Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner

Placed the issues of culture centre stage against the rise globalisation, and created a powerful cross-cultural communication tool. 


Ranked #50 in 2003. 

Previous positions:

#44 in 2001. 


Trompenaars also featured in the Thinkers50 ranking in 2011, 2013 and 2015. 


Hampden-Turner is widely acknowledged as the earliest author of “dilemma (or paradox) theory”. 


Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner are the creators of the Seven Dimensions of Culture model, as distilled from 10 years’ research on dozens of cultures around the world. These dimensions include Universalism vs Particularism, Individualism vs Communitarianism, and Neutral vs Emotional.

In their book, Mastering the Infinite Game, they explore the thinking habits from different cultures and provide a timely guide to corporate behaviour and management both east and west. Their 2010 book, Riding the Waves of Innovation, offers invaluable approaches for optimizing an organization’s capacity for innovation within a global culture, such as learning how to identify and remove common obstacles to innovation and maximise effective communications between marketing and R&D departments. 


Trompenaars studied Economics at the Free University of Amsterdam and earned a PhD from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Since 1989, he has served as head of Trompenaars Hampden- Turner, a consulting and training organization for international management.

Hampden-Turner is co-founder and Director of Research and Development at the Trompenaars-Hampden-Turner Group. Recognized as a key business thinker, he has worked as a consultant for Shell, BP, Digital Equipment, the BBC, Nissan, and many other companies. He has also taught at Cambridge University and worked at the Judge Business School at the Cambridge for 18 years. 


Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business (Irwin, 1994); Building Cross-Cultural Competence: How to Create Wealth from Conflicting Values (Yale UP, 2000); Leaders for the 21st Century: How Innovative Leaders Manage in the Digital Age (McGraw Hill, 2002); Managing People Across Cultures (Wiley, 2004); Mastering the Infinite Game: How East Asian Values are Transforming Business Practices (Capstone, 2009); Riding the Waves of Innovation: Harness the Power of Global Culture to Drive Creativity and Growth (McGraw Hill, 2010).

NATIONALITY: Dutch & British

Media picks


“The original global culture gurus; prolific, profound and practical work relevant to organizations everywhere.”

Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Thinkers50

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