Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The 12 management thinkers of Christmas

Courtesy of the excellent and pocket sized "The World of Business" (published by The Economist), here's a list of 12 of the most influential management thinkers, together with a  link (carefully chosen by the HR Case Studies Editorial Team) to a website containing further information.

Warren Bennis
Laid-back silver-haired professor at the University of Southern California who has been an influential authority on leadership for decades.

Marvin Bower
For many years the management consulting business was dominated by one firm. It advised the world’s biggest corporations and some of its biggest countries about high-level strategy. That firm, McKinsey was the creation of one man: Marvin Bower.

Jim Collins
Former Stanford Business School professor who found himself with a publishing sensation when he expanded his Stanford research—about what it takes to make companies endure—into the book: “Built to Last”

W. Edwards Deming
A physicist/statistician with a PhD from Yale who applied the ideas of a little-known American mathematician, to business processes, with dramatic effect in terms of quality and productivity.

Peter Drucker
The most enduring guru of them all, Peter Drucker was the author of more than three dozen books, translated into almost as many languages.

Gary Hamel
Hamel started his working life as a hospital administrator before taking a PhD and becoming an academic, sharing his time between London and Chicago. He brought a new focus to the subject of corporate strategy, building his reputation with the idea of core competencies.

Michael Hammer
Professor of computer science at MIT who came up with the biggest business idea of the 1990's:  Business Process Re-engineering

Charles Handy
Son of an Irish Protestant vicar whose broad interests spread from religion and philosophy to the organisation of the workplace.

Henry Mintzberg
Consistently contrary Canadian academic who sometimes seems to be undermining the very industry that he works in. A professor at McGill University in Montreal for 40 years, he has been controversial at least since his 1975 Harvard Business Review article in which he examined what a number of managers in different industries actually did, day in, day out, and found that they were not the robotic paragons of efficiency that they were usually made out to be.

Tom Peters
Co-author of what was for over 20 years the best-selling business book of all time: “In Search of Excellence”, written with his fellow McKinsey consultant Robert Waterman.

Michael Porter
The doyen of living management gurus, a professor at Harvard Business School whose office is a whole on-campus house, home of his own Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness.

Sun Tzu
The ultimate military strategist whose "Art of War" is often quoted by contemporary management thinkers


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. And the list of influential women is: . . . . .

    EBTG (that’s me signing off by the way - not putting me on the list, before you think I’ve got ideas above my station)

  3. EBTG:

    Good point there! I've selected from The Economist's list, but there not one single woman to be seen in there.

  4. But then, as they say, behind every great man ......


  5. EBTG:

    I wonder what sort of woman Mrs Sun Tzu was like?

  6. Probably a wonderful woman who liked a man with a clever mind.

    Bet she could reduce him to a mere kitten with her playful womanly ways!!


  7. EBTG:

    Somehow, I imagine her standing behind him threatening him with her wok!

  8. Funny but I've never seen a wok in Anne Summers. Must look more carefully next time!


  9. Graham, this is a great synopsis of some of the greatest Management minds in history. Great stuff.