News & Highlights

  • JANUARY 2020

The Global Classroom: Student Immersion in China, Hong Kong, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka

As part of the elective curriculum within the MBA program, students have the opportunity in their second year to enrol in an Immersive Field Course – or “IFC.” These courses are driven by faculty research and industry connections, and provide students with an opportunity to get out of the classroom and put the skills they have learned to practice in the field. Typically, about 200 students participate in IFCs annually. In January 2020, Professors Willy Shih and Meg Rithmire led 45 students through China, Myanmar and Sri Lanka for 10 days. The course looked to understand the dynamics of international trade through a study of the China Belt Road Initiative. During their stay in Sri Lanka, students visited the Colombo and Hambantota Ports, a logistics factory, and participated in a symposium with government officials, think tanks, and business leaders to discuss Chinese investments in Sri Lanka.
  • DECEMBER 2019

A Discussion with Professor John Kim

In December 2019, Professor John Kim addressed a group of educators and relevant stakeholders on the Public Education Leadership Project (PELP). A joint project between the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and the Harvard Business School (HBS), PELP uses the art and science of management to help public schools and school systems in the United States improve student performance. Professor Kim discussed the possibility of creating a similar program for school leaders in India and South Asia.
  • NOVEMBER 2019

HBS India Impact Series: Conversations with Dr. Devi P. Shetty and Mr. Amit Chandra

The India Research Center’s HBS India Impact Series features discussions with change makers who are using their leadership, networks, and problem-solving skills to address fundamental challenges facing society. Last November, a conversation with cardiologist Dr. Devi P. Shetty and philanthropist Amit Chandra showcased how the power of purpose could make the seemingly impossible happen. Dr. Shetty shared his perspective on the goal of medical care - to not turn anyone in need of treatment away for want of funds. He stressed the importance of developing scalable, affordable and high quality business models through process and technology innovations. Mr. Chandra shared vignettes of his journey leveraging networks to take action to impact millions of lives.
  • NOVEMBER 2019

Alumni Tour in Bangladesh

The HBS Club of India in collaboration with the IRC convened an alumni study tour to Bangladesh last November with 15 alumni in an effort to forge a deeper understanding of the region. HBS South Asia Advisory Board Member, Munir Merali (AMP), facilitated this immersion. Over a two-and-a-half-day visit, the group met government officials, business leaders, alumni, entrepreneurs and leaders in the creative economy. The study tour proved to be a unique convening where alumni from India, GCC, and Bangladesh were able to connect, understand varied perspectives, and identify opportunities to collaborate and build deeper bonds of friendship.

New Research on the Region

  • March 2020
  • Article
  • Journal of Law, Economics & Organization

Do Managers Matter? A Natural Experiment from 42 R&D Labs in India

By: Prithwiraj Choudhury, Tarun Khanna and Christos A. Makridis

We exploit plausibly exogenous variation in the staggered entry of new managers into India’s 42 public R&D labs between 1994 and 2006 to study how alignment between the CEO and middle-level managers affect research productivity. We show that the introduction of new lab managers aligned with the national R&D reforms raised patenting and multinational licensing revenues by 58% and 75%, respectively, and scientist research productivity, including a 16%, 10%, 11%, and 22% increase in h-indices, number of coauthors, publications, and citations per scientist, respectively. Using natural language processing (NLP) techniques on the set of research abstracts produced among these scientists, we also find that overall mood and sentiment increased by 8.5% following the first managerial change.

  • Forthcoming
  • Article
  • Journal of Organization Design

Designing Social Networks: Joint Tasks and the Formation of Network Ties

By: Sharique Hasan and Rembrand Koning

Can managers influence the formation of organizational networks? In this article, we evaluate the effect of joint tasks on the creation of network ties with data from a novel field experiment with 112 aspiring entrepreneurs. During the study, we randomized individuals to a set of 15 joint tasks varying in duration (week-long teams to 20-minute conversations). We then evaluated the impact of these interactions on the formation and structure of individuals’ social networks. We find strong evidence that these designed interactions led to the systematic creation of new friendship and advice relations as well as changes to the participants’ network centrality. Overall, network ties formed after a randomized interaction account for about one-third the individuals a participant knows, of their friendships, and their advice relations. Nevertheless, roughly 90% of randomized interactions never become social ties of friendship or advice. A key result from our research is that while joint tasks may serve to structure the social consideration set of possible connections, individual preferences strongly shape the structure of networks. As a consequence, there will likely remain a considerable unpredictability in the presence of specific ties even when they are designed.

  • January 2020
  • Case

A Tough Call: SEAL Team Leader in Kandahar (A)

The case, which is a disguised version of real events, is set in Kandahar, Afghanistan (2013) during the long running Afghan war. Lt. Paul Rickson, a Navy SEAL Platoon Commander, is leading a team of 30 US and Afghan soldiers on a mission to clear hostile forces in Maiwand Village. After a long day of various hostile activities and clearing Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s), he faces a tough choice that is filled with various tensions. After he directs a missile attack from a drone onto an enemy position, he’s ordered to conduct an on the ground Battle Damage Assessment (BDA), to confirm there are no civilian casualties. This would require some or all of his team crossing 800 meters in open territory, almost certainly drawing enemy fire. He’s concerned about the real risks to his team vs the perceived benefit of a US-forces taken picture. His has to reconcile a conflicting sense of priorities, from the Rules of Engagement for his team, the directive from HQ and inputs from his team. The primary purpose of the case is to focus on lessons from his decision-making approach that might be beneficial for a young leader facing conflicting tensions, such as: a. The strategic directive to win hearts and minds, while training Afghan forces vs. the on the ground facts and circumstances facing the platoon commander and the threats to his team. b. The predictability of support systems (e.g. communications, HQ guidance, video surveillance, transport) that can have outsized impact on options and outcomes. c. How substantial risks and core values come together in deciding what to do for you and your team.

See more research

Mumbai Staff

Anjali Raina
Executive Director
Rachna Chawla
Assistant Director, Research Services
Anthea D’Souza
Associate Director, Financial and Business Administration
Kairavi Dey
Research Associate
Kalpesh Hedulkar
Rashmi Patel
Research Assistant and Educational Coordinator
Shreya Ramachandran
Research Associate
Malini Sen
Sanjivani Shedge
Executive Assistant
Inakshi Sobti
Associate Director, Community Initiatives
Rachna Tahilyani
Senior Associate Director, Research