Entrepreneurial Imagination: Ruth Handler and the Barbie Doll

Valeria Giacomin

Research output: Other contributionEducation

Abstract

The case details the entrepreneurial journey of Ruth Handler (1916-2002), one of the most well-known female entrepreneurs in the post-war United States. She founded the toy company Mattel with her husband Elliot, and together they developed it into a global multinational after launching the iconic Barbie doll in the 1960s. The case traces Ruth's process of entrepreneurial imagination from the conception of the idea for Barbie to pursuing it entrepreneurially, with long-term disruptive consequences for the toy industry. The case explores the process of entrepreneurial imagination in several stages and helps students think through their own process of finding and pursuing unrealized opportunities.


Original languageEnglish
Publication date2020
PublisherHarvard Business School Publishing
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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