Rakesh Khurana

16 Results

 

Leading Amidst Competing Technical and Institutional Demands: Revisiting Selznick’s Conception of Leadership

Leadership can be greatly enriched by the insights of Philip Selznick (1919-2010), the author of landmark studies in organizational theory, the sociology of law, and public administration. His work on the Tennessee Valley Authority, for example, showed that the combination of technical and institutional pressures compels even well-intentioned leaders to concede to external demands that threaten an organization's character. He further conceptualized how leaders can overcome these pressures and uphold the integrity of their organization and the institutional values it embodies. In this paper, Besharov and Khurana join with other scholars to highlight how a "Selznickian" approach contributes to contemporary research on leadership: first, by directing our attention to the role of values even in avowedly utilitarian organizations and, second, by suggesting that the protection and promotion of values is an essential task of leadership. Besharov and Khurana also focus on fundamental dualities and tensions between the institutional realm of values, culture, and politics, and the technical realm of efficiency, rationality, and administration. This paper explains how these two realms are interrelated, and articulates how leaders can uphold institutional values while simultaneously meeting technical imperatives. The authors hope the paper provides a starting point for new research on how leaders uphold institutional values in the face of often conflicting technical demands. Read More

Teaching Leadership: What We Know

The field of leadership education has reached a critical stage. After several decades of experimentation, "The Handbook for Teaching Leadership," Scott A. Snook, Rakesh Khurana, and Nitin Nohria, is intended to be a foundational reference for educators facing this increasingly important challenge. Open for comment; 13 Comments posted.

From Social Control to Financial Economics: The Linked Ecologies of Economics and Business in Twentieth Century America

No transformation looks more consequential for the history of American higher education than the extraordinary rise of business schools and business degrees in the twentieth century. Marion Fourcade (UC Berkeley) and Rakesh Khurana (HBS) analyze the changing place of economics in American business education as reflected in the teaching of three elite business schools over the course of the twentieth century: the Wharton School (1900-1930), the Carnegie Tech Graduate School of Industrial Administration (post World War II), and the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago (1960s-present). Read More

How Foundations Think: The Ford Foundation as a Dominating Institution in the Field of American Business Schools

What causes institutions to change? This paper adds organizational and exogenous perspective to existing theories by looking at the idea of "dominating institutions"—a class of formal organizations purposively designed to change other institutions. HBS professor Rakesh Khurana and colleagues look at the Ford Foundation and its work reshaping America's graduate schools of management between 1952 and 1965 through funding of "centers of excellence" at a number of schools, including Harvard Business School. Read More

What Top Scholars Say about Leadership

As a subject of scholarly inquiry, leadership—and who leaders are, what makes them tick, how they affect others—has been neglected for decades. The Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, edited by Harvard Business School's Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana, brings together some of the best minds on this important subject. Q&A with Khurana, plus book excerpt. Read More

Excessive Executive Pay: What’s the Solution?

Now that the worst fears about economic meltdown are receding, what should be done about lingering issues such as over-the-top executive compensation? Does government have a role? Is it time we rethink corporate governance? HBS faculty weigh in. From the HBS Alumni Bulletin. Read More

Harvard Business School Discusses Future of the MBA

The MBA industry is in turmoil. Many business schools are revisiting their offerings to see if they still have relevance in the 21st century. And HBS is using its centennial year to convene worldwide experts on business education and plot its directions for the next 100 years. From HBS Alumni Bulletin. Read More

Management Education’s Unanswered Questions

Managers want the status of professionals, but not all managers want the constraints that go along with professions. Why? For more than 100 years, business education at the top universities has been searching for its soul. HBS professor Rakesh Khurana, author of a new book, says business school education is at a turning point. Read More

The Compensation Game

Do CEOs deserve "star" compensation? The idea that CEO pay is driven by the invisible hand of market forces is a myth from which chief executives have long benefited, say Harvard professors Lucian Bebchuk and Rakesh Khurana. Read More

Take Responsibility for Rising Stars

Leadership succession and recruitment need the sharp attention of your company's top executives and board. But who should be held accountable—and how? An excerpt from a Harvard Business Review article by Jeffrey Cohn, Rakesh Khurana, and Laura Reeves. Read More

Governance and CEO Turnover: Do Something or Do the Right Thing?

CEOs who become "entrenched" by the board of directors can gain an extra buffer between themselves and angry shareholders. Entrenchment has potential costs (a poorly performing CEO hangs on to the job) but also benefits (the board can deflect shareholder cries for dismissal of a CEO who was merely unlucky). The authors hope to shift the emphasis of the debate on entrenchment to a consideration of these tradeoffs and to shift the focus of the entrenchment-performance discussion toward the decisions, such as CEO dismissal, that are directly tied to the actions of the board. Read More

Is Business Management a Profession?

If management was a licensed profession on a par with law or medicine, there might be fewer opportunities for corporate bad guys, argue HBS professors Rakesh Khurana and Nitin Nohria, and research associate Daniel Penrice. Read More

How to Put Meaning Back into Leading

When research on leadership pays more attention to financial results than a person's ability to give the company a sense of purpose, something crucial is lost. Three Harvard Business School scholars are working to change the debate. A Q&A with Joel M. Podolny, Rakesh Khurana, and Marya Hill-Popper. Read More

Greed, Fear, and The System Hinder Corporate Reform

If we’re going to fix the system we need to take a realistic look at the possibilities and limitations of regulation, said panelists. Here’s their diagnosis. Read More

The Irrational Quest for Charismatic CEOs

Companies reflexively look to charismatic CEOs to save them, and that's a bad idea, says HBS professor Rakesh Khurana. In this excerpt from his new book and in an e-mail interview with HBS Working Knowledge, he explains how the CEO cult arose. Read More

Looking for CEOs in All the Wrong Places

In searching for a new CEO, many companies depend on board contacts to find candidates and diminish the role of search firms. And that may be a big mistake, suggests HBS assistant professor Rakesh Khurana. Read More