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Staff Profile

Richard Locke

Catching up with Richard Locke

Deputy Dean

Richard Locke joined the MIT Sloan faculty as an assistant professor of international management in 1988 after receiving his PhD in Political Science with a specialty in political economy. He has taught political science at MIT, held the Alvin J. Siteman (1948) Professorship of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan, and now serves as the School's deputy dean. He is a leading expert on Sustainability and at MIT Sloan he has helped launch the Global Entrepreneurship Laboratory (G-Lab) and the Laboratory for Sustainable Business (S-Lab).

Rethinking the American economy
It was very exciting to be a part of MIT Sloan in 1988 because of the energy about rethinking the American economy to make it more competitive. Prior, I had studied industries and firms and how different institutional frameworks, policies, and countries impact how they adjust to global markets. I was struck by the community of scholars at the School, who were studying issues that were closely related to what I cared about but from completely different perspectives—microeconomics, strategic management, supply chains, and even innovation. It was both terrifying and exciting to realize how little I knew about firms and how much I could learn.

Global Entrepreneurship Laboratory (G-Lab)
Simon Johnson and I were co-teaching a course called “Entrepreneurship without Borders” that examined the process of entrepreneurship outside of the United States. One assignment required students to work in teams to advise real entrepreneurial firms. This sparked a lot of energy from the students, so we designed a course that enables students to intern with similar firms in countries that don't have U.S.-style financial markets, legal systems, corporate governance mechanisms, and labor markets. We felt this would be a great way to teach about the global economy and the essence of entrepreneurship by showing how the same phenomenon unfolds differently outside the United States. We launched
G-Lab in 2000 with 55 students enrolled. Today close to 200 students take three different sections of G-Lab.

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