Professor Hayagreeva (Huggy) Rao, of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, devotes most of his time to understanding how management research can be applied to social sciences such as health, education or poverty reduction.
What area of research are you currently working on?
Social Movements, Collective Action, Technological and Social Innovation.
A case study that you think is important. Why?
Saving 100,000 lives. Because it is a great example of a small and resource poor organization having a big impact on 3000 plus hospitals in America in a bid to reduce deaths caused by medical errors.
A management book you think highly of (written by someone else). Why?
Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-truths and Total Nonsense, by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Bob Sutton. It is an eloquent plea for evidence based management.
A very recent business or management title you read, and its significant lessons.
Switch, by Chip and Dan Heath. A remarkabale account of how to align the rational and emotional dimensions of our brain to implement change.
What is one of your well-liked teaching moments (case, discussion topic, …)?
When it leads to new research. See below.
What was your most interesting consulting assignment? Why?
I was teaching the intelligence community, and we had to understand the ‘connecting the dots’ problem. So we began to study how the public health system diagnoses emerging viruses that skip species boundaries!
If tomorrow you could occupy an executive function in any company, what function and company? Why?
A role that combines Marketing and HR – because the customer and employee brands needs to be connected.