Robert Kaplan

Robert Kaplan

Visiting Professor of Accounting


Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


Robert S. Kaplan, Senior Fellow and Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School, is co-developer of both activity-based costing (ABC) and the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). Kaplan joined the HBS faculty in 1984 after spending 16 years on the faculty of the business school at Carnegie-Mellon University, where he served as Dean from 1977 to 1983.

Kaplan has created cost, performance, and risk management systems aligned to strategy execution. His value-based health care work, with HBS strategy colleague Michael Porter, has introduced time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) and value-based bundled payments, enabling health care providers and payers to deliver superior patient outcomes at significantly lower societal cost. He has extended the Balanced Scorecard management tool for inclusive growth corporate strategies that generate strong financial returns, reduce environmental degradation, and transform  the socio-economic conditions of residents in low-income communities around the world. With Anette Mikes, he continues research and writing on new frameworks for implementing enterprise risk management.

Kaplan has authored or co-authored 14 books and 200 papers, including three dozen in Harvard Business Review.  David Norton and Kaplan have written five prize-winning books, translated into 25 languages, on the BSC strategy execution system. He co-authored Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing with Steve Anderson; Cost and Effect and Implementing Activity-Based Cost Management with Robin Cooper; and Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting, with H. Thomas Johnson.

Kaplan received a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T., a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Cornell University, and honorary doctorates from several international universities. Elected to the Accounting Hall of Fame in 2006, he received the Outstanding Accounting Educator Award in 1988 from the American Accounting Association, the 1994 CIMA Award from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK), and Lifetime Contribution Awards from the Management Accounting Section of the AAA (2006) and the Institute of Management Accountants (2008).