The phrase “Management Guru” describes a person who is intellectual, experienced, ingenious and a person who develops business perspectives that provide beneficial outlooks and practices.

With reference to the adage ‘An idea is only a thought until it is materialised’, the most successful Business Thinkers are our Management Gurus who have ensured the successful implementation of their thoughts.

In the past, the benefit of such resourceful business practices was limited to only those people who were privileged to have communication links with knowledgeable business tycoons. But currently, the exposure has broadened. There are many management experts or gurus providing thought leadership and management styles.

Their contribution to management theory and practice, and/or, their contribution to the international business world, is acknowledged by their selection as the management/business guru and management experts. Many of the experts provide excellent guidance in Human Resources (HR) strategy and organisation development.


All hold “guru” status in their field of expertise and they are thought leaders, providing the latest and best business thinking. Many are authors of management books and other resources. It is not possible to cover all in detail but still tried to select the best management gurus with their management contribution in the field.

Learn about the management gurus list 1. Abraham Maslow 2. Adam Smith (The Father of Economics) 3. Chaster Barnard 4. Gary Hamel 5. William Edwards Deming 6. George Elton Mayo 7. Henri Fayol 8. F. W. Taylor 9. Kurt Lewin 10. Max Weber 11. Michael E. Porter 12. Robert Kaplan 13. William Ouchi 14. Chris Argyris 15. David P. Norton 16. Rensis Likert 17. Mary Parker Follett 18. Peter Drucker 19. Joseph M Juran 

20. James MacGregor Burns 21. Douglas McGregor 22. Dale Carnegie 23. Christopher A. Bartlett 24. C. K. Prahalad 25. Sumantra Ghoshal 26. Gita Piramal 27. Ram Charan 28. Arindham Chaudhri 29. Promod Batra 30. ShivKhera.

List of Management Gurus of the World: Definition, Bio, Life, Contribution, Quotes and their Theories

Management Guru # 1 Adam Smith – Bio, Education, Career, Views and Works



Adam Smith was born on 5th June (OS) or 16th June (NS) 1723 (baptised) and died on 17th July, 1790. He was a Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneering political economist. He is known primarily as the author of two treatises- The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776).

Smith is also known for his explanation of how rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic well-being and prosperity. His work also helped to create the modern academic discipline of economics and provided one of the best- known rationales for free trade and capitalism. He is widely acknowledged as the father of economics.

Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations discusses the optimal organisation of a pin factory; this becomes the most famous and influential statement of the economic rationale of the factory system and the division of labor.



At the age of fourteen, Smith entered the University of Glasgow, where he studied moral philosophy under “the never-to-be-forgotten” (as Smith called him) Francis Hutcheson. Here Smith developed his strong passion for liberty, reason, and free speech. In 1740 he was awarded the Snell Exhibition and entered Balliol College, Oxford. In Book V of The Wealth of Nations, Smith comments on the low quality of instruction and the meager intellectual activity at English universities when compared to their Scottish counterparts.


In 1748 Smith began delivering public lectures in Edinburgh under the patronage of the Lord Kames. In his middle or late 20s, he first expounded the economic philosophy of “the obvious and simple system of natural liberty” which he was later to proclaim to the world in his Wealth of Nations. In about 1750, he met the philosopher David Hume, who was his senior by over a decade.

In 1751, Smith was appointed chair of logic at the University of Glasgow, transferring in 1752, to the Chair of Moral Philosophy, once occupied by his famous teacher, Francis Hutcheson. His lectures covered the fields of ethics, rhetoric, jurisprudence, political economy, and “police and revenue”. In 1759, he published his The Theory of Moral Sentiments, embodying some of his Glasgow lectures.


In 1778, Smith was appointed to a post as commissioner of customs in Scotland and went to live with his mother in Edinburgh. In 1783 he, became one of the founding members of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and from 1787 to 1789, he occupied the honorary position of Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow.

Views of Adam Smith:

Not much is known about Smith’s personal views beyond what can be deduced from his published works. All of his personal papers were destroyed after his death. Contemporary accounts describe Smith as an eccentric but benevolent intellectual, comically absent minded, with peculiar habits of speech and gait and a smile of “inexpressible benignity.” His patience and tact are said to have been valuable to his work as a university administrator at Glasgow.

He based on analysis of a remark in The Wealth of Nations where Smith writes that the curiosity of mankind about the “great phenomena of nature” such as “the generation, the life, growth and dissolution of plants and animals” has led men to “enquire into their causes”.


Works of Adam Smith:

Smith had nearly all his manuscripts destroyed before his death.

Wealth of Nations:

The Wealth of Nations was Smith’s most influential work and is considered to be very important in the creation of the field of economics and its development into an autonomous systematic discipline. In the Western world, it is considered one of the most influential books on the subject ever published. The work is also the first comprehensive defense of free market policies.


When the book which has become a classic manifesto against mercantilism (the theory that large reserves of bullion are essential for economic success), appeared in 1776, there was a strong sentiment for free trade in both Britain and America. This new feeling had been born out of the economic hardships and poverty caused by the American War of Independence.

The Wealth of Nations also rejects the Physiocratic School’s emphasis on the importance of land; instead, Smith believed labour was paramount, and that a division of labour would affect a great increase in production. One example he used was the making of pins. One worker could probably make only twenty pins per day. But if ten people divided up the eighteen steps required making a pin, they could make a combined amount of 48,000 pins in one day.

However, Smith also concluded that excessive division of labor would negatively affect worker’s intellect through the carrying out of monotonous and repetitive tasks and hence he called for the establishment of a public education system.

Smith vigorously attacked the antiquated government restrictions which he thought were hindering industrial expansion. In fact, he attacked most forms of government interference in the economic process, including tariffs, arguing that this creates inefficiency and high prices in the long run. Smith advocated a Government that was active in sectors other than the economy- he advocated public education of poor adults; institutional systems that were not profitable for private industries; a judiciary; and a standing army.


Major Works of Adam Smith:

i. The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759)

ii. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)

iii. Essays on Philosophical Subjects (published posthumously 1795)

iv. Lectures on Jurisprudence (published posthumously 1776)

v. Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres

Management Guru # 2. Chester Barnard – Life, Career and Theories

Chester Irving Barnard was a telecommunications executive and author of Functions of the Executive, an influential 20th century management book, in which Barnard presented a theory of organisation and the functions of executives in organisations. He was born on 1886 and died in the year 1961.


Chester Barnard looked at organisations as systems of cooperation of human activity, and was worried about the fact that they are typically rather short-lived. Firms that last more than a century are rather few, and the only organisation that can claim a substantial age is the Catholic Church. According to Chester Barnard this happens because organisations do not meet the two criteria necessary for survival- effectiveness and efficiency.

Effectiveness is defined the usual way – as being able to accomplish the explicit goals. In contrast, his notion of organisational efficiency is substantially different from the conventional use of the word He defines efficiency of an organisation as the degree to which that organisation is able to satisfy the motives of the individuals. If an organisation satisfies the motives of its participants, and attains its explicit goals, cooperation among them will last.

Two of his very famous and interesting theories are- The theory of authority and the theory of incentives.

Both are seen in the context of a communication system that should be based in seven essential rules:

i. The channels of communication should be definite


ii. Everyone should know of the channels of communication

iii. Everyone should have access to the formal channels of communication

iv. Lines of communication should be as short and as direct as possible

v. Competence of persons serving as communication centers should be adequate

vi. The line of communication should not be interrupted when organisation is functioning

vii. Every communication should be authenticated


Thus, what makes a communication authoritative rests on the subordinate rather than in the boss.

In the Theory of Incentives, he sees Two Ways of Convincing Subordinates to Cooperate:

Tangible incentives and persuasion. He gives great importance to persuasion, much more than to economic incentives. He described four general and four specific incentives.

The specific inducements were:

i. Material inducements such as money

ii. Personal non-material opportunities for distinction


iii. Desirable physical conditions of work

iv. Ideal Benefactions, such as pride of workmanship etc.

Barnard ends by summarizing the functions of the executive (the title of the book) as being:

i. The establishment and maintenance of the system of communication

ii. The securing of the essential services from individuals

iii. The formulation of the organisational purpose and objectives


Key Concepts of Chester Barnard’s Studies:

Importance of an Individual’s Behaviour:

Felt other theorists had underestimated the variability of individual behaviour and impact of this on organisational effectiveness.


Concept of “zone of indifference” – orders must be perceived in neutral terms to be carried out without conscious questioning of authority. Incentives can be used to expand zone, but material incentives alone limited in their ability to effect compliance – need also use status, prestige, personal power.


Central concept – decision making processes depend on communications, he described characteristics and focussed on importance of communication in informal organisation.

Management Efficiency vs. Effectiveness:

Authority only exists in so far as the people are willing to accept it.

3 basic principles for ensuring effectiveness of communications:

i. everyone should know what the channels of communication are

ii. everyone should have access to a formal channel of communications

iii. lines of communication should be as short and direct as possible

Managers’ key tasks are to set up systems to motivate employees towards the organisation’s goals – individuals working to a common purpose rather than by authority – real role of Chief Exec is to manage the values of the organisation.

Management Guru # 3. Gary Hamel – Life, Career, Quotes and Works

Born on 1st January 1954, Dr. Gary P. Hamel is an American Management Expert and visiting professor at Harvard Business School and London Business School. He is a graduate of Andrews University (1975) and the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan (1990). He is a founder of Strategos, an international management consulting firm based in Chicago.

In Hamel’s Words:

To succeed in the future, organisations are going to have to find ways of energizing people, so that they bring not only their skills, expertise and diligence to work, but they bring their passion and their initiative as well.

Fortune magazine has labeled Gary Hamel the world’s leading expert on business strategy and The Economist calls him the worlds reigning strategy guru.

Hamels landmark books, Leading the Revolution and Competing for the Future, have appeared on management bestseller list and have been translated into more than 20 languages. His latest book, The Future of Management, was voted Best Business Book of 2007 by the editors of Amazon(dot)com.

Since 1983, Hamel has been on the faculty of the London Business School where he is currently Visiting Professor of Strategic and International Management.

As a consultant and management educator, Hamel has worked for companies as diverse as General Electric, Time Warner, Nokia, Nestle, Shell, Best Buy, Procter & Gamble, 3M, IBM, and Microsoft. His pioneering concepts such as strategic intent, core competence, industry revolution, and management innovation have changed the practice of management in companies around the world.

Hamel has also advised government leaders on matters of innovation policy, entrepreneurship and industrial competitiveness.

At present, Hamel is leading an effort to build the world’s first Management Innovation Lab. The Lab is a pioneering attempt to create a setting in which progressive companies and world renowned management scholars’ work together to co-create tomorrows best practices today.

Pearls of Wisdom:

‘Breakthrough Ideas’:

i. Management must become truly professional, with a high degree of technical skill and competence, broad knowledge and ‘a primary orientation towards ethical service to society’.

ii. Growth depends on creativity, which nationally revolves round the three Ts, ‘Technology, talent and tolerance’. What applies to nations and regions also applies to firms.

iii. Organisation has a profound impact on strategic success. Sometimes an unrelated structural change can work strategic wonders. Always seek to ensure that the structure fits the strategy. If not, change either the structure or the strategy.

iv. Research into the brain promises to bring management new tools. Already the imaging technology of MRI ‘helps researchers determine how potential customers respond to products and advertisements’.

v. Is there a big hidden catch in the popular sport of outsourcing? The highest profits in the value chain changes over time. What you framed out yesterday may be what, tomorrow, you will wish you still had, coining money. So don’t be over-persuaded by today’s apparent economies.

vi. Beware of ‘stupid money’ – capital that floods in with widely exaggerated ideas of probable pay-off, which then proceed to turn previously sane managers into wild things.

The basic principle of Total Quality Management applies – whatever you are doing can always be done differently and better. Test the modus operandi by analysis. Then try out alternatives by experiment and finally change where change will produce clear and valuable benefits now.

Publications of Gary Hamel:

The Why, What and How of Management Innovation?

i. Funding Growth in an Age of Austerity, Harvard Business Review, July August 2004 [with Gary Getz].

ii. The Quest for Resilience, Harvard Business Review, September 2003 [with Lisa Valikangas].

iii. The World Banks Innovation Market, Harvard Business Review, November 2002 [with Robert Chapman Wood],

iv. Waking up IBM, Harvard Business Review, July August 2000.

v. Bringing Silicon Valley Inside, Harvard Business Review, September October 1999.

vi. Strategy as Revolution, Harvard Business Revolution, July August 1996.

vii. What CEOs can Learn from America, Fortune, November 12, 2001

viii. Reinvent your Company, Fortune, June 12, 2000

ix. Killer strategies, Fortune, June 23, 1997.


i. The Ultimate Business Library, Capstone Publishing, 1997.

ii. Rethinking the Future, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 1997

Management Guru # 4. William Edwards Deming – Life, Career, Quotes and Contribution

Work of Edwards Deming William Edwards Deming (October 14, 1900- December 20, 1993) was an American statistician, college professor, author, lecturer, and consultant. Deming was born in Sioux City, Iowa. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Wyoming at Laramie (1921), an M.S. from the University of Colorado (1925), and a Ph.D. from Yale University (1928). Both graduate degrees were in mathematics and physics.

Deming had an internship at Bell Telephone Laboratories while studying at Yale. He subsequently worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Census Department.

While working under Gen. Douglas MacArthur as a census consultant to the Japanese government, he famously taught statistical process control methods to Japanese business leaders, returning to Japan for many years to consult and to witness economic growth that he had predicted as a result of application of techniques learned from Walter Shewhart at Bell Laboratories. Later, he became a professor at New York University while engaged as an independent consultant in Washington, D.C.

Deming is widely credited with improving production in the United States during World War II. There, from 1950 onward he taught top management how to improve design (and thus service), product quality, testing and sales (the last through global markets) through various methods, including the application of statistical methods such as analysis of variance (ANOVA) and hypothesis testing.

Deming made a significant contribution to Japan’s later renown for innovative high-quality products and its economic power. He is regarded as having had more impact upon Japanese manufacturing and business than any other individual not of Japanese heritage.


Ford Motor Company was simultaneously manufacturing a car model with transmissions made in Japan and the United States. Soon after the car model was on the market, Ford customers were requesting the model with Japanese transmission over the USA-made transmission, and they were willing to wait for the Japanese model. As both transmissions were made to the same specifications, Ford engineers could not understand the customer preference for the model with Japanese transmission. It delivered smoother performance with a lower defect rate.

Finally, Ford engineers decided to take apart the two different transmissions. The American-made car parts were all within specified tolerance levels. On the other hand, the Japanese car parts had much closer tolerances than the USA-made parts – i.e., if a part was supposed to be one foot long, plus or minus 1/8 of an inch – then the Japanese parts were within 1/16 of an inch.

This made the Japanese cars run more smoothly and customers experienced fewer problems. This is an example of Dr. Deming’s teachings, having been adopted by the Japanese, delivering better quality products.

Deming was the author of Out of the Crisis (1982 -1986) and The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education (1993), which includes his System of Profound Knowledge and the 14 Points for Management. In 1993, Deming founded the W. Edwards Deming Institute in Washington, D.C., where the Deming Collection at the U.S. Library of Congress includes an extensive audiotape and videotape archive.

Deming developed the sampling techniques that were used for the first time during the 1940 U.S. Census. During World War n, Deming was a member of the five-man Emergency Technical Committee.

He worked with H.F. Dodge, A.G. Ashcroft, Leslie E. Simon, R.E. Wareham, and John Gaillard in the compilation of the American War Standards (American Standards Association ZI.1-3 published in 1942) and taught statistical process control (SPC) techniques to workers engaged in wartime production. Statistical methods were widely applied during World War II, but faded into disuse a few years later in the face of huge overseas demand for American mass-produced products.

David Salsburg Wrote:

“He was known for his kindness to and consideration for those he worked with, for his robust, if very subtle, humor, and for his interest in music. He sang in a choir, played drums and flute, and published several original pieces of sacred music.”

Later, from his home in Washington, D.C., Dr. Deming continued running his own consultancy business in the United States, largely unknown and unrecognized in his country of origin and work.

In 1980, he was featured prominently in an NBC documentary titled If Japan can… Why can’t we? About the increasing industrial competition the United States was facing from Japan. As a result of the broadcast, demand for his services increased dramatically, and Deming continued consulting for industry throughout the world until his death at the age of 93.

Over the course of his career, Deming received dozens of academic awards, including another, honorary, Ph.D. from Oregon State University. In 1987, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology – “For his forceful promotion of statistical methodology, for his contributions to sampling theory, and for his advocacy to corporations and nations of a general management philosophy that has resulted in improved product quality.” In 1988, he received the Distinguished Career in Science award from the National Academy of Sciences.

In 1993, Dr. Deming published his final book, The New Economics for Industry, Government, and Education, which included the System of Profound Knowledge and the 14 Points for Management. It also contained educational concepts involving group-based teaching without grades, as well as management without individual merit or performance reviews.

Deming Philosophy Synopsis:

The philosophy of W. Edwards Deming has been as follows:

“Dr. W. Edwards Deming taught that by adopting appropriate principles of management, organisations can increase quality and simultaneously reduce costs (by reducing waste, rework, staff attrition and litigation while increasing customer loyalty). The key is to practice continual improvement and think of manufacturing as a system, not as bits and pieces.”

In the 1970s, Dr. Deming’s philosophy was summarized by some of his Japanese proponents with the following ‘a’- versus – ‘b’ comparison:

i. When people and organisations focus primarily on quality, defined by the following ratio –

Quality tends to increase and costs fall over time.

ii. However, when people and organisations focus primarily on costs (often dominant/typical human behavior), costs (due to not minimizing waste, ignoring amount of rework occurring, taking staff for granted, not rapidly resolving disputes, and failing to notice lack of product improvement, over time, loss of customer loyalty) tend to rise and quality declines over time.

The Deming System of Profound Knowledge:

The prevailing style of management must undergo transformation. A system cannot understand itself. The transformation requires a view from outside. The first step is transformation of the individual. This transformation is discontinuous. It comes from understanding of the system of profound knowledge. The individual, transformed, will perceive new meaning to his life, to events, to numbers, to interactions between people.

Once the individual understands the system of profound knowledge, he will apply its principles in every kind of relationship with other people. He will have a basis for judgment of his own decisions and for transformation of the organisations that he belongs to.

The individual, once transformed, will:

i. Set an example;

ii. Be a good listener, but will not compromise;

iii. Continually teach other people; and

iv. Help people to pull away from their current practices and beliefs and move into the new philosophy without a feeling of guilt about the past.

Deming advocated that all managers need to have what he called a System of Profound Knowledge, consisting of four parts:

i. Appreciation of a system – Understanding the overall processes involving suppliers, producers, and customers (or recipients) of goods and services;

ii. Knowledge of variation – The range and causes of variation in quality, and use of statistical sampling in measurements;

iii. Theory of knowledge – The concepts explaining knowledge and the limits of what can be known;

iv. Knowledge of psychology – Concepts of human nature.

Deming explained, “One need not be eminent in any part nor in all four parts in order to understand it and to apply it. The 14 points for management in industry, education, and government follow naturally as application of this outside knowledge, for transformation from the present style of Western management to one of optimization.”

The various segments of the system of profound knowledge proposed here cannot be separated. They interact with each other. Thus, knowledge of psychology is incomplete without knowledge of variation.

The Knowledge of variation involves understanding that everything measured consists of both “normal” variation due to the flexibility of the system and of “special causes” that create defects. Quality involves recognizing the difference in order to eliminate “special causes” while controlling normal variation.

Deming taught that making changes in response to “normal” variation would only make the system perform worse. Understanding variation includes the mathematical certainty that variation will normally occur within six standard deviations (thus six sigma- the symbol for standard deviation) of the mean.

The System of Profound Knowledge is the basis for application of Deming’s famous 14 Points for Management, described below.

Deming’s 14 Points:

Deming offered fourteen key principles for management for transforming business effectiveness.

In summary:

i. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of a product and service with a plan to become competitive and stay in business. Decide to whom top management is responsible.

ii. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. We can no longer live with commonly accepted levels of delays, mistakes, defective materials, and defective workmanship.

iii. Cease dependence on mass inspection. Require, instead, statistical evidence that quality is built in. (prevent defects instead of detect defects.).

iv. End of the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, depend on meaningful measures of quality along with price. Eliminate suppliers that cannot qualify with statistical evidence of quality.

v. Find Problems. It is a managements job to work continually on the system (design, incoming materials, composition of material, maintenance, improvement of machine, training, supervision, retraining).

vi. Institute modern methods of training on the job.

vii. The responsibility of the foreman must be to change from sheer numbers to quality [which] will automatically improve productivity. Management must prepare to take immediate action on reports from the foremen concerning barriers such as inherent defects, machines not maintained, poor tools, and fuzzy operational definitions.

viii. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.

ix. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales and production must work as a team to foresee problems of production that may be encountered with various materials and specifications.

x. Eliminate numerical goals, posters, slogans for the workforce, asking for new levels of productivity without providing methods.

xi. Eliminate work standards that prescribe numerical quotas.

xii. Remove barriers that stand between the hourly worker and his right of pride of workmanship.

xiii. Institute a vigorous program of education and retraining.

xiv. Create a structure in top management that will push every day on the above 13pts.

Seven Deadly Diseases:

i. Lack of constancy of purpose.

ii. Emphasis on short-term profits.

iii. Evaluation by performance, merit rating, or annual review of performance.

iv. Mobility of management.

v. Running a company on visible figures alone.

vi. Excessive medical costs.

vii. Excessive costs of warranty, fueled by lawyers who work for contingency fees.

A Lesser Category of Obstacles:

i. Neglecting long-range planning.

ii. Relying on technology to solve problems.

iii. Seeking examples to follow rather than developing solutions.

iv. Excuses, such as “Our problems are different.”

Management Guru # 5. George Elton Mayo – Life, Career and Summary of Elton Mayo’s Beliefs

George Elton Mayo (December 26, 1880 – September 7, 1949) was an Australian psychologist, sociologist and organisation theorist. He lectured at the University of Queensland from 1919 to 1923 before moving to the University of Pennsylvania, but spent most of his career at Harvard Business School (1926-1947), where he was professor of industrial research.

Elton Mayo is known as the founder of the Human Relations Movement, and is known for his research including the Hawthorne Studies, and his book, The Social Problems of an Industrialised Civilization (1933). The research he conducted under the Hawthorne Studies of the 1930s showed the importance of groups in affecting the behaviour of individuals at work. However it was not Mayo who conducted the practical experiments but his employees Roethlisberger and Dickinson.

This enabled him to make certain deductions about how managers should behave. He carried out a number of investigations to look at ways of improving productivity, for example changing lighting conditions in the workplace. What he found however was that work satisfaction depended to a large extent on the informal social pattern of the work group. Where norms of cooperation and higher output were established because of a feeling of importance.

Physical conditions or financial incentives had little motivational value. People will form work groups and this can be used by management to benefit the organisation. He concluded that people’s work performance is dependent on both social issues and job content. He suggested a tension between workers’ ‘logic of sentiment’ and managers ‘logic of cost and efficiency’ which could lead to conflict within organisations.

Summary of Elton Mayo’s Beliefs:

i. Individual workers cannot be treated in isolation, but must be seen as members of a group.

ii. Monetary incentives and good working condition are less important to the individual than the need to belong to a group.

iii. Informal or unofficial groups formed at work have a strong influence on the behaviour of those workers in a group.

iv. Managers must be aware of these ‘social needs’ and cater for them to ensure that employees collaborate with the official organisation rather than work against it.

The role that Mayo had in the development of management is usually associated with his discovery of social man and the need for this in the work place. Mayo found that workers acted according to sentiments and emotion. He felt that if you treated the worker with respect and tried to meet their needs than they would be a better worker for you and both management and the employee would benefit.

Mayo’s work contributed to management theory through research conducted at Western Electric’s Hawthorn Works which took place from 1927-1932. Mayo was also able to provide concrete evidence to support Follet’s theory that the lack of attention to human relationships was a major flaw in other management theories. He was able to prove that employees did react better when they had good relationships with the management that they worked with.

If management would treat the employees with respect and give them the attention at the work place that they needed, then the workers would be more willing to work harder for the employer. The was not totally what the Hawthorn study was looking at for they were focusing on working conditions such as lighting that the workers worked in and other factors that could easily be changed without management having to do much. The real solution was to have management get more involved with the workers.

Management Guru # 6. Henri Fayol – Life, Career and Fayol 14 Principles of Management

Henri Fayol (born 1841 in Istanbul; died 1925 in Paris) was a French management theorist. Fayol graduated from the mining academy of St. Etienne (Cole des Mines de Saint-tienne) in 1860. The nineteen-year old engineer started at the mining company Compagnie de Commentry – Fourchambeau-Decazeville, ultimately acting as its managing director from 1888 to 1918. Based largely on his own management experience, Fayol developed his concept of administration.

Henri Fayol was one of the most influential contributors to modern concepts of management, having proposed that there are five primary functions of management –

i. Planning,

ii. Organizing,

iii. Commanding,

iv. Coordinating, and

v. Controlling.

Controlling is described in the sense that a manager must receive feedback on a process in order to make necessary adjustments. Fayol’s work has stood the test of time and has been shown to be relevant and appropriate to contemporary management. Many of today’s management texts have reduced the five functions to four – (i) planning, (ii) organising, (iii) leading, and (iv) controlling.

Fayol believed management theories could be developed, then taught. His theories were published in a monograph titled General and Industrial Management (1916). This is an extraordinary little book that offers the first theory of general management and statement of management principles.

Fayol suggested that it is important to have unity of command – a concept that suggests there should be only one supervisor for each person in an organisation.

Fayol has been described as the father of modern operational management theory. Fayol criticized Taylors functional management; the most marked outward characteristics of functional management lies in the fact that each workman, instead of coming in direct contact with the management at one point only, receives his daily orders and help from eight different bosses.

Those eight were – (i) route clerks, (ii) instruction card men, (iii) cost and time clerks, (iv) gang bosses, (v) speed bosses, (vi) inspectors, (vii) repair bosses, and the (viii) shop disciplinarian.

The 14 principles of management were discussed in detail in his book published in 1917. It was first published in English as General and Industrial Management in 1949 and is widely considered a foundational work in classical management theory.

Fayol 14 Principles of Management:

i. Specialization of labour – Specializing encourages continuous improvement in skills and the development of improvements in methods.

ii. Authority – The right to give orders and the power to exact obedience.

iii. Discipline – No slacking, bending of rules. The workers should be obedient and respectful of the organisation.

iv. Unity of Command – Each employee has one and only one boss.

v. Unity of Direction – A single mind generates a single plan and all play their part in that plan.

vi. Subordination of Individual Interests – When at work, only work things should be pursued or thought about.

vii. Remuneration – Employees receive fair payment for services, not what the company can get away with.

viii. Centralization – Consolidation of management functions. Decisions are made from the top.

ix. Chain of Superiors (line of authority) – Formal chain of command running from top to bottom of the organisation, like military

x. Order – All materials and personnel have a prescribed place, and they must remain there.

xi. Equity – Equality of treatment (but not necessarily identical treatment)

xii. Personnel Tenure – Limited turnover of personnel. Lifetime employment for good workers.

xiii. Initiative – Thinking out a plan and do what it takes to make it happen.

xiv. Esprit de Corps – Harmony, cohesion among personnel. It’s a great source of strength in the organisation. Fayol stated that for promoting esprit de corps, the principle of unity of command should be observed and the dangers of divide and rule and the abuse of written communication should be avoided.


Fayol’s career began as a mining engineer. He then moved into research geology and in 1888 joined, Comambault as Director. Comambault was in difficulty but Fayol turned the operation round. On retirement he published his work – a comprehensive theory of administration – described and classified administrative management roles and processes then became recognised and referenced by others in the growing discourse about management.

He is frequently seen as a key, early contributor to a classical or administrative management school of thought (even though he himself would never have recognised such a “school”).

His theorising about administration was built on personal observation and experience of what worked well in terms of organisation. His aspiration for an “administrative science” sought a consistent set of principles that all organisations must apply in order to run properly.

Management Guru # 7. Frederick W. Taylor – The Father of Scientific Management, Life, Career and Principles

The Father of Scientific Management:

Taylor was an American mechanical engineer who originally sought to improve industrial efficiency. A management consultant in his later years, he is sometimes called “the father of scientific management.” He was one of the intellectual leaders of the Efficiency Movement and his ideas, broadly conceived, were highly influential in the Progressive Era. His influential theory enabled industry to move away from “rule of thumb” management and be more efficient and prosperous.

Life of Frederick Taylor:

Taylor was born in 1856 to a wealthy Quaker family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He wanted to attend Harvard University, but poor eyesight forced him to consider an alternative career. In 1874, he became an apprentice patternmaker, gaining shop-floor experience that would inform the rest of his career. He obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering through a highly unusual (for the time) series of correspondence courses at the Stevens Institute of Technology where he was a Brother of the Gamma, graduating in 1883.

He began developing his management philosophies during his time at the Midvale Steel Works, where he rose to be chief engineer for the plant. Later, at Bethlehem Steel, he and Maunsel White (with a team of assistants) developed high speed steel. He eventually became a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Taylor believed that the industrial management of his day was amateurish, that management could be formulated as an academic discipline, and that the best results would come from the partnership between a trained and qualified management and a cooperative and innovative workforce. Each side needed the other, and there was no need for trade unions.

Taylor’s scientific management consisted of four principles:

i. Replace rule-of-thumb work methods with methods based on a scientific study of the tasks.

ii. Scientifically select, train, and develop each employee rather than passively leaving them to train themselves.

iii. Provide “Detailed instruction and supervision of each worker in the performance of that worker’s discrete task”.

iv. Divide work nearly equally between managers and workers, so that the managers apply scientific management principles to planning the work and the workers actually perform the tasks

Summary of Frederick W Taylor’s Scientific Management Theory:

i. Increasing specialisation and division of labour will make a process more efficient.

ii. Systematically analyze the relationship between the worker and task and redesign processes to ensure maximum efficiency, e.g., use a bigger shovel so more grain can be lifted with each action.

iii. Have written procedures for each task and ensure they are followed by supervision and quality control.

iv. Get maximum prosperity for employer and employee alike by linking pay and other rewards directly to work output.

v. Select workers with the right skills and abilities for the specific task and thoroughly train them to follow the procedures.

vi. Management and workers equally responsible for achievement of goals.

Taylor was not the originator of many of his ideas, but was a pragmatist with the ability to synthesize the work of others and promote them effectively to a ready and eager audience of industrial managers who were striving to find new or improved ways to increase performance.

At the time of Taylor’s work a typical manager would have very little contact with the activities of the factory. Generally, a foreman would be given the total responsibility for producing goods demanded by the salesman. Under these conditions, workmen used what tools they had or could get and adopted methods that suited their own style of work.

F. W. Taylor’s Contributions to Scientific Management:

By 1881, Taylor had published a paper that turned the cutting of metal into a science. Later he turned his attention to shoveling coal. By experimenting with different designs of shovel for use with different material, (from ‘rice’ coal to ore,) he was able to design shovels that would permit the worker to shovel for the whole day.

In so doing, he reduced the number of people shoveling at the Bethlehem Steel Works from 500 to 140. This work, and his studies on the handling of pig iron, greatly contributed to the analysis of work design and gave rise to method study.

To follow, in 1895, were papers on incentive schemes. A piece rate system on production management in shop management, and later, in 1909, he published the book for which he is best known, Principles of Scientific Management.

A feature of Taylor’s work was stop-watch timing as the basis of observations. However, unlike the early activities of Perronet and others, he started to break the timings down into elements and it was he who coined the term ‘time study’.

Taylor’s Contribution to Organisational Theory:

This required an organisation theory similar for all practical purposes to that advocated by those organisational theorists who followed. These theorists developed principles of management, which included much of Taylor’s philosophy.

His framework for organisation was:

i. Clear delineation of authority

ii. Responsibility

iii. Separation of planning from operations

iv. Incentive schemes for workers

v. Management by exception

vi. Task specialization

Drawbacks of Scientific Management:

While scientific management principles improved productivity and had a substantial impact on industry, they also increased the monotony of work. The core job dimensions of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback all were missing from the picture of scientific management.

While in many cases the new ways of working were accepted by the workers, in some cases they were not. The use of stopwatches often was a protested issue and led to a strike at one factory where “Taylorism” was being tested. Despite its controversy, scientific management changed the way that work was done, and forms of it continue to be used today.

Management Guru # 8. Kurt Lewin – Life, Career, Ideas and Research

Kurt Zadek Lewin (September 9, 1890 – February 12, 1947), a German- born psychologist, is one of the modern pioneers of social, organisational, and applied psychology. Lewin is often recognized as the “founder of social psychology” and was one of the first researchers to study group dynamics and organisational development. In an empirical study by Haggbloom et al using six criteria such as citations and recognition, Lewin was found to be the 18th most eminent psychologist of the 20th Century.

Kurt Lewin coined the notion of genidentity, which has gained some importance in various theories of space-time and related fields. He also proposed Herbert Blumer’s interactionist perspective of 1937 as an alternative to the nature versus nurture debate. Lewin suggested that neither nature (inborn tendencies) nor nurture (how experiences in life shape individuals) alone can account for individuals’ behavior and personalities, but rather that both nature and nurture interact to shape each person.

Prominent psychologists mentored by Kurt Lewin included Leon Festinger (1919 – 1989), who became known for his cognitive dissonance theory (1956), environmental psychologist Roger Barker, and Bluma Zeigarnik.


Kurt Lewin, another of those who left Germany as the Nazis consolidated their power, adapted and applied the Gestalt perspective to personality theory and social dynamics and called it “Field Theory.” He translated Gestalt ideas into social experience involving people and made them useful in this context. He was a social reformer as well as a psychological theorist.

Widely recognized as the founder of the sub discipline of social psychology, he was especially interested in the applications of psychology to psychological problems and founded the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Division 9 of the American Psychological Association. He was also responsible for the founding of the National Training Laboratories in Bethel Maine, best known for “sensitivity training” for corporate leaders.

Some Central Ideas:

i. An interest in intergroup conflict, and in conflict between individual and group wishes.

ii. We always exist in relation to a social context. Gestalt ideas can be applied to understanding our place in our social and environmental situation.

iii. We are culturally taught how to see, look, and act. Changing these is in a real sense changing the perceived culture within which we life.

iv. Change can be carried out in ways that respects and humanizes our opponents as well as ourselves. If carried out in violent, dehumanizing ways, it is self-defeating.

Action Research:

Lewin was especially interested in investigation of how to get people to act in ways that were of benefit both to them and the larger social body. He was less interested in “pure research” that had no implications for practical application.

The wartime studies, and the “public commitment” variable. During World War II the government wanted to get people to act in a variety of ways that would help the country as a whole and also the war effort. An example was getting people to change from eating white bread to eating brown bread. In such studies, Lewin found that the variable of public commitment had a strong effect on people’s behavior.

People who heard a lecture on the virtues of eating brown bread changed little. People who also made a public commitment, such as raising their hands or standing up to indicate that they would serve brown bread, were much more likely to actually do so.

Management Guru # 9. Max Weber – Career and Contribution

1864-1920 Bureaucratic Management:

Max Weber is best known as one of the leading scholars and founders of modern sociology, but Weber also accomplished much economic work in the style of the “youngest” German Historical School. Weber’s main contributions to economics (as well as to social sciences in general) was his work on methodology. There are two aspects to this – his theory of Verstehen, or “Interpretative” Sociology and his theory of positivism.

Weber admitted employing “Ideal Types” was an abstraction but claimed it was nonetheless essential if one were to understand any particular social phenomena for, unlike physical phenomena, it involved human behavior which must be understood/interpreted by ideal types.

Management Guru # 10. Michael E. Porter – Early Life, Career, Studies, Principles and Awards 

Born in 1947, Porter is considered to be the father of modern strategy. He is Harvard Business School professor and strategy expert. He is the author of Competitive Strategy – Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. Michael Porter’s work is recognized in many governments, corporations and academic circles globally. He chairs Harvard Business School’s program dedicated for newly appointed CEOs of very large corporations.

Some of Porter’s popular studies are as follows:

i. Five Forces Model

ii. Diamond Model

iii. Competitive advantage and strategies

iv. The value chain

v. The generic strategies of cost leadership, product differentiation.

vi. Global strategy

vii. Porter’s clusters of competence for regional economic development

Michael Porter proposed the theory Competitive advantage in 1990 and theory suggests that states and businesses should pursue policies that create high-quality goods to sell at high prices in the market. Porter emphasizes productivity growth as the focus of national strategies. Competitive advantage rests in the notion that cheap labour is ubiquitous and natural resources are not necessary for a good economy.

Early Life and Career:

Michael Porter received a BSE with high honours in aerospace and mechanical engineering from Princeton University in” 1969, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He received an MBA with high distinction in 1971 from Harvard Business School, where he was a George F. Baker Scholar, and a Ph.D in Business Economics from Harvard University in 1973.

Michael E. Porter is a leading authority on competitive strategy, the competitiveness and economic development of nations, states, and regions, and the application of competitive principles to social problems such as health care, the environment, and corporate responsibility.

He is the author of 18 books and over 125 articles.


i. For analyzing national competitiveness, the focus should be on firm’s performance. The role of the national environment is providing a context within which firms develop their identity, resources, capabilities, and managerial styles.

ii. For a country to sustain a competitive advantage in a particular industry sector requires dynamic advantage: firms must broaden and extend the basis of their competitive advantage by innovation and upgrading. The dynamic conditions that influence innovation and the upgrading are far more important than initial resource endowments in determining national pattern of competitiveness.


The different components of the framework are:

i. Factor Conditions:

Factor condition can be categorized into two forms –

(a) “Home-grown” resources

(b) Highly specialized resources

ii. Demand Conditions:

Demand conditions in the domestic market provide the primary driver of growth, innovation and quality improvement. The premise is that a strong domestic market stimulates the firm from being a startup to a slightly expanded and bigger organisation.

iii. Strategy, Structure and Rivalry:

National performance in particular sector is inevitably related to the strategies and the structure of the firms in that sector. Competition plays a big role in driving innovation and the subsequent upgradation of competitive advantage. Since domestic competition is more direct and impacts earlier than steps taken by foreign competitors, the stimulus provided by them is higher in terms of innovation and efficiency.

Honors and Awards of Michael Porter:

Professor Porter has been widely recognized for his work. Some of these honors include Harvard’s David A. Wells Prize in Economics (1973) for his research in industrial organisation. He received the Graham and Dodd Award of the Financial Analysts Federation in 1980. His book Competitive Advantage won the George R. Terry Book Award of the Academy of Management in 1985 as the outstanding contribution to management thought.

Management Guru # 11. Robert Kaplan – Life, Career and Balanced Scorecard Method

Robert Kaplan is an American Journalist (born 23rd June 1952 in New York), currently a National Correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly and a writer. He did his education from University of Connecticut (1973).

His writings have also been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Republic, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs and the Wall Street Journal, among other newspapers and publications and his more controversial essays about the nature of US power have spurred debate in academia, the media, and the highest levels of government. He lives with his wife in Massachusetts.

Kaplan and Norton introduced the balanced scorecard method in their 1992 Harvard Business Review article, The Balanced Scorecard- Measures That Drive Performance. This method has been endorsed by corporate heavyweights such as Mobil and Sears.

The balanced scorecard envisages executives as pilots with a range of controls and indicators in front of them, based upon which they make decisions and develop strategies. He has also published extensively in the fields of strategy, cost accounting and management accounting. Prior to Harvard, Kaplan was on the faculty and was Dean of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

In 2006, Kaplan received the Lifetime Contribution Award from the Management Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association. Also in 2006, Kaplan was named to the Accounting Hall of Fame.

Management Guru # 12. William Ouchi – Career and Theory of Management

William G. Ouchi (born 1943) is a researcher in the field of business management, an American professor and the author of famous management book Theory Z.

William Ouchi was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He earned a B.A. from Williams College (1965), an MBA from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Chicago. William Ouchi was a Stanford business school professor for 8 years and has been a faculty member of the Anderson School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles for many years.

William Ouchi first came to prominence for his studies of the differences between Japanese and American companies and management styles. His first popular book in 1981 summarized his observations. Theory Z – How American Management Can Meet the Japanese Challenge, made the ‘best-seller’ lists, and remained there for five months. His second book, The M Form Society- How American Teamwork Can Recapture the Competitive Edge, examined various techniques implementing that approach.

William Ouchi proposed 3 approaches to control in an organisation’s management:

i. Market control

ii. Bureaucratic control

iii. Clan control.

In Theory Z, Ouchi describes the art of Japanese management and shows how it can be adapted to American companies. He takes readers behind the scenes at several U.S. corporations making the Theory Z change and shows step-by-step how the transition works. Ouchi also examines the corporate philosophies that have become blueprints for Theory Z success, and looks at the evolving culture of people in society.

Professor Ouchi’s new theory of management promises to change the way managers and employees alike think about their jobs, their companies, and their working lives.

Management Guru # 13. Chris Argyris – Life, Career and Organisational Learning 

Theories of Action, Double-Loop Learning and Organizational Learning:

Chris Argyris was born in Newark New Jersey on July 16, 1923. He is an American business theorist, Professor Emeritus at Harvard Business School, and a Thought Leader at Monitor Group. He is commonly known for seminal work in the area of “Learning Organisations”.

During the Second World War he joined the Signal Corps in the U.S. Army eventually becoming a Second Lieutenant. He went to university at Clark where he came into contact with Kurt Lewin (Lewin had begun the Research Center for Group Dynamics at M.I.T.). He graduated with a degree in Psychology (1947).

He went on to gain an MA in Psychology and Economics from Kansas University (1949), and a Ph.D. in organisational Behavior from Cornell University (he was supervised by William F. Whyte) in 1951.

In a distinguished career Chris Argyris has been a faculty member at Yale University (1951-1971) where he served as the Beach Professor of Administrative Science and Chairperson of the department; and the James Bryant Conant Professor of Education and organisational Behavior at Harvard University (1971). Argyris is currently a director of the Monitor Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Profanity and irony feature heavily in much of Argyris work, and with his psychological viewpoint he explores the root causes behind organisational conundrums such as how good communication can actually block learning, skilled incompetence or the very act of learning to learn.

Other notable concepts theorised by Argyris include- Ladder of Inference, Double-Loop Learning, Theory of Action/Espoused Theory/Theory-in-use, High Advocacy/High Inquiry dialogue, all thoroughly dissected in his many publications. Chris Argyris has made a significant contribution to the development of organizational learning, and of experiential learning.

Organisational Learning:

Chris Argyris and Donald Schn suggest that each member of an organisation constructs his or her own representation or image of the theory-in-use of the whole. The picture is always incomplete and people, thus, are continually working to add pieces and to get a view of the whole. They need to know their place in the organisation. An organisation is like an organism each of whose cells contains a particular, partial, changing image if itself in relation to the whole.

And like such an organism, the organisations practice stems from those very images. Organisation is an artifact of individual ways of representing organisation.

According to Argyris and Schn involves the interventionist in moving through six phases of work:

Phase i – Mapping the problem as clients see it. This includes the factors and relationships that define the problem, and the relationship with the living systems of the organisation.

Phase ii – The internalization of the map by clients. Through inquiry and confrontation the interventionists work with clients to develop a map for which clients can accept responsibility. However, it also needs to be comprehensive.

Phase iii – Test the model. This involves looking at what ‘testable predictions’ can be derived from the map and looking to practice and history to see if the predictions stand up. If they do not, the map has to be modified.

Phase iv – Invent solutions to the problem and simulate them to explore their possible impact.

Phase v – Produce the intervention.

Phase vi – Study the impact. This allows for the correction of errors as well as generating knowledge for future designs. If things work well under the conditions specified by the model, then the map is not disconfirmed.

By running through this sequence and attending to key criteria suggested by Model II, it is argued, organisational development is possible. The process entails looking for the maximum participation of clients, minimizing the risks of candid participation, starting where people want to begin (often with instrumental problems), and designing methods so that they value rationality and honesty.

Management Guru # 14. David P. Norton – Career and Books 

Dr. David P. Norton is co-author, with Dr. Robert S Kaplan, of The Execution Premium – Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage, his fifth Balanced Scorecard book.

His previous books with Kaplan include Alignment, Strategy Maps, named as one of the top ten business books of 2004 by Strategy & Business and amazon(dot)com, The Strategy – Focused Organisation, named by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young as the best international business book for year 2000, and The Balanced Scorecard – Translating Strategy into Action, which has been translated into 22 languages and won the 2001 Wildman Medal from the American Accounting Association for its impact on practice.

David Norton is the co-founder and president of Palladium Group. Prior to his career at Palladium, Dr. Norton co-founded and served as president and CEO of Balanced Scorecard Collaborative. David Norton was also president of Renaissance Solutions, Inc., a Balanced Scorecard consulting firm. Prior to that he was the co-founder and president of Nolan, Norton & Company, where he spent 17 years as president.

David Norton is a Trustee of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a former Director of ACME (the Association of Consulting and Management Engineers).

David P. Norton is founder and president of Renaissance Strategy Group, a consulting firm located in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Management Guru # 15. Rensis Likert – Life, Bio and Career

American educator and organisational psychologist Rensis Likert (pronounced ‘Lick-urt’) (1903-1981) is best known for his research on management styles. He developed Likert Scales and the Linking pin model.

Rensis Likert was a founder of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and was the director from its inception in 1946 until 1970, when he retired and founded Rensis Likert Associates to consult for numerous corporations. During his tenure, Rensis Likert devoted particular attention to research on organisations.

During the 1960s and 1970s, his books on management theory were extremely popular in Japan and their impact can be seen across modern Japanese organisations. He did research on major corporations around the world, and his studies have accurately predicted the subsequent performance of the corporations.


Rensis Likert is well known in the field of conflict management. He was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on is August 5, 1903, the son of George Herbert, an engineer, and Cornelia Zonne Likert. In 1926, he graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Likert continued his studies at Columbia University in New York City, earning a Ph.D. in 1932. By that time he had begun his teaching career as an instructor at New York University, New York City, becoming an assistant professor in 1935.

Likert spent a year on the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York 1935-1936, before being named head of the Division of Program Surveys, Bureau of Agricultural Economics in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. Also during that period, he was research director for Life Insurance Agency Management Association, 1935-39, and director of the Morale Division of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, 1944-1946, during World War II.

Rensis Likert received his B.A. in Sociology from the University of Michigan in 1926. His early grounding in these fields was the basis for much of Likert’s work. The field of sociology in the 1920s was highly experimental and incorporated many aspects of modern psychology. In 1932 he received his Ph.D in psychology from Columbia University.

For his thesis work, Likert produced a survey scale (Likert Scales) as a means of measuring attitudes, showing that it captured more information than competing methods. The 1-5 Likert Scales would eventually become Likert’s best-known work.

According to Rensis Likert employee centered supervision is more productive than job centered supervision. In other words, the more the job is supervised, the less productive the people.

Management Guru # 16. Mary Parker Follett – Life, Career and Books

Mary Parker Follett (1892-1933) born in Massachusetts, was an American social worker, consultant, and author of books on democracy, human relations, and management. She worked as a management and political theorist, introducing such phrases as “conflict resolution,” “authority and power,” and “the task of leadership.”

Follett was born into an affluent Quaker family in Massachusetts and spent much of her early life there. In 1898, she graduated from Radcliffe College.

Follett suggested that organisations function on the principle of power “with” and not power “over.” She recognized the holistic nature of community and advanced the idea of “reciprocal relationships” in understanding the dynamic aspects of the individual in relationship to others. Follett advocated the principle of integration, “power sharing.” Her ideas on negotiation, power, and employee participation were influential in the development of organisational studies. She was a pioneer of community centres.


Mary Parker Follett was a visionary and pioneering individual in the field of human relations, democratic organisation, and management. She graduated from Radcliffe summa cum laude in 1898.

From 1900 to 1908, Follett devoted herself to social work in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. In 1908 she became chairperson of the Women’s Municipal League’s Committee on Extended Use of School Buildings, and in 1911, she helped open the East Boston High School Social Center. She was instrumental in the formation of many other social centers throughout Boston. Her experience in this area helped to transform her view of democracy.

Follett is increasingly recognized today as the originator, at least in the 20th century, of ideas that are today commonly accepted as “cutting edge” in organisational theory and public administration. These include the idea of seeking “win-win” solutions, community-based solutions, and strength in human diversity, situational leadership, and a focus on process.

However, just as her ideas were advanced for her own time, and advanced when people wrote about them decades after her death, they remain too often unrealized. We recognize them as an inspirational and guiding ideal for us today, at the beginning of the 21st century. It is the intention and the design of the Foundation’s programs to continue the effort to bridge ideal and practice in a continuous process that gives rise to true freedom.

Management Guru # 17. Peter Drucker – Life, Career and Ideas

Peter Drucker is known as the father of modern management. A prolific writer, business consultant and lecturer, he introduced many management concepts that have been embraced by corporations around the world.

Peter Ferdinand Drucker (November 19, 1909-November 11, 2005) was a writer, management consultant, and self-described social ecologist. His books and scholarly and popular articles explored how humans are organized across the business, government and the nonprofit sectors of society.

His writings have predicted many of the major developments of the late twentieth century, including privatization and decentralization; the rise of Japan to economic world power; the decisive importance of marketing; and the emergence of the information society with its necessity of lifelong learning. In 1959, Peter Drucker coined the term knowledge worker” and later in his life considered knowledge work productivity to be the next frontier of management.


His career as a business thinker took off in 1942, when his initial writings on politics and society won him access to the internal workings of General Motors (GM), one of the largest companies in the world at that time. His experiences in Europe had left him fascinated with the problem of authority. He shared his fascination with Donaldson Brown, the mastermind behind the administrative controls at GM.

In 1943 Brown invited him in to conduct what might be called a “political audit”- a two-year social-scientific analysis of the corporation. Drucker attended every board meeting, interviewed employees, and analyzed production and decision-making processes.

The resulting book, Concept of the Corporation, popularized GM’s multidivisional structure and led to numerous articles, consulting engagements, and additional books. GM, however, was hardly thrilled with the final product. Drucker had suggested that the auto giant might want to reexamine a host of long-standing policies on customer relations, dealer relations, employee relations and more.

Inside the corporation, Druckers counsel was viewed as hypercritical. GM’s revered chairman, Alfred Sloan, was so upset about the book that he simply treated it as if it did not exist, Drucker later recalled, never mentioning it and never allowing it to be mentioned in his presence.

Drucker taught that management is a liberal art, and he infused his management advice with interdisciplinary lessons from history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, culture and religion. He also believed strongly that all institutions, including those in the private sector, have a responsibility to the whole of society.

His approach worked well in the increasingly mature business world of the second half of the twentieth century. By that time, large corporations had developed the basic manufacturing efficiencies and managerial hierarchies of mass production.

During his long consulting career, Drucker worked with many major corporations, including General Electric, Coca-Cola, Citicorp, IBM, and Intel. He consulted with notable business leaders such as GEs Jack Welch; Procter & Gambles A. G. Lafley; Intels Andy Grove; Edward Jones; John Bachmann; Shoichiro Toyoda, the honorary chairman of Toyota Motor Corp.; and Masatoshi Ito, the honorary chairman of the Ito-Yokado Group, the second largest retailing organisation in the world.

Basic Ideas of Peter Drucker:

i. Decentralization and simplification. Drucker discounted the command and control model and asserted that companies work best when they are decentralized. According to Drucker, corporations tend to produce too many products, hire employees they don’t need (when a better solution would be outsourcing), and expand into economic sectors that they should avoid.

ii. A profound skepticism of macroeconomic theory. Drucker contended that economists of all schools fail to explain significant aspects of modern economies.

iii. Respect of the worker. Drucker believed that employees are assets and not liabilities. He taught that knowledge workers are the essential ingredients of the modern economy. Central to this philosophy is the view that people are an organisation’s most valuable resource and that a manager’s job is to prepare and free people to perform.

iv. A belief in what he called “the sickness of government.”

v. The need for “planned abandonment”.

vi. A belief that taking action without thinking is the cause of every failure.

vii. The need for community.

viii. The need to manage business by balancing a variety of needs and goals, rather than subordinating an institution to a single value.

ix. A company’s primary responsibility is to serve its customers. Profit is not the primary goal, but rather an essential condition for the company’s continued existence.

x. An organisation should have a proper way of executing all its business processes.

xi. A belief in the notion that great companies could stand among humankind’s noblest inventions.

Management Guru # 18. Joseph M. Juran – Early Life, Pareto Principle and  Contribution to Management

Joseph Moses Juran (December 24, 1904 – February 28, 2008) was a 20th Century management consultant who is principally remembered as an evangelist for quality and quality management, writing several influential books on those subjects. He was also the brother of Academy Award winner Nathan H. Juran.

Early Life of Joseph Juran:

Juran was born to a Jewish family in 1904 in Braila, Romania, and later lived in Gura Humorului. In 1912, he immigrated to America with his family, settling in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Juran excelled in school, especially in mathematics. Juran graduated from Minneapolis South High School in 1920.

In 1924, with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota, Juran joined Western Electric’s Hawthorne Works. His first job was troubleshooting in the Complaint Department. In 1925, Bell Labs proposed that Hawthorne Works personnel be trained in its newly- developed statistical sampling and control chart techniques.

Juran was chosen to join the Inspection Statistical Department, small group of engineers charged with applying and disseminating Bell Labs’ statistical quality control innovations. This highly-visible position fueled Juran’s rapid ascent in the organisation and the course of his later career.

Pareto Principle:

It was in 1941 that Juran discovered the work of Vilfredo Pareto. Juran expanded the Pareto principle applying it to quality issues (e.g., 80% of a problem is caused by 20% of the causes). This is also known as “the vital few and the trivial many”. In later years Juran has preferred “the vital few and the useful many” to signal that the remaining 80% of the causes should not be totally ignored.

Contribution to Management:

When he began his career in the 1920s, the principal focus in quality management was on the quality of the end, or finished, product. The tools used were from the Bell system of sampling, inspection plans, (tables), and the Shewhart control charts.

Juran is widely credited for adding the human dimension to quality management. He pushed for the education and training of managers. For Juran, human relations problems were the ones to isolate. Resistance to change or, in his terms, cultural resistance was the root cause of quality issues.

Quality Trilogy:

i. Quality Planning:

(a) Identify who are the customers.

(b) Determine the needs of those customers.

(c) Translate those needs into our language.

(d) Develop a product that can respond to those needs.

(e) Optimise the product features so as to meet our needs and customer needs.

ii. Quality Improvement:

(a) Develop a process which is able to produce the product.

(b) Optimise the process.

iii. Quality Control:

(a) Prove that the process can produce the product under operating conditions with minimal inspection.

(b) Transfer the process to operations.

Management Guru # 19. James MacGregor Burns – Life, Career, Books and Leadership

Author of the critically acclaimed classic Leadership (1978) James MacGregor Burns was born in 1918. He graduated with a degree in political science from Harvard and then attended The London School of Economics before embarking upon a remarkable career through both the seas of politics and academia.

Author and co-author of over 10 books on leadership theory since the 1940s, former chair of the Berkshire Country Commission Against Discrimination, former president of the American Political Science Association, former president of the International Society of Political Psychology, Democratic nominee for Congress (1958) and lecturer for multiple institutions and think tanks, Burns remains a hugely iconic and influential figure in the study of leadership in American political life.

His key innovation in leadership theory was shifting away from studying the traits of great men and transactional management to focus on the interaction of leaders and led as collaborators working toward mutual benefit. He is best known for contributions to the Transformational, Aspirational and Visionary schools of leadership theory.

Excerpts from James MacGregor’s Book Leadership:

i. Leadership over human beings is exercised when persons with certain motives and purposes mobilize, in competition or conflict with others, institutional, political, psychological, and other resources so as to arouse, engage, and satisfy the motives of followers… in order to realize goals mutually held by both leaders and followers.

ii. Transformational leadership occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality.

iii. That people can be lifted into their better selves is the secret of transforming leadership and the moral and practical theme of this work.

James MacGregor Burns introduced a normative element – an effective Burnsian leader will unite followers in a shared vision that will improve an organisation and society at large. Burns calls leadership that delivers “true” value, integrity, and trust transformational leadership. He distinguishes such leadership from “mere” transactional leadership that builds power by doing whatever will get more followers.

But problems arise in quantifying the transformational quality of leadership – evaluation of that quality seems more difficult to quantify than merely counting the followers that the straw man of transactional leadership James MacGregor Burns has set as a primary standard for effectiveness. Thus transformational leadership requires an evaluation of quality, independent of the market demand that exhibits in the number of followers.

Management Guru # 20. Douglas McGregor – Life, Career and Theory X/Theory Y

Douglas McGregor was an American social psychologist best known for Theory X/Theory Y – opposing assumptions about human behaviour behind every management decision. Douglas McGregor earned a B.E. Mechanical from Rangoon Institute of Technology, an A.B. from Wayne State University in 1932, then earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University in 1933 and 1935 respectively.

Douglas McGregor (1906-1964) was a Management professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and president of Antioch College from 1948 to 1954. His 1960 book, The Human Side of Enterprise had a profound influence on education practices. In the book he identified an approach of creating an environment within which employees are motivated via authoritative, direction and control or integration and self – control, which he called theory X and theory Y, respectively. Theory Y is the practical application of Dr. Abraham Maslow’s Humanistic School of Psychology, or Third Force psychology, applied to scientific management.

Building on Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, McGregor set out two opposing assumptions about human nature and motivation.

Theory X:

People are lazy, dislike work and need threat of job loss and financial incentives to work hard. They need direction and control and cannot take responsibility.

Theory Y:

People need to work, actively seek responsibility, and are generally creative and resourceful. They will be self-directed to achieve objectives that meet both organisational and individual goals. Intellectual potential needs to be utilised.

Douglas McGregor said that management style and decision-making depends on which theory management believes applies to their staff. Theory X was adopted by traditional Taylor-ist management, and Theory Y by more modern management thinkers, following Elton Mayo’s human relations approach.

Management Guru # 21. Dale Carnegie – Life, Career and Books

Dale Breckenridge Carnegie born on November 24th, 1888, was an American writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self- improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking and interpersonal skills. Born in poverty on a farm in Missouri, he was the author of ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’, first published in 1936, a massive bestseller that remains popular today. He also wrote a biography of Abraham Lincoln, titled Lincoln the Unknown, as well as several other books.

Dale Carnegie was an early proponent of what is now called responsibility assumption, although this only appears minutely in his written work. One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other Dale people’s behavior by changing one’s reaction to them.

Management Guru # 22. Christopher A. Bartlett – Life, Career, and Books

Christopher Bartlett is the Thomas D. Casserly, Jr. Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He received an economics degree from the University of Queensland, Australia (1964), and both the masters and doctorate degrees in business administration from Harvard University (1971 and 1979).

Prior to joining the faculty of Harvard Business School, he was a marketing manager with Alcoa in Australia, a management consultant in McKinsey and Company’s London office, and general manager at Baxter Laboratories’ subsidiary company in France.

He has published eight books, including (co-authored with Sumantra Ghoshal) Managing Across Borders – The Transnational Solution, reissued by Harvard Business School Press in a new edition in 1998 and named by the Financial Times as one of the 50 most influential business books of the century; and The Individualized Corporation, published by Harper Business in 1997, winner of the Igor Ansoff Award for the best new work in strategic management and named one of the Best Business Books for the Millennium by Strategy + Business magazine.

Both books have been translated into more than ten languages. He has also researched and written over 100 case studies and teaching notes.

He has been elected by his academic colleagues as a Fellow of both the Academy of Management and the Academy of International Business. In 2001, the International Management Division of the Academy of Management made him the recipient of its Distinguished Scholar Award. In addition to his academic responsibilities, he maintains ongoing consulting and board relationships with several large corporations, particularly in areas relating to his current research.

Management Guru # 23. C. K. Prahalad – Life, Career, and Writings 

Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahalad was born in the town of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu on 8th August 1941. He was a graduate in Physics from Loyola College – Chennai (then Madras). He worked in Union Carbide for nearly four years as a manager which according to him in a way shaped his ideas of management and then did his masters from IIMA and his DBA from Harvard in 1975.

Then he taught at IIMA for a while to return to Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan as a distinguished Professor. During his life, he was frequently ranked as one of the most prominent business thinkers in the world.

Two of his major ideas are about core competencies of the organisation and leveraging on it and the idea of looking at poor as source of profit than an object of charity. He was renowned as the co­author of “Core Competence of the Corporation” (with Gary Hamel) and “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” (with Stuart L. Hart).

Writings, Interests, and Business Experience:

In the earlier days of Prahalad’s fame as established management guru, in the beginning of the 90’s, he advised Philips’ Jan Timmer on the restructuring of this electronic corporation, then on the brink of collapse. With the resulting, successful, 2-3 year long Operation Centurion he also frequently stood for the Philips management troops.

C. K. Prahalad is the co-author of a number of well-known works in corporate strategy, including The Core Competence of the Corporation which continues to be one of the most frequently reprinted articles published by the Harvard Business Review.

He authored or co-authored several international bestsellers, including – Competing for the Future, The Future of Competition, and The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid- Eradicating Poverty through Profits. His last book, co-authored by M. S. Krishnan and published in April 2008, is called The New Age of Innovation.

He was a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission of the United Nations on Private Sector and Development. He was the first recipient of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Award for contributions to Management and Public Administration presented by the President of India in 1999.

On his vision about India, Prahalad says – “As a country, India must have high and shared aspirations like it had in 1929 when the leaders of the then Congress party declared their ambition as Poorna Swaraj. Since then, India has never had a national aspiration which every Indian could share.”

Management Guru # 24. Sumantra Ghoshal – Life, Career, Books and Research

Sumantra Ghoshal (1948-2004) was an academic and management guru. He was the founding Dean of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, which is jointly sponsored by the Kellogg School at Northwestern University and the London Business School. He was a man full of energy and inventiveness. He was recognised for his research and teaching on strategic, organisational and managerial issues confronting global companies.

Ghoshal co-authored Managing across Borders – The Transnational Solution, with Christopher A Barlett, which has been listed in the Financial Times as one of the 50 most influential management books has been translated into nine languages.

Sumantra Ghoshal was born in Calcutta. Following his graduation from both Delhi University in physics and the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, he joined the Indian Oil Corporation rising through the management ranks before moving to the United States on a Fulbright Fellowship and Humphrey Fellowship in 1981.

Ghoshal’s work focused on the matrix structure in multinational organisations, and the “conflict and confusion” that reporting along both geographical and functional lines created. His treatment of management issues at the level of the individual led him to conclude that management theory that focuses on the economic aspects of man to the exclusion of all others is incorrect at best. According to him, “A theory that assumes that managers cannot be relied upon by shareholders can make managers less reliable.”

Management Guru # 25. Gita Piramal – Life, Career and Books

More often than not, a journalist’s viewpoint is considered to be critical, biased and dynamic. But a journalist with a PhD in business history is a potentially intense combination. This profile describes, Gita Piramal an author who has written for many years on the corporate sector for leading Indian and international publications such as the Financial Times and the Economic Times, and is a consulting editor of the World Executive’s Digest.

She also has been involved in the making of television programmes on Indian business for the BBC and Plus Channel. In 1986, she co-authored India’s Industrialists, and in 1991 contributed to Business and Politics in India—A historical perspective, published by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. She divides her time between London and Mumbai.

Through her works, she describes the Indian corporate sector with Indian historical and political references as the foundation. How earlier systems have an influence on contemporary operations and radical changes or ‘Business Mantras’ required to keep abreast in this dynamic environment.

Gita Piramal is one of India’s foremost business writers. She is now the managing editor of The Smart Manager, India’s first world-class management magazine.

Management Guru # 26. Ram Charan – Life, Career and Awards

If you want to know how to strip down a concept to its core meaning and then put it into action, you should consider the works of Ram Charan. He is a highly acclaimed business advisor, speaker, and author. Ram has coached some of the world’s most successful CEOs. For 35 years, he has worked behind the scenes at companies like GE, KLM, Bank of America, DuPont, Novartis, EMC, Home Depot and Verizon.

Ram Charan is a highly sought after business advisor and speaker famous among senior executives for his uncanny ability to solve their toughest business problems.

Ram is a favourite among executive educators. He won the Bell Ringer (best teacher) award at GE’s famous Crotonville Institute. He won similar awards at Wharton and Northwestern. He was among Business Week’s top ten resources for in-house executive development programs.

Life and Career:

Dr. Charan’s introduction to business came early while working in the family shoe shop in the small Indian town where he was raised. He earned an engineering degree in India and soon after took a job in Australia and then in Hawai. When his talent for business was discovered, Dr. Charan was encouraged to pursue it.

He earned MBA and doctorate degrees from Harvard Business School, where he graduated with high distinction and was a baker scholar. After receiving his doctorate degree, he served on the Harvard Business School faculty.

Apart from authoring fine books, he also tailors his books for specific client companies such as Gateway, Ford, and EDS. His articles have been published in Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Time, Information Week, Leader to Leader, Director’s Monthly, Directorship, The Corporate Board and USA Today. Ram is a director of Austin Industries and The Six Sigma Academy.

He is known for his practical, real world perspective. His expertise entails areas of business like: Profitable Growth, Business Acumen, Leadership, Execution- Discipline of Getting Things Done, Tools for Changing a Social System, Global Matrix organisation, Innovation, Corporate Governance, Succession & Leadership Pipeline, Building Top Management Teams.

Management Guru # 27. Arindham Chaudhuri – Life, Bio, Contribution and IIPM

Speaking of contemporary business thinkers, another fine entrepreneur, educator, author and enterprising personality is Arindham Chaudhuri.

Professor Chaudhuri is the Dean, Centre for Economic Research & Advanced Studies at IIPM (The Indian Institute of Planning & Management, New Delhi). In the year 1996 he founded Planman Consulting which is now one of the fastest growing Indian Management Consulting Firms. After being associated with the production and marketing of two Bengali movies, in the year 2001, he formally launched Planman Life – A fully dedicated production and communications venture.

As a management consultant he specializes in the areas of Strategic Vision, Leadership, Social Sector Consulting, Comparative Management Techniques and Global Opportunities & Threat Analysis.

His contribution to the field of management studies in India can be found in the iconoclastic “Theory ‘i’ Management” which he has developed for India Inc. “Theory ‘i’ Management” is about India centric management ideas. For the last few years he has been conducting workshops on Leadership and Strategic Vision exclusively for CEOs, MDs, Directors and Presidents from the corporate sector.

From the Managing Director of Hero Motors to the President of Tata Chemicals, from the Executive President of A. V. Birla Group to the CEO of Ernst & Young… have all taken leadership training workshops from him.

He was recently rated as one of the 50 leading thinkers in South Asia by Wilton Park (an organisation supported by the European Commission and British foreign office).

Further, he was awarded the Academic Gold Medal while completing the Post Graduate Diploma in Planning and Management from IIPM. Prof. Chaudhuri was awarded “Management Guru 2000 Award” by Chennai based Om Venkatesa Society which annually honours management experts.

Management Guru # 28. Promod Batra – Book, Shot Bio and Seminars

Have you ever been in a situation when your need a trigger to propel those business thoughts? The answer lies in a think tank that provides distilled wisdom of finest minds, ‘Management Thoughts’. This book was written by Promod Batra, which was a new concept in 1991 and the first of its kind in the world. It is a collection of simple management thoughts, supplemented with full page illustrations by Mickey Patel, a cartoonist of repute. It has sold over 2,00,000 copies in India and abroad a record by itself.

Promod Batra got his professional training with General Mills Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Soyabean Council of America. On return to India he joined Escorts Limited in 1963, and retired as Chief General Manager in 1996. His tenure with the Escorts Group included his assignment as Chief Administrator at Escorts Heart Institute & Research Centre for six years.

He is now devoting full time to writing, publishing and selling books on Management of Self, Family Employees and Customers, and conducting Attitudinal Seminars based on his books.

Management Guru # 29. Shiv Khera – Early Life, Career, Quotes, Book and Short Bio

In this dog-eat-dog business world, if you are not self-motivated, self-confident and unique, you WILL be trampled over. At such times look into the works of the distinguished management guru and motivator, Shiv Khera. He is an Indian motivational speaker, author of self-help books, business consultants, activist and politician.

His gospel – “Winners don’t do different things, they do things differently”

Shiv Khera is the founder of Qualified Learning Systems Inc. An educator, business consultant, a much sought after speaker and a successful entrepreneur. He has taken his dynamic personal message around the world. Shiv has been recognized as a “Louis Marchesi Fellow” by the Round Table Foundation. His client list includes the who’s who of the corporate world.

Early Life and Career:

Shiv Khera was born in a business family who owned coal mines in Dhanbad (earlier Bihar, now in Jharkhand). When the mines were nationalized, his grandfather lost his business and Khera went to the US looking for a job. He started working their washing cars and selling life insurance. The turning point in his life came when he attended a lecture by motivational speaker Dr. Norman Vincent Peale in Canada and got inspired by his motivational teaching.

Khera has been delivering motivational lectures for more than ten years, primarily in India, US and Singapore. He has spoken in seminars, workshops and as keynote speaker in conferences. He has developed a three-day workshop called Blueprint for success, which focuses on “the key areas of MAALTS (motivation, attitude, ambition, leadership, teamwork and self-esteem)”.

He also conducts in house workshops on time management, time, stress management, customer service, platform skills and improving sales.

His first two books are on an individualistic level, where he defines the winning edge as achieving excellence rather than perfection, as excellence paves the way for progress. He also conveys that it is better to be honourable than to be honoured. His work offers direction for living with pride in a cluttered environment. His latest book concentrates on society. Here he firmly believes that a progressive society is the basis for individual progress of its people.

Transforming his years of experience as a motivator into a practical tool, he has developed a core program/workshop known as the Blueprint for Success (BPS). This program motivates people to recognize their true potential and gain success – personally and professionally.