29 Jun 2017

HBX Launches New Certificate Program, Becoming a Better Manager

Course was final work of renowned Harvard Business School professor David Garvin
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BOSTON—HBX, Harvard Business School’s digital learning initiative, announced today the launch of Becoming a Better Manager, the fourth course in its expanding suite of online certificate programs. The four-module course focuses on a variety of processes that managers work through to move their organizations forward and achieve results. Becoming a Better Manager is the final body of work from Professor David Garvin, a renowned teacher and researcher at Harvard Business School who passed away in April.

HBX’s Becoming a Better Manager focuses on managerial and organizational processes, which were a focus of Garvin’s award-winning research throughout his more-than-35-year tenure at the School. Through interactive case studies in decision making, implementation, organizational learning and improvement, and change management, course participants will gain the critical skills needed to be effective in a managerial role and get things done in their organizations. The course is delivered via the interactive HBX online learning platform.

The course also includes insights from other prominent HBS faculty members, including Professors Amy Edmondson, Linda Hill, Leonard Schlesinger, and Dean Nitin Nohria. Case protagonists in Becoming a Better Manager include managers from various industries and sectors such as government, healthcare, military, technology, and law.

“David Garvin was a masterful teacher and scholar whose work had a significant impact on generations of students and countless organizations,” Dean Nohria said. “This program is a fitting legacy for a beloved colleague who devoted himself throughout his career to helping managers become more effective in the workplace.”

A theme throughout Garvin’s work was his argument that at the heart of organizational success lies a set of processes that can be designed and deployed. Becoming a Better Manager participants will study four of the processes most crucial to effective management. The course teaches day-to-day strategies and tactics that are easily employed and conducive to immediate on-the-job application.

Over six weeks, participants in the course will examine more than eleven case studies that demonstrate the range of challenges – small and large – that managers face. They will gain confidence in their ability to put into place and manage processes that produce value for customers, shareholders, and employees.

“Much of the course examines the implications of group dynamics and the associated norms and behaviors that come with working, not as a soloist but as a member of a group,” said Professor Garvin during the months he spent carefully developing the curriculum.

“David Garvin created a powerful course that helps managers around the world and at all levels to make better decisions and manage change,” said Professor Joseph Fuller, Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, who will be working with the HBX team to help finalize the course for its release this fall. “David was a dear colleague and an amazing researcher and teacher. To be part of a project he held dear and help bring that project to the finish line is an honor.”

Garvin joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 1979. A prolific and influential scholar, he authored or coauthored 10 books, 37 articles, and more than 70 cases. He was known as an extraordinary case-method teacher, and his classes at Harvard Business School were legendary.

HBX is accepting applications for the first cohort of Becoming a Better Manager, which begins September 27, 2017. Applications for the September program are open until September 18, 2017. Successful applicants will have gained exposure to diverse managers, teams, and projects and have completed an undergraduate degree. The program is priced at $1,500. Visit the HBX website to learn more.

About HBX:

HBX, the digital learning initiative from Harvard Business School, was founded in 2014 with the mission of expanding the reach of the School by delivering high-quality online business education to learners around the world. HBX’s programs are designed to deliver a case-based, active, and social learning experience in a highly-engaging digital learning environment. Each program is designed and taught by leading HBS faculty who bring their expertise and passion to learners from around the globe.


Valerie Krempus

Brooks Wallace

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.