Media Coverage

Research, books and insights for making change happen

As the world struggles with issues ranging from inequality to climate change, there is a great thirst for innovative ideas on how businesses, governments and individual citizens can help solve our common problems. Explore my commentary on and analysis of these matters in such leading publications as the Harvard Business Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, The Quarterly Journal of Economic and the Strategic Management Journal.

  • Female protester holding a "planet over profit" sign

    Capitalism in crisis: U.S. billionaires worry about the survival of the system that made them rich (Washington Post)

    Capitalism’s future is increasingly in doubt for the first time in decades. Even America’s business elite worry that without some kind of intervention, the very system that made them rich may fail.

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  • Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

    More than 80 alumni and guests gathered on March 7 in Los Angeles for an HBS faculty-led discussion on business and climate change. Drawing on 10 years of research and her hugely successful MBA course, Professor Rebecca Henderson used her keynote talk, “Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire,” to lay out a practical roadmap for how business can help to turn our world around—and how HBS alumni can help.

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  • HBS Professor Explores the Impact Purpose Can Have on Your Organization

    How does purpose impact an organization’s performance? That’s the question Harvard Business School Professor Rebecca Henderson explored during a recent lecture streamed via Facebook Live.

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  • Financial Times Outstanding Directors Exchange

    Each year the Financial Times recognizes Outstanding Directors who play a key role in their boardrooms. These directors have gone above and beyond the call of duty and have demonstrated judgment and integrity while acting in the interest of their shareholders. As a 2019 recipient of FT’s Outstanding Director’s award, Rebecca will speak at the Outstanding Directors Exchange on November 12th and 13th, 2019 in New York City.

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  • A lesson from ‘Reimagining Capitalism’: No Objective Reality

    Jeff Turner, VP of Sustainability at DSM, shares his thoughts after appearing in Rebecca’s MBA course Reimagining Capitalism to discuss a case study on DSM and “hidden hunger.” Jeff states: “If we think that the responsibility lies solely with governments to address societal challenges – such as hidden hunger, climate change and resource consumption – then the creative power and executional capacity of the private sector will be left untapped.”

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  • Ideas Worth Teaching: Reimagining Capitalism

    The Ideas Worth Teaching Awards seek to honor exceptional teaching that prepares students to respond to issues that are dramatically altering our economies and societies—from inequality, to climate change, to the expansion of automation and AI. With Reimagining Capitalism, 2018 award winner Rebecca Henderson has created a space where students can challenge received economic wisdom and map out concrete strategies to transform the system over the course of their own careers. 

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  • 6 Women Changing the Way We Think About Innovation

    Innovation may seem like an overused “buzzword,” but research indicates it’s yet to lose its luster. The need for leading companies and economies to constantly reinvent themselves through new products, services and business models is an eternal demand of the marketplace. In this article, Stern Speakers highlights six outstanding women (including Rebecca) who are changing the way we think about building innovative companies, designing new products, improving core social services and reorganizing our entire economic system to maximize its innovative potential. 

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  • Work and Life Podcast with Stew Friedman

    In this episode of the Work and Life Podcast, Stew Friedman and Rebecca talk about the ways in which firms have always been values-driven, even if the value was solely profit. Rebecca notes that companies that are actively trying to “make a difference” beyond their bottom line, companies that do not view a social purpose as distinct from their business aims, end up with a more engaged and productive workforce.

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  • Business Schools Have a Vital Role in Teaching Trust

    The world needs corporate leaders who are committed to values and ethics. To meet this goal, HBS Dean Nitin Nohria recently announced a major overhaul of LCA, the required leadership and ethics class. Rebecca will be the course head for the new class beginning June 2019.

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  • What Would It Take to Get Businesses to Focus Less on Shareholder Value?

    Does it make sense to put employees on company boards? To make all corporations “Benefit Corporations”? In this piece Rebecca asks what it will take to persuade firms to focus on the longer term and the health of the world on which we all rely.

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  • Two HBS Faculty Win Prizes for Their Course in Sustainability

    Rebecca’s MBA course “Reimagining Capitalism” not only enrolls nearly 300 students a year but is also attracting attention beyond Harvard.

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  • Why Big Companies Squander Good Ideas

    The British invented the tank but the Germans exploited the idea. Kodak invented digital photography but went bankrupt nonetheless. Learning to act sustainably is already making many firms rich but many others are still sitting on the sidelines, wondering if it’s just a fad. In this fascinating Financial Times piece the FT’s Undercover Economist draws on Rebecca’s work to explore why firms have such difficulty taking advantage of good ideas – and what can be done in response.

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