Robert Kaplan.jpg

Robert S. Kaplan
Senior Fellow, Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, Emeritus,

Harvard Business School


Kaplan is the co-developer of both activity-based costing and the Balanced Scorecard. His research, teaching, and consulting focus on linking cost and performance management systems to strategy implementation. For the past six years, he has worked with Michael Porter on the HBS Value Based Health Care initiative to introduce time-driven activity-based costing and value-based bundled payments that motivate the delivery of better patient outcomes at lower cost. He and Anette Mikes are introducing a new framework for measuring and managing organizational risk. He is extending his Balanced Scorecard work to inter-organizational relationships and the creation of shared value. Kaplan speaks globally on performance, strategy execution, and cost management systems.

Kaplan has authored or co-authored 14 books and more than 150 papers including 25 in Harvard Business Review. Recent books include The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage, the fifth Balanced Scorecard book co-authored with David Norton, and Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing with Steve Anderson. His previous books with Norton include Alignment, Strategy Maps, named as one of the top ten business books of 2004 by Strategy & Business and, The Strategy-Focused Organization, named by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young as the best international business book for year 2000, and The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action, which has been translated into 24 languages and won the 2001 Wildman Medal from the American Accounting Association for its impact on practice. He also co-authored Cost and Effect, Implementing Activity-Based Cost Management, and Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting, which received the American Accounting Association Seminal Contributions to Literature Award in 2007.

Kaplan joined the HBS faculty in 1984 after spending 16 years on the faculty of the business school at Carnegie-Mellon University, where he served as Dean from 1977 to 1983. He received a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T., a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Cornell University, and several honorary doctorates.

Elected to the Accounting Hall of Fame in 2006, Kaplan received the Lifetime Contribution Award for Distinguished Contributions to Advancing the Management Accounting Profession from the Institute of Management Accountants in 2008, and the Lifetime Contribution Award from the Management Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association (AAA) in 2006.  He received the Outstanding Accounting Educator Award in 1988 from the AAA, the 1994 CIMA Award from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK) for "Outstanding Contributions to the Accountancy Profession," and the 2001 Distinguished Service Award from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) for contributions to the practice and academic community.