Robert Austin

Business Technology & Digital Transformation Strategies

Robert D. Austin is a Fellow of Cutter's Business Technology & Digital Transformation Strategies and Data Analytics & Digital Technologies practices and a member of Arthur D. Little's AMP open consulting network. He is a former editor of Cutter Benchmark Review and a regular speaker at the annual Cutter Summit. Dr. Austin served as a professor on the faculty at Harvard Business School for more than a decade, and then as Professor of Management of Innovation & Digital Transformation at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. He is currently Professor of Information Systems at Ivey Business School in Canada and an affiliated faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

For many years, Dr. Austin served as Chair of Harvard Business School’s (HBS) executive program for CIOs and is a former HBS Professor in economics, financial reporting, IT, and operations management for MBAs and executives. He has served on numerous boards, especially for technology companies. He is a member of the international jury for the CIO 100 Awards, a judge for MIT Sloan’s International CIO Leadership Award, and has advised the European Commission on “e-Competencies for Innovation” and “e-Leadership.”

Dr. Austin has consulted with and delivered education experiences to many multinational corporations, working mostly with C-level executives, including a customized program on digital transformation for Skanska. Recently, his “Cyberattack!" Simulation won the 2020 International Serious Play Gold Medal. He developed and delivers an annual program for top Japanese business executives, provided jointly with the MIT Center for Information Systems Research, at the Nomura School of Advanced Management. Dr. Austin was CEO of the largest provider of non-degree executive education in northern Europe.

Dr. Austin has published widely, in both academic and professional venues, such as Harvard Business Review, Information Systems Research, MIT Sloan Management Review, Organization Science, Organization Studies, and the Wall Street Journal. He also is the author of nine books, more than fifty published cases and notes, three Harvard online products, and two popular Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) running on the Coursera platform.

Dr. Austin earned his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in management and decision sciences where his dissertation received the Herbert A. Simon Award. He holds a Master’s degree in industrial engineering from Northwestern University, and Bachelors’ degrees in Engineering and in English literature from Swarthmore College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He can be reached at

Rob Austin on Managing Idiosyncratic Talent