New Harvard Business School Dean Stresses Ethics, Innovation

Last Updated May 5, 2010 1:10 PM EDT

Nitin Nohria, who Tuesday was named Harvard Business School's next dean, repeated several themes he will champion as the School enters its second 100 years.
  • Inflection Point. Business and business schools are at an inflection point, he told an audience at HBS. Public trust in business and in management education has waned and must be restored. At the same time companies are demanding new skills from business students, and schools must respond to meet those demands to remain competitive.
  • Ethics. Nohria has been an early thinker around the concept of a code of ethics for business students, similar to those taken by doctors and lawyers as they enter those professions. "Business people have taken pride that they can do business on a handshake. I don't know where we lost that, and I don't see why it isn't recoverable," Nohria told Bloomberg.com. "I still think business can be done with honor."
  • Global. Nohria, born in Mumbai, underscored the School's Global Initiative, recent expansions in China and India, and the importance of its six research centers around the globe.
  • Innovation. He pointed to experiments being run at HBS around learning teams, immersions abroad, and distance learning as examples of innovation that HBS must continue as its looks at ways of enhancing its trademark case study method of learning and remaking business education.
Since arriving at Harvard Business School in 1988, Nohria's research has focused on leadership development, ethics, globalization, and understanding human nature. He succeeds retiring dean Jay Light on July 1.
  • Sean Silverthorne

    Sean Silverthorne is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge, which provides a first look at the research and ideas of Harvard Business School faculty. Working Knowledge, which won a Webby award in 2007, currently records 4 million unique visitors a year. He has been with HBS since 2001.

    Silverthorne has 28 years experience in print and online journalism. Before arriving at HBS, he was a senior editor at CNET and executive editor of ZDNET News. While at At Ziff-Davis, Silverthorne also worked on the daily technology TV show The Site, and was a senior editor at PC Week Inside, which chronicled the business of the technology industry. He has held several reporting and editing roles on a variety of newspapers, and was Investor Business Daily's first journalist based in Silicon Valley.