Raffaella Sadun

Economist and specialist in performance management.


Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2023. 


Recipient of the 2018 McKinsey Award for best article in the Harvard Business Review.


Recipient of the highest-ranking order in Italy, the Grande Ufficiale dell’Ordine ‘Al Merito della Repubblica Italiana’ in 2021.


Professor Sadun’s research focuses on managerial and organizational drivers of productivity and growth in both the private and public sector, including the management and performance of service operations such as hospitals, and the productivity and performance of professional service firms. She is among the founders of the World Management Survey and the Executive Time Use Study and has been widely awarded for her unique style of research. Sadun’s work appears in leading peer reviewed journals in economics and management, and is frequently featured in the business press.


Professor of business administration in the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School, Sadun is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, the Center for Economic Policy Research and Ariadne Labs. She is the faculty chair for the Strategy Unit Executive Education program and serves as co-editor for the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization and associate editor for Management Science and Economica. Sadun completed her PhD in economics at the London School of Economics, earned an MSc in economics from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, and a BA in economics from La Sapienza University in Rome.


‘The Myth of the Brilliant, Charismatic Leader’ (Harvard Business Review, November 2020); ‘100 Years of HBR’ (with Nicholas Bloom, Tejas Ramdas, Harvard Business Review September 2022); ‘The C-Suite Skills That Matter Most’ (with Joseph Fuller, Stephen Hansen, PJ Neal, Harvard Business Review, July-August 2022); ‘Where did the Commute Go?’ (with Andrew Kun, , Orit Shaer, Thomaz Teodorovicz, Harvard Business Review, December 2020); ‘The case for a new Marshall Plan’ (with Alexia Delfino, Voxeu). Multiple more articles in the Harvard Business Review.


Media picks



The World Management Survey at 18: lessons and the way forward


“Phenomenally creative and productive. An economist who actually studies management.”

Amy Edmondson

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