Hayagreeva Rao

Hayagreeva Rao
Professor, Organizational Behavior
Contact Info
Professor of Sociology (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences
BP Faculty Fellow in Global Management for 2019-2020
Academic Area: 
Organizational Behavior

Additional Administrative Titles

  • Co-Director, Customer-Focused Innovation
  • Director, People, Culture, and Performance: Strategies from Silicon Valley
  • Co-Director, Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate
Academic Co-Director, Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate

Research Statement

Professor Rao studies collective action within organizations and in markets. His research and by implication, his teaching, revolves around scaling up mobilization, innovation, and talent in organizations.

Teaching Statement

Professor Rao teaches courses on Scaling up Excellence, HR for Startups, and Launch to Liquidity - a course he coteaches with Professors Levav and Rauh.


His most recent book, co-authored with Bob Sutton of the School of Engineering at Stanford, is Scaling Up Excellence. The book is a  Wall Street Journal Best seller, and was included in the best business books to read in 2014 by Financial Times, Inc Magazine, Amazon, Forbes, Washington Post and the Library Journal.

His research has been published in journals such as the Administrative Science Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science and Strategic Management Journal. He is also the author of “Market Rebels: How Activists Make or Break Radical Innovation”, Princeton University Press. 2009.

He served as the Editor of Administrative Science Quarterly, and has been a member of the editorial boards of American Journal of Sociology and Organization Science and Academy of Management Review. He has been a Member of the Organizational Innovation and Change Panel of the National Science Foundation.

He is a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Science, a Fellow of the Sociological Research Association and also a Fellow of the Academy of Management.

His teaching specialties include leading organizational change, building customer focused cultures, and organization design. He teaches courses on these topics to MBA and executive audiences. He has consulted with, and conducted executive workshops for, organizations such as Aon Corporation, British Petroleum, CEMEX, General Electric, Hearst Corporation, IBM, Mass Mutual, James Hardie Company, Seyfarth and Shaw. Additionally, he also worked with nonprofit organizations such as the American Cancer Society and governmental organizations such as the FBI and CIA, and the intelligence community.

Among the awards he has received are the Sidney Levy Teaching Award from the Kellogg School of Management, and the W. Richard Scott Distinguished Award for Scholarship from the American Sociological Association.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Case Western Reserve University, 1989
  • Post-Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, XLRI, India, 1980
  • BA, Andhra University, India, 1978

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford University since 2005
  • Richard L.Thomas Distinguished Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2002-2005
  • Charles Howard Candler Professor of Management, Emory University Goizueta Business School, April-June 2002
  • Professor of Organization & Management, Emory University Goizueta Business School, 2000-2002
  • Associate Professor of Organization & Management, Emory University Goizueta Business School , 1995-2000;
  • Assistant Professor of Organization & Management, Emory University Goizueta Business School, 1989-1994

Awards and Honors

  • BP Faculty Fellow in Global Management, 2018-2019
  • BP Faculty Fellow in Global Management, 2017-2018
  • Fellow, Academy of Management, 2008
  • Fellow of Sociological Research Association, American Sociological Association, 2007
  • W. Richard Scott Distinguished Award for Scholarly Contributions, American Sociological Association, 2005
  • Sidney Levy Award For Teaching, Kellogg School of Management, 2004
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Science, 2004


Journal Articles

Peter W. Glynn, Henrich R. Greve, Hayagreeva Rao. Industrial and Corporate Change. December 2019, Vol. 29, Issue 1, Pages 125–142.
Dan J. Wang, Hayagreeva Rao, Sarah A. Soule. American Sociological Review. June 1, 2019, Vol. 84, Issue 3, Pages 420-458.
Hayagreeva Rao, Henrich R. Greve. Academy of Management Journal. February 28, 2018, Vol. 61, Issue 1, Pages 5-25.
Hayagreeva Rao, Sunasir Dutta. Strategy Science. December 12, 2017, Vol. 3, Issue 1, Pages 313-322.
David P. Baron, Margaret Ann Neale, Hayagreeva Rao. Strategy Science. June 2, 2016, Vol. 1, Issue 2, Pages 105-126.
Sunasir Dutta, Hayagreeva Rao. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. July 2015, Vol. 129, Pages 36-47.
Lori Yue, Hayagreeva Rao, Paul Ingram. Administrative Science Quarterly. October 21, 2013, Vol. 58, Issue 4, Pages 669-701.
Hayagreeva Rao, Sunasir Dutta. Administrative Science Quarterly. November 19, 2012, Vol. 57, Issue 4 , Pages 625-668.
Henrich R. Greve, Hayagreeva Rao. American Journal of Sociology. 2012, Vol. 118, Issue 3, Pages 635-675.
Christophe Boone, Carolyn H. Declerck, Hayagreeva Rao, Kristin Van den Buys. Poetics. 2012, Vol. 40, Issue 1, Pages 44-66.
Giacomo Negro, Michael T. Hannan, Hayagreeva Rao. Organizational Science. 2011, Vol. 22 , Issue 6, Pages 1449-1463.
Hayagreeva Rao, Lori Qingyuan Yue, Paul Ingram. American Sociological Review. 2011, Vol. 76, Issue 3, Pages 365-385.
Elizabeth Pontikes, Giacomo Negro, Hayagreeva Rao. American Sociological Review. June 2010, Vol. 75, Issue 3, Pages 456-478.
Giacomo Negro, Michael T. Hannan, Hayagreeva Rao. Industrial and Corporate Change. 2010, Vol. 19, Pages 1397-1425.
Henrich Greve, Jo-Ellen Pozner, Hayagreeva Rao. American Journal of Sociology. 2010, Vol. 116, Issue 2, Pages 656-662.
Klaus Weber, Hayagreeva Rao, L. G. Thomas. American Sociological Review. 2009, Vol. 74, Issue 1, Pages 106-127.
Timothy J. Rowley, Henrich R. Greve, Hayagreeva Rao, Joel A. C. Baum, Andrew V. Shipilov. Academy of Management Journal. June 1, 2005, Vol. 48, Issue 3, Pages 499-520.
Hayagreeva Rao, Philippe Monin, Rodolphe Durand. American Sociological Review. 2005, Vol. 70, Issue 6, Pages 968-991.
Paul Ingram, Hayagreeva Rao. American Journal of Sociology. 2004, Vol. 110, Issue 2, Pages 446–487.
Hayagreeva Rao, Philippe Monin, Rodolphe Durand. American Journal of Sociology. January 2003, Vol. 108, Issue 4, Pages 795-843.
Hayagreeva Rao, Robert Drazin. Academy of Management Journal. 2002, Vol. 45, Issue 3, Pages 491-507.


Robert I. Sutton, Hayagreeva Rao Crown Business, 2014.
Hayagreeva Rao Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.

Working Papers


Degree Courses


This course focuses attention on human resource strategies for startups. It discusses recruitment, incentives, design of jobs, development of talent, leadership and empowerment challenges in startups. We will deal with questions ranging from...

This seminar considers the leading sociological approaches to analyzing relations of organizations and environments, with a special emphasis on dynamics. Attention is given to theoretical formulations, research designs, and results of empirical...

Executive Education & Other Non-Degree Programs

Stanford Case Studies

AstraZeneca: Scaling Simplification | HR45
Hayagreeva Rao, Julie Makinen2017
The 100,000 Homes Campaign | L30
Sarah Soule, Huggy Rao, Robert Sutton, Davina Drabkin2016
Adobe: Building Momentum by Abandoning Annual Performance Reviews for “Check-Ins” | HR38
Rebecca Hinds, Robert Sutton, Hayagreeva Rao2014
BuildDirect: Constructing a Culture That Can Weather the Storms | E526
Robert Sutton, Hayagreeva Rao, Rebecca Hinds2014
Navy SEALs: Selecting and Training for an Elite Fighting Force | HR40
Hayagreeva Rao, Carter Bowen, Gib Lopez2014
Peixe Urbano (A) The Ride Up the Roller Coaster | E494A
Hayagreeva Rao, Yin Li2014
Peixe Urbano (B) From Founder to Turnaround CEO | E494B
Hayagreeva Rao, Yin Li2014
The Rapid Equipping Force Customer Focused Innovation in the U.S. Army | L20
Hayagreeva Rao, Robert Sutton, David Hoyt2013
Chemrad Corporation: President and CEO Search | HR36
Hayagreeva Rao, Thomas J Friel2010
Gruppo illy SpA (B): Università del Caffè | SM188B
Glenn Carroll, Victoria Chang, Hayagreeva Rao2010
Illycaffè and Gruppo illy (A): Expanding Beyond Gourmet Coffee | SM188A
Glenn Carrol, Victoria Chang, David Hoyt, Hayagreeva Rao2010
JetBlue Airways, A New Beginning | L17
David Hoyt, Charles O'Reilly III, Hayagreeva Rao, Robert Sutton2010
Mozilla: Scaling Through a Community of Volunteers | HR35
David Hoyt, Hayagreeva Rao, Robert Sutton2009
Scaling: How China-Based VanceInfo Grows Big Fast | HR34
Hayagreeva Rao, Pamela Yatsko2009
Chez Panisse Foundation: Scaling Up A Delicious Revolution | HR33
Gili Elkin, Hayagreeva Rao2008
Employee Recognition at Intuit | HR31
David Hoyt, Hayagreeva Rao2008
Infosys: Building a Talent Engine to Sustain Growth | HR30
David Hoyt, Hayagreeva Rao2007

Stanford University Affiliations

Stanford GSB

Greater Stanford University

Service to the Profession

  • Editor, Administrative Science Quarterly, 2008-2011
  • Member, Macro-Organizational Behavior Society, 1997-present
  • Consulting Editor, American Journal of Sociology, 2001-2003
  • Member, Organization and Innovation Panel, National Science Foundation, 2000-2002
  • Senior Editor, Organization Science, 2000-2002

In the Media

Stanford eCorner: FRICTION with Bob Sutton, August 8, 2018
Bussiness Insider Australia, March 30, 2015

Insights by Stanford Business

November 12, 2018
Want to scale your company? Then take good care of your best employees.
September 14, 2018
Stanford GSB faculty suggest books and articles related to the theme.
April 5, 2018
A Stanford study explores how communities recover — or fail to recover — from disasters.
July 28, 2015
Fear of contagion makes people irrational.
January 21, 2015
Professor Huggy Rao provides a practical framework for changing your company from the inside out.
December 11, 2014
Explore 10 Stanford Business stories from 2014, including pieces on happiness and networking.
January 7, 2014
Two Stanford professors discuss their new book, Scaling Up Excellence, which reveals how the best leaders and teams create a growth mindset.
October 1, 2013
A game-changing idea can win or lose depending on how quickly the consumer “gets” it.
September 28, 2012
Hayagreeva Rao explains why innovation is about more than just new technology.
July 1, 2010
Researchers explore the role of 1950s-era social networks in the Hollywood "Red Scare."

School News

July 25, 2018
The Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative is amassing a huge database and network to nourish the fast-growing sector.
January 26, 2017
Rupert Murdoch notes positive impact of Latino-owned businesses at Jan. 18 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Event