Rebecca Henderson

Professor, Author and Authority on Reimagining Capitalism

Can business save the world? Can you? Rebecca’s research and teaching explores what it’s going to take to build a just and sustainable capitalism.

Reimagining Capitalism

A wake-up call and an indispensable guide for saving capitalism from itself

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

Reimagining Capitalism is now available for pre-order! It not only outlines how capitalism needs to change if we are to build a just and sustainable world, but also draws on twenty years of research in organizational change, innovation and disruption, and political theory in combination with a series of in-depth case studies to outline a practical roadmap for how we can get there from here. Business can change the world. You can help.

Recent Blogs

For ideas and insights on sustainability, innovation and technology

  • Tools for Talking to Skeptics

    A new semester of teaching my MBA class “Reimagining Capitalism” began last week. My colleague George Serafeim and I have over 300 people taking the course in four classes – nearly a third of the second year class. By way of introduction I asked everyone in my classes to send me a paragraph about why they were taking the course – particularly given that they could be taking obviously useful courses like “Power and Influence” or “Real Estate and Private Equity” instead.

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  • Do you have a moral duty to maximize profits?

    In class this week we’ve been arguing about whether publicly traded firms have a moral duty to maximize profits. It’s a contentious idea, but my own belief is that firms only have such a duty when markets are genuinely free and fair: genuinely competitive, properly priced and open to all comers. When this is not the case, to focus on nothing but profit maximization is, I believe, to betray the very commitments to freedom and prosperity on which the legitimacy of capitalism depends.

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Recent Media

The latest coverage of work and ideas

  • Saving Capitalism From Itself

    In this podcast episode, Rebecca speaks with Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk about how capitalism can indeed address the challenges we face — and that companies are already making the switch to a new, more conscientious way of working.

    Uncertain Things Podcast
  • Age of Economics Interview

    In this interview, Rebecca speaks with the Age of Economics team about the importance of economics and the role it plays in society.

    Age of Economics
  • World Reimagined Podcast

    On this episode of World Reimagined, host Gautam Mukunda spoke with two guests who are at the forefront of climate change research: Harvard University professor Rebecca Henderson and senior fellow at Woodwell Climate Research Center Spencer Glendon.

    Nasdaq World Reimagined Podcast
HBS Online

Sustainable Business Strategy

Too many business leaders think issues like climate change, inequality and social justice are for governments or nonprofits to consider. Their only concern, so the dominant way of thinking goes, is to deliver profits for shareholders. But Rebecca’s extensive research has revealed that socially responsible companies actually perform just as well if not better than those driven only by profit. In this course, Henderson uses case studies such as Walmart and Unilever to demonstrate the merits of purpose-driven firms, and show future and present business leaders alike how to devise and implement a Sustainable Business Strategy.

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