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


Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton
Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton, 2000. Publisher's VersionAbstract

From Nixon to Clinton, Watergate to Whitewater, few Americans have observed the ups and downs of presidential leadership more closely over the past thirty years than David Gergen. A White House adviser to four presidents, both Republican and Democrat, he offers a vivid, behind-the-scenes account of their struggles to exercise power and draws from them key lessons for leaders of the future.

As the twenty-first century opens, Gergen argues, a new golden age may be dawning in America, but its realization will depend heavily upon the success of a new generation at the top. Drawing upon all his many experiences in the White House, he offers seven key lessons for leaders of the future. What they must have, he says, are: inner mastery; a central, compelling purpose rooted in moral values; a capacity to persuade; skills in working within the system; a fast start; a strong, effective team; and a passion that inspires others to keep the flame alive.
Eyewitness to Power is a down-to-earth, authoritative guide to leadership in the tradition of Richard Neustadt's Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents

Leadership Without Easy Answers
Heifetz, Ronald. Leadership Without Easy Answers, 1994. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The economy uncertain, education in decline, cities under siege, crime and poverty spiraling upward, international relations roiling: we look to leaders for solutions, and when they don't deliver, we simply add their failure to our list of woes. In doing do, we do them and ourselves a grave disservice. We are indeed facing an unprecedented crisis of leadership, Ronald Heifetz avows, but it stems as much from our demands and expectations as from any leader's inability to meet them. His book gets at both of these problems, offering a practical approach to leadership for those who lead as well as those who look to them for answers. Fitting the theory and practice of leadership to our extraordinary times, the book promotes a new social contract, a revitalization of our civic life just when we most need it. Drawing on a dozen years of research among managers, officers, and politicians in the public realm and the private sector, among the nonprofits, and in teaching, Heifetz presents clear, concrete prescriptions for anyone who needs to take the lead in almost any situation, under almost any organizational conditions, no matter who is in charge, His strategy applies not only to people at the top but also to those who must lead without authority—activists as well as presidents, managers as well as workers on the front line.

The Political Presidency: Practice of Leadership from Kennedy through Reagan
Kellerman, Barbara. The Political Presidency: Practice of Leadership from Kennedy through Reagan, 1984. Publisher's VersionAbstract

How presidents lead—or fail to—is the central concern of this pointed analysis of political leadership in America. Beginning with a solid theoretical examination of the political leadership, Kellerman moves on to assess the nature of presidential power under America's six most recent administrations and considers the way each president handled the most important item on his domestic agenda.

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Johnson, Paula. Global Philanthropy Report: Perspectives on the Global Foundation Sector. Cambridge: Harvard Kennedy School, 2018.Abstract

Global philanthropy holds immense promise in the 21stcentury. Global giving is growing, gaining visibility, and creating much-needed change around the world . Over time and across geographies the world has witnessed a near-universal charitable instinct to help others. Recent years, however, have seen a marked and promising change in charitable giving - wealthy individuals, families, and corporations are looking to give more, to give more strategically, and to increase the impact of their social investments.

There appears to be a growing belief that institutional philanthropy can encourage more strategic investment approaches; facilitate collaboration; serve as a role model for others; and, in sum, have greater impact on the economic and social challenges being addressed. Despite the growing significance and scale of institutionally-based philanthropy, remarkably little is known about the related resources and their deployment at the national, regional, and global levels. Until the launch of this effort there has been no ongoing and globally coordinated undertaking to quantify the volume of global giving, classify its purposes, or seek to understand its current and potential impact.

In The Global Philanthropy Report: Perspectives on the Global Foundation Sector, lead author Paula Johnson (Harvard Kennedy School), in collaboration with 20 research partners around the world, seeks to develop a knowledge base to address the size, scope, and practice of institutional philanthropy across the globe.

Negotiating Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa: A System Analysis after the Arab Spring, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and the Rise of ISIS
Babbitt, Eileen, Arvid Bell, Alain Lempereur, Brian Mandell, and Dana Wolf. Negotiating Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa: A System Analysis after the Arab Spring, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and the Rise of ISIS. The MENA Negotiation Report. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Kennedy School Negotiation Project, 2017. Publisher's VersionAbstract

With the Arab Spring, the Iran nuclear deal, and the rise of ISIS, the reality in the Middle East and North Africa has changed fundamentally over the past few years. This report aims to make contributions to the understanding of the interconnected conflicts in the MENA region. It assesses the shifted network of relationships and alliances in the Middle East and North Africa and helps evaluate the effectiveness of future negotiation strategies to be employed by key actors with influence in the region.

Full report:

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, 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.

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, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Huang, Karen, M. Yeomans, A.W. Brooks, J. Minson, and F. Gino. “It Doesn't Hurt to Ask: Question-Asking Increases Liking.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2017). Publisher's VersionAbstract
Conversation is a fundamental human experience that is necessary to pursue intrapersonal and interpersonal goals across myriad contexts, relationships, and modes of communication. In the current research, we isolate the role of an understudied conversational behavior: question-asking. Across 3 studies of live dyadic conversations, we identify a robust and consistent relationship between question-asking and liking: people who ask more questions, particularly follow-up questions, are better liked by their conversation partners. When people are instructed to ask more questions, they are perceived as higher in responsiveness, an interpersonal construct that captures listening, understanding, validation, and care. We measure responsiveness with an attitudinal measure from previous research as well as a novel behavioral measure: the number of follow-up questions one asks. In both cases, responsiveness explains the effect of question-asking on liking. In addition to analyzing live get-to-know-you conversations online, we also studied face-to-face speed-dating conversations. We trained a natural language processing algorithm as a “follow-up question detector” that we applied to our speed-dating data (and can be applied to any text data to more deeply understand question-asking dynamics). The follow-up question rate established by the algorithm showed that speed daters who ask more follow-up questions during their dates are more likely to elicit agreement for second dates from their partners, a behavioral indicator of liking. We also find that, despite the persistent and beneficial effects of asking questions, people do not anticipate that question-asking increases interpersonal liking.
Minson, Julia, J.S. Mueller, and R. P. Larrick. “The Contingent Wisdom of Dyads: When Discussion Undermines Versus Enhances the Accuracy of Collaborative Judgments.” Management Science (2017).Abstract
We evaluate the effect of discussion on the accuracy of collaborative judgments. In contrast to prior research, we show that discussion can either aid or impede accuracy relative to simple averaging of collaborators’ independent judgments, as a systematic function of task type and interaction process. On estimation tasks with a wide range of potential estimates, discussion aided accuracy by helping participants prevent and eliminate egregious errors. On estimation tasks with a naturally bounded range, discussion following independent estimates performed on par with averaging. Importantly, if participants did not first make independent estimates, discussion significantly harmed accuracy by limiting the range of considered estimates, independent of task type. Our research shows that discussion can be a powerful tool for error reduction, but only when structured appropriately: Decision-makers should form independent judgments in order to consider a wide range of possible answers, and then use discussion to eliminate extremely large errors.
Fung, Archon. “Infotopia : Unleashing the Democratic Power of Transparency.” Politics & Society 42, no. 2 (2013): 183-212. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In Infotopia, citizens enjoy a wide range of information about the organizations upon which they rely for the satisfaction of their vital interests. The provision of that information is governed by principles of democratic transparency. Democratic transparency both extends and critiques current enthusiasms about transparency. It urges us to conceptualize information politically, as a resource to turn the behavior of large organizations in socially beneficial ways. Transparency efforts have targets, and we should think of those targets as large organizations: public and civic, but especially private and corporate. Democratic transparency consists of four principles. First, information about the operations and actions of large organizations that affect citizens’ interests should be rich, deep, and readily available to the public. Second, the amount of available information should be proportionate to the extent to which those organizations jeopardize citizens’ interests. Third, information should be organized and provided in ways that are accessible to individuals and groups that use that information. Finally, the social, political, and economic structures of society should be organized in ways that allow individuals and groups to take action based on Infotopia’s public disclosures.

Fung, Archon, Hollie Russon Gilman, and Jennifer Shkabatur. “Six Models for the Internet + Politics.” International Studies Review 15 (2013): 30-47. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Many agree that digital technologies are transforming politics. They disagree, however, about the significance and character of that transformation. Many of the pioneers of understanding the distinctive dynamics of new digital media platforms—social media and collaborative production—are quite optimistic about the potential for the Internet to dramatically increase the quality of democratic governance. On the other hand, some political scientists who have examined actual patterns of political activity and expression on digital platforms come away skeptical that digital platforms will bring equality or inclusion to democratic politics. We bring these two opposed perspectives in this article by developing six models of how digital technologies might affect democratic politics: the empowered public sphere, displacement of traditional organizations by new digitally self-organized groups, digitally direct democracy, truth-based advocacy, constituent mobilization, and crowd-sourced social monitoring. Reasoning from the character of political incentives and institutional constraints, we argue that the first three revolutionary and transformative models are less likely to occur than the second three models that describe incremental contributions of technology to politics.

Fung, Archon, David Weil, and Mary Graham. “Targeting Transparency.” Science 340 (2013): 1410-1411. Publisher's VersionAbstract

When rules, taxes, or subsidies prove impractical as policy tools, governments increasingly employ “targeted transparency,” compelling disclosure of information as an alternative means of achieving specific objectives. For example, the U.S. Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires calories be posted on menus to enlist both restaurants and patrons in the effort to reduce obesity. It is crucial to understand when and how such targeted transparency works, as well as when it is inappropriate. Research about its use and effectiveness has begun to take shape, drawing on social and behavioral scientists, economists, and legal scholars. We explore questions central to the performance of targeted transparency policies.

Kylander, Nathalie, and Christopher Stone. “The Role of Brand in the Nonprofit Sector.” Stanford Social Innovation Review (2012): 36-41. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Many nonprofits continue to use their brands primarily as a fund- raising tool, but a growing number of nonprofits are developing a broader and more strategic approach, managing their brands to create greater social impact and tighter organizational cohesion. 

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Working Papers

Other Publications


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?


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, 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. “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 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.