Rosabeth Moss Kanter
|Rosabeth Moss Kanter|
Rosabeth Kanter (left), with Susan Solomont, in 2010.
March 15, 1943 |
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
|Other names||Rosabeth M. Kanter|
|Alma mater||Bryn Mawr College (BA)
University of Michigan (MA, PhD)
|Occupation||Professor of business at Harvard Business School, management consultant, author|
|Known for||Research on tokenism|
Rosabeth Moss Kanter (born March 15, 1943) is a professor of business at Harvard Business School, where she holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship. In addition she is director and chair of the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative.
Personal life and education
Kanter was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Helen (Smolen) Moss, a schoolteacher, and Nelson Nathan Moss, a lawyer and small-business owner. She has a younger sister, Myra. Kanter described her childhood as "benign" and herself as ambitious, having written a novel and entered essay contests as early as 11 years old.
She graduated from Cleveland Heights High School in 1960 and then went on to study sociology and English literature at Bryn Mawr College, graduating magna cum laude in 1964. The following year she received an MA in sociology and, in 1967, a PhD from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation was on 19th-century utopian communes. Although Kanter later decided to pursue a career in business research, her training as a sociologist informed her thinking and subsequent work.
Before joining the Harvard Business School faculty, Kanter was assistant professor of sociology at Brandeis University from 1967 to 1973 and again from 1974 to 1977, visiting associate professor of administration at Harvard University, as well as professor of sociology at Yale University from 1977 to 1986. She served as editor of the Harvard Business Review from 1989 to 1992, the last academic to hold the job.
Kanter's earliest work as a sociologist focused on utopian communities and communes in the United States. In her 1972 book, Commitment & Community: Communes and Utopias in Sociological Perspective, she argued that the internal characteristics of a utopian community lead to its success or failure. Kanter defined a “successful” commune as one that lasted for longer than thirty-three years. After surveying ninety-one communal projects from the period between 1780 and 1860, she determined that communal groups such as the Shakers, Amana, and Oneida were among the most successful nineteenth-century communes. To explain their success, Kanter noted these groups' rituals and clear boundaries for membership, as well as the "commitment mechanisms" that utopians utilized: sacrifice, investment, renunciation, communion, mortification and transcendence. She concluded that the more that a utopian community asked of its members, the more cohesive and long-lasting it was.
Kanter has written numerous books on business management techniques, particularly change management; she also has a regular column in the Miami Herald. She is known for her classic 1977 study of tokenism—how being a minority in a group can affect one's performance due to enhanced visibility and performance pressure. Her study of Men and Women of the Corporation is a classic in critical management studies, bureaucracy analysis and gender studies.
She was an economic adviser to Michael Dukakis in his 1988 bid for presidency. Together they wrote a book entitled Creating the future: the Massachusetts comeback and its promise for America, an examination of the Massachusetts Miracle.
Kanter co-founded the consulting firm Goodmeasure Inc. and has served as its chair since 1980. Her consulting clients have included large companies such as IBM, Gap Inc., Monsanto, British Airways, and Volvo.
Kanter was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1975 and the Harvard Business Review's McKinsey Award in 1979. Her book Men and Women of the Corporation won the 1977 C. Wright Mills Award for the year's outstanding book on social issues. In 2001, she received the Scholarly Contributions to Management Award by the Academy of Management and, one year later, the Intelligent Community Forum's Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year Award. She holds 23 honorary degrees from various colleges and universities. Her first honorary degree was awarded to her in 1978 by Yale University and her most recent, 23rd degree comes from Aalborg University in Denmark.
The Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award is given in recognition of the best piece of work-family research. The award was created by the Center for Families at Purdue University and the Center for Work and Family at Boston College in honor of Kanter.
She was the top-ranking woman—No. 11 overall—in a 2002 study of Top Business Intellectuals by citation in several sources. She was named one of the "50 most powerful women in Boston" by Boston Magazine and one of the "125 women who changed our world" over the past 125 years by Good Housekeeping magazine in May 2010.
- Kanter, Rosabeth Moss (1972). Commitment and community: communes and utopias in sociological perspective. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-14576-4.
- Kanter, Rosabeth Moss (1984). The change masters: innovation and entrepreneurship in the American corporation. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-52800-3.
- Kanter, Rosabeth Moss; Stein, Barry A. (June 1986). A tale of "O": on being different in an organization. Harper & Row. ISBN 978-0-06-132064-4.
- Kanter, Rosabeth Moss (4 August 2008). Men and Women of the Corporation. PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-0-7867-2384-3.
- Kanter, Rosabeth Moss (1 October 2010). SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good. Profile Books. ISBN 978-1-84765-229-4.
- Kanter, Rosabeth Moss (14 June 2011). "Innovation: the classic traps". Harvard Business Review on Inspiring and Executing Innovation. Harvard Business Press. pp. 149–181. ISBN 978-1-4221-6261-3.
- Kanter, Rosabeth Moss (2015). Move: Putting America's Infrastructure Back in the Lead. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-24680-3.
- Royster, Jacqueline Jones (2003). Profiles of Ohio women, 1803-2003. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-8214-1508-5.
- "Rosabeth M. Kanter". Harvard Business School. Retrieved April 11, 2012.
- "Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative". Harvard University. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- Graham, Judith (1996). Current biography yearbook, 1996. New York: H. W. Wilson. p. 234. ISBN 978-0-8242-0908-7.
- Deutsch, Claudia H. (September 19, 2004). "If at First You Don't Succeed, Believe Harder". The New York Times. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
- Krismann, Carol H. (2005). Encyclopedia of American women in business: from colonial times to the present. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. pp. 299–300. ISBN 978-0-313-32757-5.
- Soley, Lawrence C. (1995). "Leasing the ivory tower: the corporate takeover of academia". Boston, MA: South End Press, p. 79. ISBN 978-0-89608-504-6.
- O'Hara, Mary (November 12, 2008) ."Prophet for a new age". The Guardian. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- Sheldrake, John (2003). Management theory. London: Thomson Learning. p. 231. ISBN 978-1-86152-963-3.
- Hindle, Tim (2008). Guide to management ideas and gurus. London: Profile Books. p. 257–258. ISBN 978-1-84668-108-0.
- Kanter, Rosabeth Moss (1972). Commitment & Community: Communes and Utopias in Sociological Perspective. Harvard University Press. pp. 75–125.
- Kanter, Rosabeth Moss (2008) . Men and Women of the Corporation. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-7867-2384-3.
- Butterfield, Fox (May 1, 1988). "What you see is what you get". The New York Times. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- Cooper, Cary L. (2000). "Who's who in the management sciences". Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. p. 234–237. ISBN 978-1-84064-237-7.
- "Rosabeth Moss Kanter". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved April 11, 2012.
- Pugh, Derek Salman; Hickson, David John (2007). Great writers on organizations. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-7546-7056-8.
- "C. Wright Mills Award Past Winners". The Society for the Study of Social Problems. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
- "Historical Scholarly Contributions to Management Award Winner (Irwin Award)". Academy of Management. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
- "Intelligent Community Awards 2002". Intelligent Community Forum. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
- "Newsmakers". Harvard Gazette (December 24, 2008). Retrieved April 27, 2012.
- "The Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award". Purdue University, Center for Families. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- "Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award". Boston College. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- "Accenture Study Yields Top 50 'Business Intellectuals' Ranking of Top Thinkers and Writers on Management Topics". Accenture. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
- Hall, Alexandra (February 2011). "The 50 Most Powerful Women in Boston". Boston. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
- "125 Women Who Changed Our World". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
- "An Interview with Rosabeth Moss Kanter" in Strategy+Business, July 1999.
- "Rosabeth Moss Kanter – The professor as business leader". Interview in the Ivey Business Journal, March/April 2006.
- Leading Positive Change with Six Steps. Speech at a TEDx event, January 2013.
- Appearances on C-SPAN