Rebecca Henderson

Rebecca Henderson is one of 24 University Professors at Harvard and a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is also faculty co-chair of HBS’s Initiative for Business and the Environment.

Her research focuses on the economics of R&D, technology strategy, and the difficulties large organizations encounter in attempting to innovate and change, particularly in response to the challenge of sustainability. She has worked in a wide variety of industries including pharmaceuticals, information technology, materials and consumer goods. Her current work focuses on the strategic and organizational underpinnings that are likely to be fundamental to building sustainable firms and on the role of “relational contracts” in sustaining superior performance. Her recent publications include Accelerating Energy Innovation: Insights from Other Sectors, University of Chicago Press and, with Robert Gibbons, “What Do Managers Do? Exploring Persistent Performance Differences among Seemingly Similar Enterprise”.

Professor Henderson sits on the boards of Amgen, Inc and of Idexx Laboratories. She and has been the recipient of a number of academic prizes and awards, including the Dan & Mary Lou Schendel Best Paper Prize and the ASQ Award for Scholarly Contribution. She teaches the MBA electives “Reimagining Capitalism” and “Innovation in Business and the Environment” and in a variety of executive programs.