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Business School News: Ethics Specialist Named New Harvard Dean

The man inspired MBA Oath movement gets the big job

The world’s 3rd best business school will have its 10th dean. Harvard University yesterday announced Nitin Nohria, a professor of management, will succeed Jay Light, dean since 2006 who will step down in June.

The appointment was made at a time when the corporate world’s image has been pummelled by fallout from the 2008 collapse of financial markets and ongoing allegations of corruption and greed.

Nohria, a specialist in leadership and ethics, said “society’s trust in business has taken a hit’’ in recent years and he vowed to “restore the trust that has been lost.’’

In his more than two decades on the school’s faculty, the 48-year-old has been particularly active in business ethics, frequently writing and speaking on the need for changes in business and leadership training.

His works partially inspired students at Harvard, who started an “MBA oath’’ movement, which asked business students to take a voluntary pledge to “create value responsibly and ethically.’’

Since then more than 2,500 MBA students and graduates representing about 250 institutions have signed the oath.

Nohria, who was born in Mumbai, India, studied in the Indian Institute of Technology and MIT’s Sloan School of Management respectively. He joined the Harvard Business School faculty as an assistant professor in 1988 and became the Chapman professor in 1999.

The Art of Good Business

BusinessBecause.com recently reported Rolls-Royce helping business students learning real world lessons. On Monday, another global name, Toys “R” Us, sent their CEO to meet business students at St. Bonaventure University in New York to talk about retail strategy.

Gerald L. Storch, also the chairman of the company, shared the story of how he helped turn around the foundering toy company and build it into the industry juggernaut it is today.

Toys “R” Us had just announced thousands of job losses and the closure of nearly 90 retail locations when Storch joined, but he proposed new strategy and turned the company around, winning battles with other retail giants such as Walmart and Target.

With more than 1,550 stores worldwide, the company posted revenues of $13.6 billion in the last year.

 

"People ask how can you compete with the discount chains, and the answer is, they don't do anything like this," said Storch. "There is no defensive strategy that works in the long run. We don't work to keep other companies from taking our customers, we work on taking theirs."

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