Khanna. "Toward Resource Independence—Why State-Owned Entities Become Multinationals: An Empirical Study of India's Public R&D Laboratories." Special Issue on Governments as Owners: Globalizing State-Owned Enterprises edited by Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra, Andrew Inkpen, Aldo Musacchio and Kannan Ramaswamy. Journal of International Business Studies 45, no. 8 (October–November 2014): 943–960.  View Details
  7. Charting Dynamic Trajectories: Multinational Firms in India

    Prithwiraj Choudhury and Tarun Khanna

    In this article, we provide a synthesizing framework that we call the "dynamic trajectories" framework to study the evolution of multinational enterprises (MNEs) in host countries over time. We argue that a change in the policy environment in a host country presents an MNE with two sets of interrelated decisions. First, the MNE has to decide whether to enter, exit, or stay in the host country at the onset of each policy epoch; second, conditional on the first choice, it has to decide on its local responsiveness strategy at the onset of each policy epoch. India, which experienced two policy shocks—shutting down to MNEs in 1970 and then opening up again in 1991—offers an interesting laboratory to explore the "dynamic trajectories" perspective. We collect and analyze a unique dataset of all entry and exit events for Fortune 50 and FTSE 50 firms (as of 1991) in India in the period from 1858 to 2013 and, additionally, we document detailed case studies of four MNEs (that arguably represent outliers in our sample).

    Keywords: Multinational Firms and Management; Change; India;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, and Tarun Khanna. "Charting Dynamic Trajectories: Multinational Firms in India." Special Issue on Business, Networks, and the State in India. Business History Review 88, no. 1 (Spring 2014): 133–169.  View Details
  8. A 'Core Periphery' Framework to Navigate Emerging Market Governments—Qualitative Evidence from a Biotechnology Multinational

    Prithwiraj Choudhury, James Geraghty and Tarun Khanna

    We build on the emerging literature of influence-based models to study how multinational firms can navigate host governments. Our "core-periphery" framework posits that the actions that an MNC takes with actors in what we call the "periphery"—comprised of state, quasi-state, and civil society actors—can lead to positive or negative influence with interconnected state actors in a "core." There are two mechanisms by which this can happen: engaging the periphery may either change the information set of the core or help align incentives of multiple core actors. Engaging the periphery might be particularly relevant in settings where the institutional framework is still emerging. We build a case study of a multinational firm in the biotechnology sector to illustrate how the core-periphery framework works in multiple emerging markets across institutional differences. The analysis is based on 32 interviews conducted with the CEO and other executives of Genzyme at the corporate headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in subsidiaries in Brazil, China, Costa Rica, France, India, and the United States.

    Keywords: Emerging Markets; Multinational Firms and Management; Business and Government Relations; Power and Influence; Framework; Biotechnology Industry; Massachusetts; Brazil; China; Costa Rica; France; India;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, James Geraghty, and Tarun Khanna. "A 'Core Periphery' Framework to Navigate Emerging Market Governments—Qualitative Evidence from a Biotechnology Multinational." Global Strategy Journal 2, no. 1 (February 2012): 71–87.  View Details
  9. A Reexamination of Tunneling and Business Groups: New Data and New Methods

    Jordan I. Siegel and Prithwiraj Choudhury

    One of the most rigorous methodologies in the corporate governance literature uses firms' reactions to industry shocks to characterize the quality of governance. This methodology can produce the wrong answer unless one considers the ways firms compete. Because macro-level shocks reverberate differently at the firm level depending on whether a firm has a cost structure that requires significant adjustment, the quality of governance can only be elucidated accurately analyzing a firm's business strategy and their corporate governance. These differences can help one determine whether the fruits of a positive macro-level shock have been expropriated by insiders. Using the example of Indian firms, we show that an influential finding is reversed when these differences are considered. We further argue that the conventional wisdom about tunneling and business groups will need to be reformulated in light of the data, methodology, and findings presented here.

    Keywords: Governance; System Shocks; India;

    Citation:

    Siegel, Jordan I., and Prithwiraj Choudhury. "A Reexamination of Tunneling and Business Groups: New Data and New Methods." Review of Financial Studies 25, no. 6 (June 2012).  View Details
Working Papers
  1. Modeling Oral Business History Data: An Application to Markets and CEO Communication

    Prithwiraj Choudhury, Dan Wang, Natalie A. Carlson and Tarun Khanna

    We shed light on oral business history data, widely available and yet underutilized, as a relevant and useful resource for strategy and management scholars. Specifically, we outline a novel methodology based on topic modeling and sentiment analysis to illustrate that such data can be used to generate insight about the relationship between a firm’s past financial performance and the language and tone of speeches by the firm’s CEO. Using 88 CEO interviews conducted between 2008 and 2017, archived at the publicly accessible Harvard Business School online repository titled “Creating Emerging Markets,” we employ our unique methodology to study how environmental factors, such as unexpected market returns, are related to the range of topics and sentiments expressed by CEOs’ spoken words. In doing so, we match the data from the CEO interviews with financial performance data for the set of firms led by those CEOs as well as market performance data from the countries in which these firms are headquartered. Our results suggest that greater abnormal returns just prior to the date of the CEO interview are positively correlated with certain emotions expressed by CEOs, such as surprise, fear, and anticipation, an indication that unanticipated firm performance heightens the emotional states of firm leadership, with possible consequences for subsequent strategy choices. Furthermore, greater abnormal returns also are positively correlated with CEOs’ tendency to focus their speech more on work-related topics than personal topics.

    Keywords: Spoken Communication; Business History; Data and Data Sets; Finance; Performance;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, Dan Wang, Natalie A. Carlson, and Tarun Khanna. "Modeling Oral Business History Data: An Application to Markets and CEO Communication." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 18-064, January 2018.  View Details
  2. Machine Learning and Human Capital: Experimental Evidence on Productivity Complementarities

    Prithwiraj Choudhury, Evan Starr and Rajshree Agarwal

    Machine learning process technologies usher new questions regarding their potential complementarity with existing human capital. Within the context of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office examination process, our experimental framework investigates productivity differentials when workers with heterogeneous human capital interface with machine learning, relative to the older Boolean search technology. We randomly assign individuals with and without computer science and engineering (CS&E) knowledge bases to each process technology, a subset of whom are also randomly provided expert domain specific knowledge, and analyze their productivity as measured by accuracy and speed in identifying prior art relevant for patent claims adjudication. We find that, when provided with expert domain knowledge, productivity with machine learning technology is lower than Boolean technology, but these results are driven almost entirely by heterogeneous effects by those with and without computer science and engineering (CS&E) backgrounds. Specifically, tests of underlying mechanisms reveal that unlocking superior prediction from machine learning requires CS&E skills. Further, participants lacking these skills are able to compensate for more imprecise information from Boolean searches through superior reading and information sifting skills. Our study contributes to literature streams on artificial intelligence, endogenous technological change, and strategic management of the pace of technological substitution by providing insights on complementarities between technologies and horizontally differentiated human capital.

    Keywords: Technological Innovation; Human Capital; Performance Productivity; Technology Adoption;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, Evan Starr, and Rajshree Agarwal. "Machine Learning and Human Capital: Experimental Evidence on Productivity Complementarities." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 18-065, January 2018. (Revised May 2018.)  View Details
  3. Firms and Within-Country Migration: Evidence from India

    Prithwiraj Choudhury and Tarun Khanna

    While prior literature on within-country migration is focused on self-selection models, agents such as firms can also play an important role in facilitating within-country migration. In the face of physical, informational and social barriers to migration, firms with nationwide hiring practices can benefit from facilitating the migration of high ability individuals from smaller towns to production centers located in larger cities. We argue that despite the ex-ante higher search costs associated with hiring from smaller towns, firms can benefit from such hiring. In this study, we explore the relationship between an employee’s hometown and her subsequent work productivity. To do so, we exploit unique personnel data for newly hired college graduates within an Indian technology firm. We leverage the fact that the assignment of an employee to one of many production centers within the firm is uncorrelated with observable characteristics of the employee and find that employees hired from smaller towns have higher productivity than their counterparts from large cities. As a possible explanation of our results, we test for selection and find that employees hired from smaller towns outperform their large city counterparts in standardized logical tests at the recruitment stage. We also find that employees hired from smaller towns have lower attrition rates compared to those hired from large cities. We provide evidence that the extra payoff conferred by higher productivity and lower attrition rates sufficiently outweigh the extra search costs associated with hiring from smaller towns. Our secondary results also indicate that other forms of marginalization (e.g., being from a “lower caste”) are related to higher productivity.

    Keywords: Geographic Location; Selection and Staffing; Employment; Residency; Technology Industry; India;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, and Tarun Khanna. "Firms and Within-Country Migration: Evidence from India." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-080, February 2014. (Revised January 2018.)  View Details
  4. Information Provision and Innovation: Natural Experiment of Herbal Patent Prior Art Adoption at the United States and European Patent Offices

    Prithwiraj Choudhury and Tarun Khanna

    We exploit a natural experiment to study how codifying information about prior innovation affects subsequent innovation. A codified database of traditional Indian herbal formulations was adopted by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) at different points in time. The database, the Traditional Knowledge Depository Library (TKDL), was created by state-owned Indian R&D labs to provide patent examiners searchable “prior art” drawn from ancient Indian medicinal texts. Using a unique dataset of herbal patents filed between 1977 and 2013, we find that adoption of the TKDL affected the level of herbal patent filings and grants and shifted the nature of patenting away from pure herbal formulations, similar to those in the ancient texts, toward combinations of herbs and synthetic compounds that were less similar to the prior art and apt to be less contestable.

    Keywords: Patents; Plant-Based Agribusiness; Ethnicity; Health Care and Treatment; Pharmaceutical Industry; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; China; India;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, and Tarun Khanna. "Information Provision and Innovation: Natural Experiment of Herbal Patent Prior Art Adoption at the United States and European Patent Offices." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-079, February 2014. (Revised January 2018.)  View Details
  5. Do Managers Matter? A Natural Experiment from 42 R&D Labs in India

    Prithwiraj Choudhury, Tarun Khanna and Christos A. Makridis

    This paper exploits a natural experiment in the entry of new lab managers across India’s 42 public R&D labs between 1995 and 2006 to study the complementarity between lab managers and incentive schemes. While scientists were provided with stronger incentives to patent and license from multinational companies in 1994, the “old generation” of lab managers disagreed with these aims and failed to adequately support scientists’ efforts. First, we show that the introduction of new lab managers aligned with the national R&D reforms is associated with a 58% rise in patenting and 75% rise in licensing revenues from multinationals. Second, using additional information on each scientist in these labs, we examine how their research productivity changed in response to different managers. Notably, we find that the entry of new lab managers is associated with improved research productivity: 15.6% higher h-indices, 11.7% more coauthors, 12.7% more research articles, and 25.1% more citations per scientist. Moreover, using natural language processing (NLP) techniques on the set of research abstracts produced among these scientists, we find that overall mood and sentiment increased by 9.4% following the first managerial change. Our results highlight the important complementarities between incentives and management practices, especially in developing countries. A back-of-the-envelope calculation that suggests India could save on 9–24% of its R&D and related subsidy expenditures under the entry of new generation lab managers.

    Keywords: incentives; innovation; management; productivity; Research and Development; Patents; Leadership; State Ownership; Research and Development; Innovation and Management; Performance Productivity; India;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, Tarun Khanna, and Christos A. Makridis. "Do Managers Matter? A Natural Experiment from 42 R&D Labs in India." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-077, February 2014. (Revised June 2018.)  View Details
Book Chapters
  1. Physical, Social and Informational Barriers to Domestic Migration

    Prithwiraj Choudhury and Tarun Khanna

    Keywords: economic development; economic growth; Development Economics; Economic Growth;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, and Tarun Khanna. "Physical, Social and Informational Barriers to Domestic Migration." Chap. 9 in Institutions and Comparative Economic Development, edited by Masahiko Aoki, Timur Kuran, and Gerard Roland. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.  View Details
Other Publications and Materials
Cases and Teaching Materials
  1. ISRO: Explore Space or Exploit CubeSats?

    Prithwiraj Choudhury

    ISRO, India’s space agency, established to address domestic challenges with space technology, is one of the six largest space agencies in the world. Through its 59 missions, ISRO has launched numerous satellites for communication, disaster management, navigation, scientific exploration, and other diverse purposes. Its commercial arm, Antrix Corporation, which launches satellites for both domestic and international customers, has 0.6% of the global space launch market. However, there is increasing demand for satellite launches from both the Indian government and commercial organizations. Unfortunately, ISRO can neither manufacture the required number of launch vehicles to support the huge demand for its services nor can it launch them. In light of these constraints, what should ISRO prioritize? How should we think of this question in light of the theory of exploration-exploitation? What kind of human capital resources should it develop? What processes need to be strengthened? What external collaborations need to be fostered? Teaching Note for HBS No. 617-062.

    Keywords: Strategic Planning; Decision Choices and Conditions; Operations; Management; Aerospace Industry; India;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj. "ISRO: Explore Space or Exploit CubeSats?" Harvard Business School Teaching Note 618-049, March 2018.  View Details
  2. McKinsey & Company: Early Career Choices (B)

    Prithwiraj Choudhury, Carin-Isabel Knoop and Nathaniel Schwalb

    The (B) case outlines the choices made by the associates in real life and the consequences of such choices.

    Keywords: Early Career Experiences; Career Progression; experiences; Personal Development and Career; Decisions; Outcome or Result; Consulting Industry;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, Carin-Isabel Knoop, and Nathaniel Schwalb. "McKinsey & Company: Early Career Choices (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 618-038, March 2018.  View Details
  3. McKinsey & Company: Early Career Choices (A)

    Prithwiraj Choudhury, Carin-Isabel Knoop and Nathaniel Schwalb

    This case profiles the early career choices faced by three McKinsey associates. The (A) case profiles the dilemma faced by each individual and sets up the class discussion.

    Keywords: Early Career Experiences; Career Progression; experiences; Personal Development and Career; Decision Choices and Conditions; Consulting Industry;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, Carin-Isabel Knoop, and Nathaniel Schwalb. "McKinsey & Company: Early Career Choices (A)." Harvard Business School Case 618-034, March 2018.  View Details
  4. The Future of Patent Examination at the USPTO

    Prithwiraj Choudhury and Sarah Mehta

    This teaching note pairs with the case entitled: “The Future of Patent Examination at the USPTO” (case no. 617-027).

    Keywords: Machine learning; telework; collaborating with unions; Recruitment; Intellectual Property; Copyright; Patents; Trademarks; Knowledge Sharing; Technology Adoption; District of Columbia;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, and Sarah Mehta. "The Future of Patent Examination at the USPTO." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 618-035, January 2018. (Revised March 2018.)  View Details
  5. ISRO: Explore Space or Exploit CubeSats?

    Prithwiraj Choudhury, Tarun Khanna, Karim Lakhani and Rachna Tahilyani

    The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) achieved global acclaim by launching successful missions to the moon and Mars at a fraction of the cost of prior Western missions. It is now faced with an important strategic dilemma—whether to continue exploring deep space in collaboration with NASA and other leading agencies, whether to leverage its infrastructure for societal uses, or whether to exploit a commercial opportunity related to launching small, handheld cubesats. The case explores the basis for ISRO’s cost advantage vis-à-vis western entities, as well as its resource constraints and human capital considerations as it makes this important strategic choice for the future.

    Keywords: Strategic Planning; Decision Choices and Conditions; Aerospace Industry; India;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, Tarun Khanna, Karim Lakhani, and Rachna Tahilyani. "ISRO: Explore Space or Exploit CubeSats?" Harvard Business School Case 617-062, April 2017. (Revised July 2017.)  View Details
  6. The Future of Patent Examination at the USPTO

    Prithwiraj Choudhury, Tarun Khanna and Sarah Mehta

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal government agency responsible for evaluating and granting patents and trademarks. In 2015, the USPTO employed approximately 8,000 patent examiners who granted nearly 300,000 patents to inventors. As of April 2016, it took roughly 26 months for a patent application to move through the evaluation process, which exceeded the office’s processing goal of 20 months. In August 2016, Andrew Hirshfeld, the commissioner for patents at the USPTO, considered the current state of patent examination and future possibilities. In recent years, a number of new and exciting tools enabled by advances in telework, machine learning, and other approaches had emerged. Hirshfeld hoped to maximize these tools’ utility in order to enhance patent examiners’ work and productivity. Helping examiners become more productive could in turn help the USPTO achieve its joint goals of processing patent applications more quickly and granting better quality patents. But the new tools and organizational changes would bring challenges, too. Any changes would have to be implemented at the grassroots of the USPTO organization, and ongoing pilots would not be successful without the buy-in and cooperation of both individual examiners as well as the union.

    Keywords: Machine learning; telework; collaborating with unions; Human Resources; Recruitment; Retention; Intellectual Property; Copyright; Patents; Trademarks; Knowledge Sharing; Technology Adoption; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Performance Productivity; Performance Improvement; District of Columbia;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, Tarun Khanna, and Sarah Mehta. "The Future of Patent Examination at the USPTO." Harvard Business School Case 617-027, April 2017.  View Details
  7. Microsoft in China and India, 1993-2007

    Tarun Khanna and Prithwiraj Choudhury

    Relates to Microsoft's expansion in China and India in the period 1993-2007 and the strategic issues faced by multinationals in emerging markets.

    Keywords: Expansion; Multinational Firms and Management; Information Technology; Software; Emerging Markets; Information Technology Industry; China; India;

    Citation:

    Khanna, Tarun, and Prithwiraj Choudhury. "Microsoft in China and India, 1993-2007." Harvard Business School Case 708-444, August 2007. (Revised December 2007.)  View Details
  8. Integrating Avocent Corporation into Emerson Network Power

    Prithwiraj Choudhury and Vincent M. Servello

    This case reviews Emerson Electric’s proposed acquisition of Avocent Corporation in 2009. The focus of this case is how a technology company such as Avocent, with a dramatically different business model compared to its acquirer, should be integrated into a large, multi-industry conglomerate like Emerson. Underlying this managerial question is a broader strategy question—under what conditions should the acquiring firm A modify its own business model and/or fold itself into its acquisition B, rather than trying to integrate B into the old business model? The case also touches upon themes related to the management of human capital during the acquisition of a technology startup.

    Keywords: Business Model; Integration; Human Capital; Acquisition; Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Choudhury, Prithwiraj, and Vincent M. Servello. "Integrating Avocent Corporation into Emerson Network Power." Harvard Business School Case 616-032, October 2015.  View Details
  9. Genzyme's CSR Dilemma: How to Play its HAND

    Christopher A. Bartlett, Tarun Khanna and Prithwiraj Choudhury

    Genzyme, a global biotechnology company, launches a program to develop therapies for neglected diseases (e.g., malaria, TB), giving away the intellectual property. This case focuses on the decision of which diseases, which partnerships, and which markets should management decide to fund. But the bigger issue is how this program, developed under the umbrella role Genzyme's corporate social responsibility, fits into its global competitive strategy.

    Keywords: Global Strategy; Health Care and Treatment; Intellectual Property; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Partners and Partnerships; Research and Development; Biotechnology Industry;

    Citation:

    Bartlett, Christopher A., Tarun Khanna, and Prithwiraj Choudhury. "Genzyme's CSR Dilemma: How to Play its HAND." Harvard Business School Case 910-407, August 2009. (Revised April 2012.)  View Details
Presentations