Harvard Law School
Program on the Legal Profession
1585 Massachusetts Avenue
Wasserstein Hall, Suite 5018
Heidi K. Gardner, PhD teaches, researches, speaks and consults on topics related to leadership, collaboration and teamwork in knowledge-based organizations, focusing especially on professional service firms. She is on the faculty at Harvard Business School and teaches executive courses at Harvard Kennedy School and at Harvard’s learning center in Shanghai, China.
Her current research explores issues of peer collaboration in complex, knowledge-based, high autonomy environments. She is currently conducting a large-scale empirical study of partner-level collaboration across several professional service firms. Using more than a decade of time sheet and financial records from two global law firms, her research analyzes the benefits and costs to firms and individuals of working collaboratively. Client interviews illuminate their perspective on collaboration.
She also investigates how leadership and organizational design support collaboration, innovation, and high-quality client service. In another in-depth study, she followed a firm for more than two years as it attempted to move from a highly individualistic, “eat what you kill” environment toward a strategy dependent on cross-selling and collaboration. Results from four rounds of surveys with hundreds of global partners and over a hundred executive and partner interviews shed light on the role of formal and informal leaders, compensation and culture.
Heidi has published articles in the Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management Journal and more. Her research was awarded the Academy of Management’s prize for Outstanding Practical Implications for Management. Her work has been featured in media such as the Economist, Boston Globe, MSN.com, CNN Money, Fortune.com and CBSNews.com.
Heidi has lived and worked on four continents. She previously worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co. in London, Johannesburg and New York, and as a manager for Procter & Gamble. She also held a Fulbright fellowship in Germany, and studied and taught in Japan.
PhD, London Business School
Masters Degree (highest distinction), London School of Economics
BA in Japanese Studies (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), University of Pennsylvania