Department of Digitalization


Leave: On Leave from CBS
Room: HOW/60-5.13
E-mail: ra.digi@cbs.dk
Primary research areas


Creative Industries

IT Management

Performance Management

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Robert D. Austin is Professor of Management of Innovation and Digital Transformation. He is also an Adjunct Research Professor at the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University (Ontario, Canada).
Before his appointment at CBS, Austin was a professor of Technology and Operations Management at the Harvard Business School, where he taught MBA courses and also extensively in Executive Education. He chaired the school’s executive program for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) from 2002 through 2011.

Professor Austin has authored, coauthored, or co-edited nine books, published by Harvard Business Review Press, Financial Times Prentice Hall, Stanford University Press, McGraw Hill, and others. He has also published widely in both academic and professional journals, such as Harvard Business Review, Information Systems Research, MIT Sloan Management Review, Organization Science, and the Wall Street Journal. He is author, with various coauthors, of several “Most Popular” Harvard Business School cases, more than 60 published cases and notes in total. In addition, he is the faculty author of the “Project Management Simulation: Scope, Resources, Schedule” (Harvard Business School Publishing, 2009, version 2, 2013), and the Case Analysis Coach (an on-line case analysis tutorial, HBS Publishing, 2012).

Professor Austin has extensive management experience, at Ford Motor Company and Novell, as CEO of CBS-SIMI Executive (now CBS Executive, the largest executive education provider in northern Europe), and as Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration at the University of New Brunswick at Fredericton (Canada). Over the years, Dr. Austin has consulted and delivered professional development experiences for many multinational corporations, working mostly with C-level executives, and he has served on numerous boards, especially for technology companies. He has advised the European Commission on “e-Competencies for Innovation” and “e-Leadership.”

MPP Research: Video Portrait - Robert Austin:


Particularly interested in supervising theses related to creative industries, design, innovation and IT management.


Other teaching activities

Teaches seminars around the world on case method teaching for Harvard Business School Publishing.


Selected publications

1. Austin, R. D., & Upton, D. M. (2016). Leading in the Age of Super-Transparency. MIT Sloan Management Review, Winter 2016.

2. Austin, R. D., & Sonne, T. (2014). The Dandelion Principle: Redesigning Work for the Innovation Economy. MIT Sloan Management Review, 55(4), 67. Summer 2014.

3. Austin, R. D., Nolan, R. L. & O’Donnell, S. (2012). Harder Than I Thought: Adventures of a 21st Century Leader, Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

4. Austin, R. D., Devin, L. & Sullivan, E. E. (2012). Accidental Innovation: Supporting Valuable Unpredictability in the Creative Process. Organization Science 23(5), 1398-1408.

5. Devin, L. & Austin, R. D. (2012). The Soul of Design: Harnessing the Power of Plot to Create Extraordinary Products, Palo Alto, CA: Stanford Business Books

6. Austin, R. D. & Nolan, R. L. (2007). Bridging the Gap Between Stewards and Creators. MIT Sloan Management Review 48(2), 29-36, (recipient of the Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize).

7. Austin, R. D. & Devin, L. (2003). Artful Making: What Managers Need to Know About How Artists Work, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Financial Times Prentice Hall.


Publications & dissemination
Stefan Meisiek; Pierre Guillet de Monthoux; Daved Barry; Robert D. Austin / Four Voices : Making a Difference with Art in Management Education.
In: The Routledge Companion to Reinventing Management Education. ed. /Chris Steyaert; Timon Beyes; Martin Parker. Abingdon : Routledge 2016, p. 330-341 (Routledge Companions in Business, Management and Accounting)
Book chapter
Robert D. Austin; David Upton / Leading in the Age of Super-Transparency
In: M I T Sloan Management Review, Vol. 57, No. 2, 2016, p. 25-32
Journal article
Robert D. Austin; Richard L. Nolan; Shannon O'Donnel / The Adventures of an IT Leader
2.ed.Boston : Harvard Business School Press 2016, 352 p.
Robert D. Austin / Foreword
In: Innovations in Knowledge Management: The Impact of Social Media, Semantic Web and Cloud Computing. . ed. /Liana Razmerita; Gloria Phillips-Wren; Lakhmi C. Jain. Heidelberg : Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2015, p. v-vii (Intelligent Systems Reference Library, No. 95)
Robert D. Austin / “Here's to the Crazy Ones” : Why We Need to Rethink “Fitting In” as a Virtue in Innovation-based Business and Society.
In: Journal of Business Anthropology, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2015, p. 259-265
Robert D. Austin; Shannon Hessel / Advancing Relevance and Rigor in 21st Century Leadership Pedagogy Through a “Blended Learning” Experiment
Abstract from The 13th International Studying Leadership Conference. ISLC 2014, 2014
Conference abstract for conference
Robert D. Austin; Thorkil Sonne / The Dandelion Principle : Redesigning Work for the Innovation Economy.
In: M I T Sloan Management Review, Vol. 55, No. 4, 2014, p. 67-72
Journal article
Robert D. Austin; Lee Devin; Erin E. Sullivan / Accidental Innovation : Supporting Valuable Unpredictability in the Creative Process .
In: Organization Science, Vol. 23, No. 5, 2012, p. 1505-1522
Journal article
Robert D. Austin; Richard L. Nolan; Shannon O'Donnell / Harder Than I Thought : Adventures of a Twenty-First Century Leader.
Boston : Harvard Business School Press 2012, 310 p.
Lee Devin; Robert D. Austin / The Soul of Design : Harnessing the Power of Plot to Create Extraordinary Products.
Stanford : Stanford University Press 2012, 192 p.
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