Robert G. Eccles

Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School

Robert G. Eccles first joined the faculty at Harvard Business School in 1979 and received tenure in 1989. He left in 1993 for a career in the private sector and rejoined the faculty in September of 2007 as a Senior Lecturer. Right after receiving tenure, Dr. Eccles started doing research on corporate reporting, a topic which remains of great interest to him from a research, managerial practice and public policy perspective. He has written three books on this subject, The ValueReporting Revolution: Moving Beyond the Earnings Game (with Robert H. Herz, E. Mary Keegan and David M. H. Phillips) and Building Public Trust: The Future of Corporate Reporting (with Samuel A. DiPiazza Jr.). and One Report: Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy (with Michael P. Krzus). He is also a founder of the social movement Web site

Dr. Eccles teaches the MBA elective "Leading Professional Service Firms," as well as the executive education program of the same name and the new executive education program “Building Client Management Capabilities in Professional Service Firms.” He is in the process of making some significant changes in the MBA course, building on prior work which established some key principles for managing these types firms from an internal talent market perspective. He is focusing on the external client market of these firms and has developed a number of new cases on this topic. Based on this course development work, in collaboration with Professor Das Narayandas in the Marketing Unit, Dr. Eccles is working on a book about professional service firms with the working title of Building Capabilities: Ensuring Long-Term Success in a Professional Service Firm. The key idea is that professional service firms build capabilities at the individual and organizational level by properly managing the talen market and the client market in an integrated way.

With Professor Amy Edmondson, Dr. Eccles has started a major research project on innovative business models for sustainable urbanization. The global trend of urbanization is creating the need for new cities all over the world, especially in developing countries. However, in order for the desired sustainability objectives (defined in economic, social, environmental and technological terms) to be achieved, radically new approaches, including in design and construction techniques, will be necessary. Here Eccles and Edmondson are studying ambitious and innovative initiatives that are based on extensive collaborations of many different types of experts, use of leading-edge technologies, fundamentally different approaches to contracting and construction, and new ways for the public and private sectors and civil society to work together. Their major initial research site is a research city called PlanIT Valley being created by Living PlanIT S.A. PlanIT Valley is located in the Municipality of Paredes, about 20 minutes outside of Porto, Portugal.

Dr. Eccles also has a broad interest in China as part of the School's and the University's plans to build its presence there. He is Chairman of the new “Growing a Professional Service Firm” executive education program. Dr. Eccles is also working on developing a “China Finance Leadership Program” for the CFOs of China’s largest market cap companies.

Dr. Eccles received an S.B. in Mathematics and an S.B. in Humanities and Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1973) and an A.M. (1975) and Ph.D. in Sociology (1979) from Harvard University.

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