Henry Mintzberg

Cheerful contrarian, intellectual trailblazer.


Recipient of the Thinkers50 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.


Author of 170 articles, 17 books, and has twice received the McKinsey Award for having the best article of the year in The Harvard Review.


Honors to his work have included election as an Officer of the Order of Canada and of l’Ordre national du Quebec and selection as Distinguished Scholar for the year 2000 by the Academy of Management.


The author or co-author of 15 books, Mintzberg is perhaps best known for his work on organizational forms – identifying five types of organization: simple structure; machine bureaucracy; professional bureaucracy; the divisionalized form; and the adhocracy. He is also credited with advancing the idea of emergent strategy – the idea that effective strategy emerges from conversations within an organization rather than being imposed from on high.


Currently the Cleghorn professor of management studies at the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University in Montreal, Mintzberg has held visiting professorships at INSEAD, Paris, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and London Business School. He has been a consultant to many organizations throughout the world and from 1988 to 1991 he was president of the Strategic Management Society. His work has focused on the work of the manager, and how managers are trained and developed.


Cheerfully contrarian, Mintzberg is a long time critic of traditional MBA programs. In his first book, The Nature of Managerial Work(1973) challenged the established thinking about the role of the manager, and is one of the few books that actually examine what managers do, rather than discussing what they should do. Other highlights include The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning (1994); Managers not MBAs (2004), and Managing (2009).


Media picks


“A giant in the field of strategy.”

Vijay Govinderajan

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