harvard business essay

harvard business essay

The Impact of Harvard Business School on Global Business Practices

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1. Introduction to Harvard Business School

The philosophical concept of the HBS tenet was American in origin, vitality, and dynamism… certainly American. The chief spokesperson for this concept is creditable for this logic: as an individual who, by birth and circumstances, and by admission to the first class of the School, could never have set foot in any institutional foreign capital, foreign capital of any size, form, or motive, he acted in a great and creative manner to reverse the well-known trend towards labor with the power of automation might require the strength of big business concentrated on nationwide funds. The imperative of the American society was to produce a balance that had economic, political, and social incentives. Harvard Business School, and the Harvard University of the time, were still close enough to the Massachusetts Indian-Canal towns to be in gushing contact with the specialized phenomenon of aggressive business challenges for management talent.

The Harvard Business School has designed, taught, and disseminated a unique set of tenets of management education that has affected management theory throughout the world over the course of the past sixty-six years. The core of that tenet has its origins in management – a specialty of the American industry and the American economy. The School’s influence in the world of business, as it is known and ranked by gainsayers and by partisans, stemmed from its influence on the early students. These first, and in some cases second generation students brought to their own institutions – business, government, the transmission of the lesson of a practical management education which often was conveyed by the force of a personality and vision, inexorably mixed with original and useful concepts and ideas.

2. Historical Evolution of Harvard Business School

In 1918, Harvard University’s President Lowell allied Harvard Business School to Harvard College by decreeing that all classes of the Business School would in the future begin on the third Tuesday of September each year. This synchronization would last for 68 years. Residence in Cambridge would alter the new facility into an urban university on the banks of the Charles River. The change of location served the institution as it had earlier in the School of Law. It no longer was as convenient a place for future businessmen employed in Boston and living in the community as the building had been closer to intercity transportation. The curriculum rolled into the 1920s with related classes in Business, engineering, and economics. A permanent orange alliance with the Harvard Alumni Association ensued. With the business facility on the Charles River more Harvard-like than the Club-like quarters at Beacon Hill, the benefactions of wealth were solicited and proffered. Those who had been so situated on Beacon Hill were located at the corner of Massachusetts and Huntington Avenues, Boston business-centered locations as well.

With the addition of the “Harvard” prefix, the newly established business entity was able to use university resources. There were advantages attendant upon the association with what the former Congressional Trials Sustained that pride of Bostonians, “Harvard”. As an independent and traditionally recognized entity, this business school would acquire a university imprimatur in 1913. Class of 1908. During this formative period at 34 Beacon Street, there were 15 faculty and 33 students. Tuition was set at the total of $500 for two sessions and over one calendar year. A single diploma, the Harvard University Graduate in Business Administration, was awarded, reflecting completion of one session for the Undergraduates and two for College graduates.

3. Key Contributions of Harvard Business School to Global Business Practices

Second, Harvard Business School has made significant and lasting contributions to the study and understanding of corporate strategy and environmental adaptation by modern business organizations. Michael Porter has delved deeply into the operational mechanisms for effective competitive differentiation and has identified explicit competitive strategies for creating and nurturing a globally successful business enterprise. In “The Wisdom of Teams,” written with Judge Business School professor Calvin Moore, he adopts an agenda of organizational improvement as being central to new developments in the management of business enterprises, especially major US-based global business firms. This paper will expand on both the cognitive, human, and business aspects of such performance phenomena.

There are several pivotal areas of thought and intellectual influence which Harvard Business School has had on global business practices. First, Harvard Business School’s great contribution has been in the area of developing the canon of management knowledge and scholarly thought. For example, Edward Hallowell has studied the distinctive competencies of international military organizations, discussed strategic implementations as organizational education, and the concept of a strategic inflection point. Importantly, in their studies of world-renowned management systems, such as those by the US Navy, Douglas McGregor’s concept of infusing the enterprise with a spirit of genuine employee concern and respect is germane in discussing how today’s global business organizations can achieve high performance, employer-employee cooperation in attaining corporate goals, and corporate success.

4. Case Studies and Success Stories from Harvard Business School Alumni

Harvard Business School alumni are involved in consulting, engineering, management, as well as international investment services in many parts of the world. As Graham says, “Look how well I have done, with my background from Harvard Business School (Technical Seminars and Conferences), and my years of experience in all phases of business in this country of South Africa. The units of our company are doing well in so many countries, supported by the 70 partners and 500 staff members, in thirty-six countries. We are proud of our record. Small units under my personal responsibility include: Australia – The McIntyre Annear Consulting Group; Brazil – The Aseo Inatel Group; United States of America – the PIPARMONT Group.”

Also, Graham Rollason, the Managing Director of South Africa, President, Certified Accountant, Harvard Business School Graduates Club of South Africa, who has no relation to Leslie Leslie and Associates and belongs to no subsidiary or affiliated branch office, has a firm called Menier & le Foue that is closely linked to Harvard.

Just a few examples suffice to illustrate the enormous global impact of the Harvard Business School and its graduates throughout the years. Antonio Mascarinas, a fellow alumnus, with a small business loan from SBA, from the Harvard Business School’s Small Business Service Bureau, in 1948, acted as a one-man personal consultant staff, solving personal problems of all the plant workers and contributing to a substantial increase in the productivity of the small plant in the Philippines. He quickly became director as a member of the corporation. His publicity, in a chain-name advertising campaign, during the corporation-sponsored Christmas benefit party for 1,500 children from the city’s orphanage institutions, all customers of the corporation, showcased the combined disciplines of Marketing, Management of People, Personnel, and Sales.

5. Conclusion and Future Prospects

One question that comes naturally to mind is why Harvard Business School is so prominent in discussions about influencing and being influenced by business practices. The lack of any full up and running count of the other business education might make Harvard Business School’s prominence an artifact of the history of business education or the history of business. But a good bit of evidence suggests that the School both influences and is influenced to a great degree.

Through a variety of activities during a period when few places offered any business education at all and many industries were poorly served by advice, Harvard Business School laid the groundwork for the worldwide reach it enjoys today. Our historical case study at this point offers an outline that others can fill in with considerably more detail and precision. But we hope that we have suggested how and why some of the characteristics people have found to be associated with Harvard Business School came about. In the process, it has, in a number of fields of endeavor, established practices that are now generally followed and has exerted an influence on business performance and business policy that is incalculable. It is that present situation which we will address in the following section after a brief discussion of some of the limitations of our case study.

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