Rakesh Khurana Harvard University, USADr. Khurana is the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at the Harvard Business School. He teaches a doctoral seminar on Management and Markets and The Board of Directors and Corporate Governance in the MBA program.
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. He has written extensively about the CEO labor market with a particular interest on: the factors that lead to vacancies in the CEO position; the factors that affect the choice of successor; the role of market intermediaries such as executive search firms in CEO search; and the consequences of CEO succession and selection decisions for subsequent firm performance and strategic choices. He has published articles on Corp. Governance in the Harvard Business and Sloan Management Review. His book on the CEO labor market, Searching for a Corporate Savior: The Irrational Quest for Charismatic CEOs (Princeton University Press) was published in October, 2002. The book is an analysis of the labor market for CEOs. Khurana's current research grows out of the same interests in the social context of business leadership and the allocation of leadership positions that motivated his research on the CEO labor market.
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. This research is rooted in the question of how certain occupations within business (not just executive management but also consulting, private equity, and investment banking) have come to require the MBA credential as a prerequisite for entry. The significance of this issue lies in its direct bearing on the question of how professional management has claimed and received legitimation for its role as the steward of a very substantial proportion of society’s material wealth and resources—a role that has itself been subject to changing interpretations over the decades since the phenomenon of professional management first appeared on the American scene.
From Higher Aims to Hired Hands received the American Sociological Association's Max Weber Book Award in 2008 for most outstanding contribution to scholarship in the past two years. In 2007, the book was also the Winner of the 2007 Best Professional/Scholarly Publishing Book in Business, Finance and Management, Association of American Publishers.
Khurana's work on the deficiencies of the CEO labor market and his research on business education is regularly featured by the general media such as: Business Week, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post, CNBC, The Economist, Globe and Mail, The New Yorker, Chief Executive and Corporate Board Member magazine. He has also published opinion-editorials in some of these outlets. He has consulted to corporations and executive search firms to help improve their CEO succession, governance, and executive development practices. He has been recognized by the London Times as one of 'The Thinkers 50', a list of the fifty most influential management thinkers in the world.