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SERIES Identifier: Arch GA 82.15

Series IV. HBS Teaching Files, 1969-2003, undated

Scope and Contents

This series consists of materials used by Howard H. Stevenson in teaching a wide range of MBA and doctoral courses in entrepreneurship, general management, and real estate. Material includes assignment and examination descriptions; cases and teaching notes; course bibliographies, descriptions, outlines, and overviews; discussion questions; lecture notes; photocopies of assigned readings; reading lists; and syllabi. Of particular importance are the cases of Head Ski Company, R and R Associates, Heather Evans, Mark Edwards, and Eric Weston.


  • 1969-2003, undated

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Some materials may be stored offsite; access requires advance notice. HBS Archives collections require a secondary registration form, please contact for more information.

Restricted material has been identified and separated. Note that box and folder lists of restricted material have been redacted.

Due to the fragility of audiovisual materials and the difficulty with play back, researchers must work with digital copies rather than with the original recordings. Digital use copies for items that have been digitized can be accessed only onsite in the de Gaspé Beaubien Reading Room on a designated Special Collections computer. Researchers are not permitted to copy or download any digital files. To request access please contact prior to visiting the library.

Please note that digital use copies have not been created for every item listed in this finding aid.


242 linear feet (565 boxes, 27 oversize boxes, and 2 oversize items)

Biographical / Historical

Howard H. Stevenson (MBA 1965, DBA 1969) began teaching at Harvard Business School during the Fall 1968 semester after finishing his Doctorate in Business Administration from HBS, which was conferred at official ceremonies in 1969.He spent two years teaching business policy before taking a leave of absence to work in the private sector with Simmons Associates. He intended to stay in the private sector to pursue opportunities in real estate, but instead was convinced in 1971 to return to HBS to teach courses on the real estate. Over the next five years, Stevenson increased the number of sections of Real Property Asset Management, added the course Real Property Asset Development, and was joined by William Poorvu. Stevenson and Poorvu wrote cases for real estate and developed the mantra "people, property, deal, environment." Stevenson later adapted this mantra for the teaching of entrepreneurship to "people, opportunity, deal, context."

Stevenson received tenure in 1978 and took a leave of absence to rejoin the private sector as Vice President of Finance and Administration for Preco Corporation. In 1981 Dean John McArthur offered Stevenson the opportunity to develop an entrepreneurship program; he returned to HBS as the first Sarofim-Rock Professor of Business Administration. During this time, Stevenson advanced the academic study of entrepreneurship from the ground up, including case and course development, defining entrepreneurship as "the process by which individuals pursue opportunities without regard to the resources they currently control." At the same time, he focused on improving and enhancing the doctoral program. An important course within the doctoral program curriculum, Basic Readings in Administrative Theory (BRAT), helped shape his thinking and reinforced his belief that his job was to help mold students’ attitudes. Three important concepts he tried to impart were: every situation can be improved (find a problem and then improve the situation); do something even if you don't have the requisite power or resources (create change: if you have found a problem then you can do something about it); and the experts and the experienced might be wrong. According to Stevenson, these three principles defined his career.


This series is divided into two subseries: A. Cases and Teaching Notes, and B. Courses Materials.

Physical Location


Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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