The Changing Focus of MBA Programs in America: Leadership Education at Harvard Business School

Nobuo Sato, Executive Director of the HBS Japan Research Center in Tokyo, examines the changes taking place in HBS MBA leadership education over a 15 year period, and the shifting focus of MBA programs in the US.

Over the past 15 years the approach to business education in MBA programs in America has been changing in response to external shocks such as the Enron scandal, WorldCom scandal and Global Financial Crisis. Harvard Business School (HBS) is not an exception. This presentation will examine in detail the changes taking place in HBS MBA leadership education over a 15 year period and briefly touch upon additional changes being implemented at other US business schools to show the shifting focus of MBA programs in America.


Nobuo Sato

Nobuo Sato is the Executive Director of the HBS Japan Research Center in Tokyo. Nobuo joined HBS in August 2009 and previously was a Partner at Egon Zehnder International for ten years, mainly covering the financial services sector in Tokyo. Before joining Egon Zehnder International in 1993, he worked at a leading Japanese bank, The Industrial Bank of Japan (IBJ), for 15 years including six years in London and two years at HBS undertaking his MBA (class of 1982). He obtained his BA in Economics from Keio University in Tokyo in 1978.

Nobuo Sato was a Featured Speaker at The Asian Conference on Business and Public Policy 2015 (ACBPP2015) in Kobe, Japan.

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Born and raised in Brighton, England, Thaddeus Pope is an experienced commercial and editorial photographer with a BA in Photography from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Thaddeus’s duties at IAFOR include overseeing the design, media and marketing output of the organisation, as well as producing photo-essays, short documentaries and other visual content for IAFOR and its publications, including THINK. In January 2015, Thaddeus was named as the Creative Director of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award. tpope@iafor.org (in English)