For over 20 years, Thinkers50 has been identifying, ranking, and sharing the very best in management thinking.


About the Thinkers50 Ranking

Published every two years, the Thinkers50 Ranking is the definitive list of the most influential management thinkers in the world and answers one simple question: who is the world’s most influential living management thinker?

Nominations for the Thinkers50 Ranking are open from May to July in the years that the ranking takes place (odd-numbered years). The public is invited to participate in the online nomination process by submitting the names and qualifications of thinkers they wish to put forward for consideration. Nominations are accepted and encouraged from individuals and organisations across the globe.

All nominations for the Thinkers50 Ranking are considered by the Thinkers50 Panel of Advisors. Each new ranking is announced at the Thinkers50 Awards Gala held in November every other year, culminating in a countdown of the top 10.

The Thinkers50 Ranking uses a proprietary methodology for evaluating management thinking. Thinkers50 founders Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove lead the process, with input and review from the Thinkers50 advisors. The criteria are evaluated on a weighted basis taking account of the thinker’s performance over the long term, as well as over the two years since the previous ranking.


Thinkers50 Ranking: The Selection Process

The methodology is organised by two broad concepts: Viability – the quality and relevance of ideas; and Visibility – the influence and impact of ideas in the world. These concepts are quantified using 10 criteria.


  • Relevance (applicability to current issues and management practice)
  • Rigour (quality of research and theory)
  • Reach (international reach and reach across sectors)
  • Resilience (the durability of ideas in a rapidly changing global economy).


  • Influence (a measure of citations and references)
  • Media coverage and profile (traditional and social media)
  • Presence (public speaking profile and popularity)
  • Communication skills (image, accessibility, and dissemination)
  • Affiliations (associated networks and institutions)
  • Tools and techniques (practical applications).

Nominations are accepted between 15 May and 31 July.

Thinkers50 Ranking 2001

#1 Peter Drucker

#2 Charles Handy

#3Michael Porter

#4Gary Hamel

#5Tom Peters

#6Jack Welch

#7Henry Mintzberg

#8 CK Prahalad

#9 Bill Gates

#10Philip Kotler

#11 Peter Senge

#12 Sumantra Ghoshal

#13 Warren Bennis

#14 Rosabeth Moss Kanter

#15 Robert Kaplan & David Norton

#16Nicholas Negroponte

#17Kjell Nordström & Jonas Ridderstråle

#18 Stephen Covey

#19 Percy Barnevik

#20 Jerry Porras & Jim Collins

#21 Edgar H Schein

#22 Michael Hammer & James Champy

#23 Kenichi Ohmae

#24Andy Grove

#25Michael Dell

#26Chris Argyris

#27H Igor Ansoff

#28Alan Greenspan

#29Richard Branson

#30Jeff Bezos

#31Scott Adams

#32Don Tapscott

#33Edward de Bono

#34Richard Pascale

#35John Chambers

#36Kevin Kelly

#37John Harvey-Jones

#38Lee Iacocca

#39Clayton Christensen

#40John Kotter

#41Geoffrey Moore

#42Herbert Simon

#43Nelson Mandela

#44Charles Hampden-Turner & Fons Trompenaars

#45Chris Locke et al

#46Thomas A. Stewart

#47Watts Wacker

#48Geert Hofstede

#49Herb Kelleher

#50Meg Whitman

Thinkers50 Ranking 2001

Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest and greatest ideas in business, management, and thought leadership.

*mandatory field

Thinkers50 will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide news, updates, and marketing. Please confirm that you agree to have us contact you by clicking below:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at . We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2023

Join us in celebration of the best in business and management thinking.