Karim R. Lakhani is an assistant professor in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at the Harvard Business School. He specializes in the management of technological innovation and product development in firms and communities. His research is on distributed innovation systems and the movement of innovative activity to the edges of organizations and into communities. He has extensively studied the emergence of open source software communities and their unique innovation and product development strategies. He has also investigated how critical knowledge from outside of the organization can be found and put to use inside for innovation in the biotechnology, life sciences and industrial chemicals industries. He is co-editor of Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software (MIT Press, 2005) and co-founder of the MIT-based Open Source research community and web portal.
Karim has worked for General Electric Medical Systems, Canada, where he was a member of GE's Technical Leadership Program and had roles in radiological systems sales, marketing and new product introduction. He has also worked as a consultant for The Boston Consulting Group doing engagements with clients in technology and communications, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, financial services, and consumer goods sectors. He was a founding member of BCG’s Strategy Practice Leadership team.
Karim was awarded his Ph.D. in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006. He also holds an MS degree in Technology and Policy from MIT (1999), and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and Management from McMaster University in Canada (1993). He was a recipient of the Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship and a four year doctoral fellowship from Canada's Social Science and Humanities Research Council. Prior to coming to HBS he served as a Lecturer in the Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship group at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.