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Platzhalter Speakers
Rakesh Khurana

is the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at the Harvard Business School.


Rakesh Khurana is the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at the Harvard Business School.

Professor Khurana received his B.S. from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and his A.M. (Sociology) and Ph.D. in Organization Behavior from Harvard University. Prior to attending graduate school, he worked as a founding member of Cambridge Technology Partners in Sales and Marketing.

Professor Khurana's research uses a sociological perspective to focus on the processes by which elites and leaders are selected and developed. His book on the CEO labor market, Searching for a Corporate Savior: The Irrational Quest for Charismatic CEOs (Princeton University Press) highlighted that nether CEO succession or CEO compensation was set by conventional market forces.

His most recent book, From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession (2007: Princeton University Press), chronicles the evolution of management as a profession, with particular focus on the institutional development of the MBA. It received the American Sociological Association's Max Weber Book Award in 2008 for most outstanding contribution to scholarship in the past two years and the 2007 Best Professional/Scholarly Publishing Book in Business, Finance and Management, Association of American Publishers.  He has also been recognized as one of the Thinkers 50, a list of the fifty most influential thinkers in the world.

Khurana and Nitin Nohria have co-edited a forthcoming volume on advancing leadership studies as an academic field of study and scholarship that will be published by Harvard Business Press in 2010.  


«How professionalization will strengthen the management capacity in organizations»
The Western capitalist model is at an inflection point. Competitive demands on managers as a consequence of globalization, disruptive technology, industry transformation, are very high. At the same, the legitimacy of the existing system has been called into questions by a variety of societal stakeholders. As Peter Drucker recognized, the quality of our managers and the effectiveness of how well firms are managed is a vital role for society - the survival of society depends on the effective stewardship of society‘s economic resources. This idea was also recognized by the founders of university based business schools as they sought to raise management to the level of a profession. In this talk, I talk about this early history and what its implications are for contemporary managers and firms. I argue that a recommitment to professionalism can increase the legitimacy of managers and firms, and may also offer one path toward sustainable capitalism.