Karim R. Lakhani

Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration
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Karim R. Lakhani is the Charles E. Wilson Professor of Business Administration and the Dorothy and Michael Hintze Fellow at the Harvard Business School. He specializes in technology management, innovation, digital transformation and artificial intelligence (AI). His innovation-related research is centered around his role as the founder and co-director of the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard and as the principal investigator of the NASA Tournament Laboratory.

Karim is known for his original scholarship on open source communities and innovation contests and has pioneered the use of field experiments to help solve innovation-related challenges while simultaneously generating rigorous research in partnership with organizations like NASA, Harvard Medical School, The Broad Institute, TopCoder, The Linux Foundation and various private organizations.
His digital transformation research investigates the role of analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) in reshaping business and operating models. This research is complemented through his leadership as co-founder of the Harvard Business School Digital Initiative and as co-founder and co-chair of the Harvard Business Analytics Program, a university-wide online program transforming for mid-career executives into data-savvy leaders.
Karim has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers in leading management, economics and natural science journals, executive-oriented articles in Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review, and Harvard Business School case studies. He is the co-editor of two books from MIT Press on open and distributed innovation models including Revolutionizing Innovation: Users, Communities and Open Innovation (2016) and Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software (2005). He is the co-author of Competing in the Age of AI (2020) a book published by the Harvard Business Review Press. His research has been featured in BusinessWeek, The Boston Globe, The Economist, Fast Company, Inc., MarketWatch, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Science, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, WBUR, WGBH, and Wired.

Karim has taught extensively in Harvard Business School’s MBA, executive, doctoral and online programs. He has co-developed new courses on Digital Innovation & Transformation, Digital Strategy and Innovation, and Laboratory to Market.

He co-chairs the HBS executive program on Competing with Big Data and Business Analytics, various custom executive education offerings and developed the HarvardX online course on Technology Entrepreneurship.

Karim was awarded his Ph.D. in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds an SM degree in Technology and Policy from MIT, and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Management from McMaster University in Canada. He was a recipient of the Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship and a doctoral fellowship from Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council. Prior to coming to HBS he served as a Lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Karim has also worked in sales, marketing and new product development roles at GE Healthcare and was a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group.
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