Henry Mintzberg

Henry Mintzberg is Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies, at the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University in Montreal. His work has focused on the work of the manager, and how managers are trained and developed. 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.

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).


Dave Ulrich
Dave Ulrich
Of course, I was familiar with Henry’s classic Nature of Managerial Work and numerous book on strategy, organization, and management long before spending three years in Montreal from 2002 to 2005. In those three years, I got to know him by teaching in his International Masters of Practicing Management program and by discussing his ideas is classrooms and social settings. I came to appreciate that his clear and sagacious writing is supplemented with his personal intellectual vitality, relentless curiosity, and incredible insights. His writing has appropriately broad impact, but his personal deportment reveals the depth, passion, and seriousness of his commitment to improve lives through better strategy, organization, and management. He is truly iconic in word and by deed.

Vijay Govindarajan
Vijay Govindarajan
Henry Mintzberg is a giant in the field of strategy who has done pioneering work on how leaders design and direct processes that help craft and execute strategies.

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