27 Oct 2023

New Faculty Profiles: Andrew Hoffman


HBS faculty comprises more than 300 scholars and practitioners who bring leading-edge research, extensive experience, and deep insights into the classroom, to organizations, and to leaders across the globe. We asked new faculty at HBS about their background, their new roles, and their interests.

Andrew Hoffman, visiting fellow, Institute for the Study of Business in Global Society

What’s your area of research and what led you to it?
I study the cultural and institutional evolution of sustainability as an economic, managerial, and social issue, particularly for business.

Why is your area of research important for society?
We are facing systemic problems that require systemic solutions and the pragmatic reality is that we must turn to, and work with, the market to solve these challenges. The market—comprised of corporations, the government, non-governmental organizations, as well as the many stakeholders in market transactions, such as the consumers, suppliers, buyers, insurance companies, banks, etc.— is the most powerful organizing institution on earth, and business is the most powerful entity within it. Though government is an important and vital arbiter of the market, it is business that transcends national boundaries, possessing resources that exceed those of many nations. Business is responsible for producing the buildings that we live and work in, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the automobiles we drive, the forms of mobility we employ and the energy that propels them. Indeed, if there are no solutions coming from the market, there will be no solutions.

Where are you from?
I grew up in Norwood, Massachusetts, went to UMass Amherst for my undergraduate degree, MIT for my graduate degrees and have lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the past 20 years.

What is something you like to do outside of your academic work?
I like to go hiking (in the mountains of New England), travel, watch movies/documentaries, read good books and listen to good music.

What’s your favorite book, movie, or piece of art?
Field of Dreams and Out of Africa are my favorite movies.

What will you be doing as a BIGS Fellow?
The research project I am proposing is a systematic examination of the ways in which both business and business education must be amended to address climate change. This study would result in a book length output that will have implications for both those that are involved in the market (that includes business executives, policymakers, civil society, and the general public) and those that are involved in business education (administrators, faculty, and students).

What sort of impact would you like to have as a BiGS Fellow?
I am here to place myself in a new and dynamic environment that will stimulate new ways of thinking about my work, and avenues for enacting it. If I could find ways to publish in channels that have a more direct link to public discourse (The Atlantic, New Yorker, New Republic, etc.) as well as books that reach a broader audience, I would hope to have impact in domains that reach beyond the strictly academic.

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