Ranjay Gulati is the Paul R. Lawrence MBA Class of 1942 Professor and the former Unit Head of the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School. Until recently, he chaired the Advanced Management Program, the flagship senior leader executive program, at the school.
Professor Gulati’s recent work explores strategic, organizational, and leadership challenges for building high growth organizations in turbulent markets. His work transcends both strategy formulation and also successful implementation. He has studied how technology-led and other companies must harmonize their technology trajectory with a market strategy based on a deep understanding the shifting needs of their customers. His recent work has also looked at the importance of building a scaleable organizational architecture and culture that provide high-growth organizations with the requisite discipline and consistency while preserving their agility and entrepreneurial mindset. The final pillar for his research has been to look at the leadership skills and behaviors required to lead fast-moving organizations. Going beyond the classic leadership imperatives of motivating and inspiring, he explores how leaders today must cultivate courage in others by activating a winning mindset that is centered around a clear set of priorities, principles and purpose. Some of his prior work has focused on the enablers and implications of successful acquisitions and strategic partnerships to drive profitable growth.
Professor Gulati was ranked as one of the top ten most cited scholars in Economics and Business over a decade by ISI-Incite. The Economist, Financial Times, and the Economist Intelligence Unit have listed him as among the top handful of business school scholars whose work is most relevant to management practice. He has been a Harvard MacArthur Fellow and a Sloan Foundation Fellow. His research has been published in leading academic journals of business. He has also written for the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, strategy+business, and the Financial Times.
His most recent book, Principles of Management (Cengage, 2013), is a primer on the fundamentals of management that provides a new overview of the field using contemporary examples and cases. In his book, Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Organization (Harvard Business Press, 2009), which was a finalist for the George Terry Best Book in Management Award, Professor Gulati explores how “resilient” companies—those that prosper both in good times and bad—drive growth and increase profitability by immersing themselves in the lives of their customers. Based on more than a decade of research in a range of industries including manufacturing, retail, professional services, media, information technology, and healthcare, the book uncovers the path to resilience by showing companies how to break down internal barriers that impede action, build bridges across divisions, and create a network of collaborators. His previous book, Managing Network Resources: Alliances, Affiliations, and other Relational Assets (Oxford University Press, 2007), examines the implications of firms’ growing portfolio of inter-firm connections. He demonstrates how firms increasingly are scaling back what they consider to be their core activities, and at the same time expanding their array of offerings to customers by entering into a web of collaborations. He has also co-edited a book on leading sustainable change that looks at how organizations overcome internal barriers to change in embracing sustainability programs and also co-edited two books that focus on the dynamics of competition in emerging technology-intensive industries.
Professor Gulati advises and speaks to corporations large and small around the globe. He also frequently leads small-group workshops focused on helping leadership teams of high-growth companies enhance the growth trajectory of their businesses. Some of his representative speaking and consulting clients include: Abbott Laboratories, Adidas, Aetna, Allergan, American Tower, Bank of America, Bank of China, Baxter, Berkshire Partners, Blackrock, Boston Scientific, Bristol Myers Squibb, Brown Brothers Harriman, Caterpillar, Credit Suisse, Expedia, Ford, Future Brands, GE, General Mills, Henkel, Hitachi, Honda, Hospira, IBM, Iron Mountain, KBC, Keybank, Levi Strauss, LaFarge, Lockheed Martin, McGraw-Hill, Merck, Metlife, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, Novartis, Ochsner, Proctor & Gamble, Qualcomm, Rockwell Collins, Sanofi Aventis, SAP, St Jude, Target, and Unilever. He has served on the advisory boards of several companies and has appeared as an expert witness in business litigations.
He has in the past been a frequent guest on CNBC as well as a panelist on several of their series on topics that include: the Business of Innovation, Collaboration, and Leadership Vision. Professor Gulati holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University, a Master’s Degree in Management from M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management, and two Bachelor’s Degrees, in Computer Science and Economics, from Washington State University and St. Stephens College, New Delhi, respectively. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.