Publications

Through books and scholarly submissions, CPL faculty and affiliates offer cutting-edge research in the areas of public policy, innovation, decision-making, and leadership.

Books

Is the American Century Over?
Nye, Joseph. Is the American Century Over?, 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

For more than a century, the United States has been the world's most powerful state. Now some analysts predict that China will soon take its place. Does this mean that we are living in a post-American world? Will China's rapid rise spark a new Cold War between the two titans?

In this compelling essay, world renowned foreign policy analyst, Joseph Nye, explains why the American century is far from over and what the US must do to retain its lead in an era of increasingly diffuse power politics. America's superpower status may well be tempered by its own domestic problems and China's economic boom, he argues, but its military, economic and soft power capabilities will continue to outstrip those of its closest rivals for decades to come.

Leadership for a Fractured World: How to Cross Boundaries, Build Bridges, and Lead Change
Williams, Dean. Leadership for a Fractured World: How to Cross Boundaries, Build Bridges, and Lead Change, 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Leaders today—whether in corporations or associations, nonprofits or nations—face massive, messy, multidimensional problems. No one person or group can possibly solve them—they require the broadest possible cooperation. But, says Harvard scholar Dean Williams, our leadership models are still essentially tribal: individuals with formal authority leading in the interest of their own group. In this deeply needed new book, he outlines an approach that enables leaders to transcend internal and external boundaries and help people to collaborate, even people over whom they technically have no power.

Drawing on what he's learned from years of working in countries and organizations around the world, Williams shows leaders how to approach the delicate and creative work of boundary spanning, whether those boundaries are cultural, organizational, political, geographic, religious, or structural. Sometimes leaders themselves have to be the ones who cross the boundaries between groups. Other times, a leader's job is to build relational bridges between divided groups or even to completely break down the boundaries that block collaborative problem solving. By thinking about power and authority in a different way, leaders will become genuine change agents, able to heal wounds, resolve conflicts, and bring a fractured world together.

Hard Times: Leadership in America
Kellerman, Barbara. Hard Times: Leadership in America, 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Leadership has never played a more prominent role in America's national discourse, and yet our opinions of leaders are at all-time lows. Private sector leaders are widely seen as greedy to the point of being corrupt. Public sector leaders are viewed as incompetent to the point of being inept. And, levels of trust in government have plummeted. As the title of this book conveys, leaders in America are experiencing hard times.

Barbara Kellerman argues that we focus on leaders, and even on followers, while ignoring an essential element of leadership: context. This book is a corrective. It enables leaders to track the terrain that they must navigate in order to create change. Rather than a handy-dandy manual on what to do and how to do it, Hard Times is structured as a checklist. Twenty-four brief sections cover key aspects of the American landscape. They trace evolutions and revolutions that have revised our norms, transformed our populations and institutions, and shifted our culture.

Kellerman's crash course on context reveals how significant it is to leadership. Clearer still is the fact that leadership is more difficult than it has ever been. It is context that explains why leadership is so fraught with frustration. And, it is context that makes evident why leadership will be better exercised if it is better understood. Calling out patterns that emerge from the checklist, Kellerman challenges leaders to do better. This fascinating read will change the way that all of us think about leadership, while compelling us to consider what it means for our future.

The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See
Bazerman, Max. The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See, 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

From Harvard Business School Professor and Co-Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership: A guide to making better decisions, noticing important information in the world around you, and improving leadership skills.

Imagine your advantage in negotiations, decision-making, and leadership if you could teach yourself to see, and evaluate, information that others overlook. The Power of Noticingprovides the blueprint for accomplishing precisely that. Max Bazerman, an expert in the field of applied behavioral psychology, draws on three decades of research and his experience instructing Harvard Business School MBAs and corporate executives to teach you how to notice and act on information that may not be immediately obvious.

Drawing on a wealth of real-world examples, from the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, Bazerman diagnoses what information went ignored in these situations, and why. Using many of the same case studies and thought experiments designed in his executive MBA classes, he challenges readers to explore their cognitive blind spots, identify any salient details they are programmed to miss, and then take steps to ensure it won’t happen again. While many bestselling business books have explained how susceptible to manipulation our irrational cognitive blindspots make us, Bazerman helps you avoid the habits that lead to poor decisions and ineffective leadership in the first place. His bookprovides a step-by-step guide to breaking bad habits and spotting the hidden details that will change your decision-making and leadership skills for the better, teaching you to: pay attention to what didn’t happen; acknowledge self-interest; invent the third choice; and realize that what you see is not all there is.

With The Power of Noticing at your side, you can learn how to notice what others miss, make better decisions, and lead more successfully.

Blind Spots: Why We Fail To Do What's Right And What To Do About It
Bazerman, Max, and Ann Tenbrunsel. Blind Spots: Why We Fail To Do What's Right And What To Do About It, 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract

When confronted with an ethical dilemma, most of us like to think we would stand up for our principles. But we are not as ethical as we think we are. In Blind Spots, leading business ethicists Max Bazerman and Ann Tenbrunsel examine the ways we overestimate our ability to do what is right and how we act unethically without meaning to. From the collapse of Enron and corruption in the tobacco industry, to sales of the defective Ford Pinto, the downfall of Bernard Madoff, and the Challenger space shuttle disaster, the authors investigate the nature of ethical failures in the business world and beyond, and illustrate how we can become more ethical, bridging the gap between who we are and who we want to be.

Explaining why traditional approaches to ethics don't work, the book considers how blind spots like ethical fading--the removal of ethics from the decision--making process--have led to tragedies and scandals such as the Challenger space shuttle disaster, steroid use in Major League Baseball, the crash in the financial markets, and the energy crisis. The authors demonstrate how ethical standards shift, how we neglect to notice and act on the unethical behavior of others, and how compliance initiatives can actually promote unethical behavior. They argue that scandals will continue to emerge unless such approaches take into account the psychology of individuals faced with ethical dilemmas. Distinguishing our "should self" (the person who knows what is correct) from our "want self" (the person who ends up making decisions), the authors point out ethical sinkholes that create questionable actions.

Suggesting innovative individual and group tactics for improving human judgment, Blind Spots shows us how to secure a place for ethics in our workplaces, institutions, and daily lives.

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Reports

Laidler-Kylander, Nathalie, Steven Strauss, and Laura Winig. On Your Bike! Using Marketing Mix to Drive Successful Bicycle Sharing Programs in Europe. Cambridge: Harvard Kennedy School, 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

European municipalities, eager to increase the use of environmentally friendly forms of public transportation, offered bicycle sharing programs as adjuncts to their public transportation systems. This case focuses on the bicycle sharing systems in three mid-sized European cities: Mainz, Germany, Lille, France and Antwerp, Belgium. The case describes the market segments within each city and lays out the marketing mix variables-the 4Ps (product, price, place and promotion)-to allow students to compare and contrast the cities' opportunities and challenges. The protagonist in each city is charged with using the marketing mix to help his or her city reach its goals: in Mainz, to reach breakeven; in Lille, to increase bicycle usage from 2% to 10% and in Antwerp, to persuade drivers to commute by bicycle instead of by car.

Johnson, Paula, and Colleen Kelly. Haiti Funders Forum Feasibility Study. Cambridge: Hauser Institute, Harvard Kennedy School, 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Hauser Institute conducted a new study exploring the value, parameters, and sustainability of a Haiti Funders Forum. In collaboration with The Haiti Fund at the Boston Foundation and with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, researchers Paula Johnson and Colleen Kelly conducted a series of conversations with funder network leaders, individual interviews with Haiti funders, and a survey of a broad range of funders and other constituents to analyze and assess the potential activities and operational issues of a forum. The creation of a Haiti Funders Forum would aim to increase the effectiveness of philanthropy in Haiti by promoting information sharing, networking, and collaboration among grantmakers and social investors and through advocacy for increased philanthropy to and within the country.
 
The report summarizes the findings and makes recommendations on a Forum’s values, mission, and goals; functions and activities; and institutional and operational aspects.

Johnson, Paula, Christine Letts, and Colleen Kelly. From Prosperity to Purpose: Perspectives on Philanthropy and Social Investment among Wealthy Individuals in Latin America. Zurich and Cambridge: UBS Philanthropy Advisory and Hauser Institute, 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

From Prosperity to Purpose: Perspectives on Philanthropy and Social Investment among Wealthy Individuals in Latin America explores private giving and social investment among high net worth individuals and families in six Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru), analyzing donors' motivations and aspirations; philanthropic practices and operations; challenges and obstacles to giving; and the types of support, resources, and policy reforms that might increase giving and strengthen its impact.

Completed by researchers at the Hauser Institute at Harvard University and supported by UBS, From Prosperity to Purpose is an effort to advance the understanding, practice, and impact of philanthropy in Latin America.

Laidler-Kylander, Nathalie, and Pamela Varley. Measured Approach: TEGV Assesses Its Performance & Impact on Educational Enrichment Programs. Cambridge: Harvard Kennedy School, 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This case traces the evolution of thinking about, and the implementation of, performance assessment at one of Turkey's largest and most respected nonprofit organizations, the Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey (TEGV). TEGV delivers a broad array of educational enrichment programs to low income children across Turkey through a team of volunteers. In contrast to many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across the world, which have adopted performance measurement reluctantly, as a necessary but onerous condition of receiving grant funds, TEGV embraced the idea early, for its own organizational purposes. In the course of telling TEGV's performance assessment story, the case includes detailed descriptions of two different approaches to program review and two broader impact studies. It includes 17 pages of exhibits-most of which provide samples of study results for students to review and discuss. TEGV's approach to assessment has been varied, creative and has evolved over time. Students of performance evaluation will likely see both pluses and minuses in the nature of each assessment described in this case, ensuring a rich and lively discussion.

Jayawickrama, Sherine, and Alnoor Ebrahim. Building and Governing a Democratic Federation: The ActionAid International Story. Cambridge: Harvard Kennedy School, 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Like many international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), ActionAid International (AAI) confronts a very different external context than it did when it was founded 41 years ago. Traditional “aid” or “charity” is now widely recognized as being insufficient for addressing persistent poverty and inequality. The role of the state and local ownership in developing countries, as well as the role of social movements, is on the rise. Geopolitical influence is being realigned – away from the United States and Western Europe – in a multi-polar world. Technology is putting more capabilities into the hands of ordinary people to access and share information, and to network and act with others. At the same time, poverty and rights violations still persist. Like its peer INGOs, AAI is confronted by increased competition for resources, intensifying demands for accountability, and heightened scrutiny by governments – all against the backdrop of AAI’s own increasing ambitions for impact and growth. To be successful, AAI’s business model and governance model must enable agility and efficiency, as well as legitimacy and accountability in the forms of citizen voice and demonstrable results. This report explores AAI’s internationalization journey and the governance model that has emerged in the course of that journey. It describes the evolution of AAI’s governance model and draws key lessons for peer INGOs. The paper is based on a governance model review recently commissioned by AAI and conducted by the authors2 under the auspices of the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University. This review drew from 60 interviews, group discussions, 80 survey responses, desk review of key internal documents and a review of lessons learned from four peer INGOs3 . While the report of AAI’s governance model review (an internal document) articulated specific findings and recommendations aimed at strengthening AAI’s governance, this paper seeks to tell the story of AAI’s internationalization journey with a view to providing useful insights to individuals and organizations external to ActionAid (and serving as a useful briefing document to new ActionAid staff and new members of ActionAid governing bodies at all levels).

Jayawickrama, Sherine. Diversifying Membership and Building Inclusion in Governance: Lessons from Plan International’s Experience. Cambridge: Harvard Kennedy School, 2012. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Given its lessons from Thailand, India, Colombia and Brazil – and the opportunity to learn from and possibly advance beyond some peer INGOs – Plan International confronts an interesting set of opportunities and challenges. External conditions are signaling the need to become a truly international organization (rather than an organization dominated by northern powers), and internal appetite is growing for a more inclusive organization where southern perspectives are represented in the upper reaches of governance. Thus far, creating FCNOs has been seen mainly as a country-by-country process. What is evident is that the choice of broadening the number of countries in transition, as well as expediting the process of transition, amounts to a transformation of the global organization (not just a transformation of country offices). Visionary leadership is required to paint a picture of why such change is required, how it will make the organization more effective, and what it will take to get there. In the absence of such visionary leadership, fundamental disagreements about the change required – or the need to change at all – can persist. Given that such disagreements over FCNOs are already evident among members of Plan International, it is worth taking the time to build consensus on the need for change and the broad dimensions of change required. Although it is tempting to minimize the amount of change required, it is vital (to long-term success) to establish a sense of urgency, acknowledge the implications of change, plan systematically and manage the change process deliberately.

Jayawickrama, Sherine. Diversifying Membership and Building Inclusion in Governance: Lessons from Plan International’s Experience, 2012. Publisher's VersionAbstract

For INGOs whose business models, organizational structures and governance systems originate from an earlier era, significant changes in the aid landscape demand a fundamental rethinking of identities, roles and relevance. This paper examines Plan International’s experience with respect to transitioning country offices into members of Plan International in their own right. It draws out the major lessons to be learned from Plan International’s experience with organizational evolution in Thailand, India, Colombia and Brazil, and proposes a framework for an organizational evolution agenda going forward.

Oxfam International: Moving Toward "One Oxfam", 2012.Abstract

Oxfam International is moving from a system in which multiple, autonomous Oxfam affiliates could work in any given country to a single management structure (SMS) in each country, but with a continuing commitment to preserving a diverse confederation. This has been a complex process that aims to deliver greater impact, efficiency and recognition. This paper examines the major features of change and explores the key lessons learned in the process.

Role of Brand in the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.Abstract

The perceived role of brands, and attitudes towards branding in the nonprofit sector, appear to be at an inflection point. While some in the sector are skeptical about brands, believing that the brand is essentially a fundraising tool, many are embracing a more strategic role for their brands in driving long term social goals and building internal cohesion and capacity. An 18-month study on the role of brand in the nonprofit sector resulted in a project overviewStanford Social Innovation Review article, and four case studies on nonprofit branding.

Approaches to Development and Humanitarian Action: NGO Profiles and Synthesis, 2010.Abstract

This is a set of nine profiles – of the programmatic approaches or theories of change of CARE USA, Catholic Relief Services, Habitat for Humanity International, International Rescue Committee, Médicins Sans Frontières, Mercy Corps, Oxfam America, Save the Children and World Vision – pulled together by a synthesis of common threads, distinctive features, and major implications.

The World Ahead: Implications for US INGOS, 2010.Abstract

This paper considers how the landscape of development and humanitarian action is likely to change over the next ten years, what that will mean for development and emergency-related needs, and what the implications are for the relevance of U.S.-based INGOs. It examines the challenges INGOs will face, explores the potential for new opportunities, and poses questions about the future of INGOs.

What Makes International NGOs Distinctive? Contributions, Characteristics and Challenges, 2009.Abstract

This paper explores the distinctive contributions that INGOs have made in development and humanitarian crises, the characteristics that enable them to make these contributions, and the limitations to their effectiveness. Twenty-six interviews—with leaders of INGOs, scholars of civil society, and a few southern NGO leaders and senior foundation staff—provided the fodder for this paper.

Journal Articles

Working Papers

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Other Publications

Cases

Gordon, Rachel, and Alnoor Ebrahim. “ActionAid International: Globalizing Governance, Localizing Accountability,” 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract

As a global NGO working in 45 countries, ActionAid International aims to eradicate poverty by addressing its underlying causes such as injustice and inequality. This case follows a series of radical transformations implemented by the organization's CEO, Ramesh Singh—a power shift from its headquarters in London to an international secretariat in Johannesburg; a new federated governance structure that increases the influence of units in Africa and Asia; and, innovations in accountability and transparency to the poor communities with which it works. But as Singh gets ready to step down after seven years, he is confronted with challenges from newly empowered country units that he feels risk taking the organization in the wrong direction. How will the divisions between the Northern and Southern units play out? Will they tear the organization apart, just when it is becoming a global player?

Reviews

Book Chapters

Fung, Archon. “Popular Election Monitoring.” In Race, Reform, and Regulatory Institutions: Recurring Puzzles in American Democracy, edited by Heather Gerken, Guy-Uriel E Charles, and Michael S Kang, 2011. Publisher's Version
Fung, Archon. “Democracy and the Policy Process.” In Oxford Handbook of Public Policy, edited by Martin Rein, Michael Moran, and Robert E Goodin, 669-685. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Fung, Archon, and Susan Rosegrant. “What Should Be Built at Ground Zero?.” In Ethics and Politics: Cases and Comments, edited by Amy Gutmann and Dennis F Thompson, 303-312. 4th ed. Belmont, Ca: Thomson-Wadsworth, 2006.
Fung, Archon, and Scott Zdrazil. “Ecologies of Workforce Development in Milwaukee.” In Workforce Development Politics: Civic Capacity and Performance, edited by Robert P Giloth, 75-101. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004.