Robert Austin, Associate Professor of Technology and Operations Management at Harvard Business School

October 01, 2008

Among other topics, Robert discusses the following issues with Metis Strategy

  • The CIOs increasing focus on growing revenue rather than reducing costs
  • Using IT for “trystorming”: coming up with ideas and trying them out, quickly and cheaply
  • The importance of justifying IT investments for their strategic value rather than immediate ROI
  • The need for IT to innovate as more and more IT is outsourced
  • American MBAs contemplating opportunities in India and China

Robert Austin’s Biography

Robert Austin is Associate Professor of Technology and Operations Management at the Harvard Business School. He teaches a second year MBA course called “Managing in the Creative Economy” and chairs the school’s executive education program for Chief Information Officers (CIOs). He is currently on a leave of absence from Harvard, teaching at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, where he is the Professor of Creativity and Innovation Management.

Robert’s research focuses on management of innovative and knowledge intensive activities, especially as applied in creative industries and information technology management. He has written on these subjects in five books and numerous business cases and articles including “Bridging the Gap Between Stewards and Creators” in the Sloan Management Review, co-authored with Richard Nolan, which won the Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize awarded to the authors of the most outstanding SMR article on planned change and organizational development. Also, his book, “The Adventures of an IT Leader,” co-authored with Dick Nolan and Shannon O’Donnell–an account of the a new CIO’s first year on the job–will be published by Harvard Business School Press in the spring of 2009.

Robert spent time in industry as a senior executive in a new business created by a major technology company, and as a technology manager at Ford.

Robert earned his Ph.D. in Management and Decision Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University, where his dissertation received the Herbert A. Simon Award. He holds an M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Management Science (Operations Research concentration) from Northwestern University and his unusually strong abilities as a writer about technology surely are thanks to the fact that he has bachelors degrees in not only Engineering but also in English Literature from Swarthmore College.

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview

  • 01 1- People
  • 02 2- Infrastructure
  • 03 3- Project and Portfolio Management
  • 04 4- IT & Business Partnership
  • 05 5- External Partnerships

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