List of business theorists


List of business theorists

This is an annotated list of important business theorists. It is in alphabetical order based on last name. To facilitate reading, only names are hyperlinked. For quick navigation, click on one of the letters:

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Business theorists:

A

*David A. Aaker - marketing strategy (1980s)
*Russell L. Ackoff - operations research and systems theory (1950s - 2004)
*Karol Adamiecki - management (1890s-1930s)
*Igor Ansoff - strategic management (1950s-1970s)
*Chris Argyris - learning systems (1970s, 1980s, 1990s)

B

*Chester Barnard - management (1920s, 1930s)
*Patrick Blackett, Baron Blackett - operations research (1930s, 1940s)
*Matthew Boulton - labor productivity (1800s)

C

*James A. Champy - Business process reengineering (1990s)
*Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. - Management - Pulitzer prize for "The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business" (1977)
*Ronald Coase - Transaction costs, Coase theorem, Theory of the firm (1950s) (Nobel Prize in 1991)
*James C. Collins - vision statement, strategic planning and BHAG (1990s)
*Philip Crosby - quality control (1980s) - "Quality is Free"

D

*George S. Day - marketing (1970s)
*W. Edwards Deming - statistical quality control, (1950s, 1960s)
*Peter Drucker - management (1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s)

E

F

*Henri Fayol - management (1910s)
*Armand V. Feigenbaum - quality control (1950s)
*Ronald Fisher - statistics (1920s)
*Mary Follett - organizational studies (1930s)
*T. Fry - statistical queuing theory (1920s)

G

*J. K. Galbraith - The New Industrial State (1967)
*B. Gale - Profit impact of marketing strategy (PIMS) (1970s, 1980s)
*Henry Gantt - Gantt chart (1900s)
*David Garvin - eight dimensions of quality --
*Michael Gerber - "E-Myth Revisited", others
*P. Ghemawat - experience curve (1980s) --
*Sumantra Ghoshal -
*Frank Gilbreth - Time and motion study (1900s)
*Eliyahu M. Goldratt - Theory of Constraints (1980s)
*Vytautas Andrius Graiciunas - management (1933)
*Erich Gutenberg - theory of the firm (1950s)

H

*Gary Hamel - core competency, strategic management (1990s)
*Michael Hammer - business process reengineering (1990s)
*Charles Handy - organisational behaviour (1990s)
*F. Harris - economic lot size model (1910s)
*Frederick Herzberg - two factor theory, motivation theory, job enrichment (1970s)
*Frederick Hallsey - wage and compensation plans (1890s)

I

*Kaoru Ishikawa (1915-1989) - Ishikawa diagram in industrial process; quality circles (1960s)
*Masaaki Imai (1930) - Kaizen (continuous improvement)(1980s, 1990s, 2000s)

J

* Joseph M. Juran (1904-2008) quality control, especially quality circles (1960s), (1970s)

K

*Rosabeth Moss Kanter - Business Management and Change Management (1977)
*Robert S. Kaplan - management accounting and balanced scorecard (1990s)
*Joseph Koshnick - leadership and organizational design (1980s, 1990s)
*Philip Kotler - marketing management and social marketing (1970s, 1980s, 1990s)
*John Kotter - organizational behaviour and management (1980s, 1990s)

L

*Albert S Humphrey - strategic planning, SWOT analysis (1970s, 1980s)
*William Henry Leffingwell - office management (1910s)-(1940s)
*Theodore Levitt - marketing and globalization (1960s, 1970s)
*John Lintner - capital asset pricing model (1970s)

M

*James G. March - theory of the firm (1960s)
*Constantinos Markides - strategic management and strategy dynamics (1990s)
*Harry Markowitz - modern portfolio theory (1960s, 1970s) - Nobel Prize in 1990
*George Elton Mayo - job satisfaction and Hawthorne effect (1920s, 1930s)
*Daniel McCallum - organizational charts (1850s)
*Leo Melamed - currency futures and derivatives (1980s, 1990s)
*Henry Metcalfe - the science of administration (1880s)
*Merton Miller - Modigliani-Miller theorem and corporate finance (1970s)
*Henry Mintzberg - organizational architecture, strategic management (1970s-2000s)
*Franco Modigliani - Modigliani-Miller theorem and corporate finance (1970s)
*Hugo Münsterberg - the psychology of work (1910s)

N

*Nicholas Negroponte - human-computer interaction (1970s-1990s)
*Nils Brunsson - institutionalized hypocrisy of organizations (1990s onwards)

O

*Kenichi Ohmae - 3C's Model and strategic management (1970s, 1980s)
*Taiichi Ohno - Toyota Production System, lean manufacturing, just in time (1980s)
*David Ogilvy - advertising (1960s-1980s)
*William Ouchi - Theory Z (1980s)
*Robert Owen - cooperatives (1810s)

P

*Luca Pacioli - double-entry bookkeeping system and financial statements (1494)
*Edith Penrose - Theory of the Growth of the Firm (1959)
*Laurence J. Peter - peter principle (1970s)
*Jeffrey Pfeffer - organizational development (1970s) - (?)
*Henry Poor - the principles of organization (1850s) - (?)
*Michael Porter - strategic management and Porter's 5 forces (1970s-1990s)
*Thomas J. Peters - management (1970s, 1980s)
*C. K. Prahalad - core competency (1980s)

Q

R

*Al Ries - Positioning Theory (1980s) - (?)
*Reg Revans - Action learning (1980s) - (?)

*Dan J. Sanders - People-Centered Leadership (2000s-?)
*Eugen Schmalenbach - economic value added (1920s-?)
*Don Edward Schultz - Integrated Marketing Communications (1990s-2000s)
*Walter Scott - the psychology of personnel management (1920s) (?)
*Patricia Seybold - e-marketing, e-commerce, customer co-design (1990s-2000s)
*Oliver Sheldon - business philosophy (1920s)
*J. Sheth - business strategy (1990s) - (?)
*Walter A. Shewhart - control charts (1920s-1930s)
*Shigeo Shingo (1909-1990) - Zero Quality Control (Poka-Yoke) and Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED)
*Herbert A. Simon - (1916-2001) Satisficing Nobel Prize, 1978
*Adrian Slywotzky - marketing strategy (1990s)
*Adam Smith - economics, capitalism, free trade (1770s)
*the Soranzo brothers - journals and ledgers (1410s) (?)

T

*Genichi Taguchi (1924-) Taguchi methods, quality control
*Frederick Winslow Taylor - scientific management, time and motion study (1900s)
*Ordway Tead (1891 - 1973)- the psychology of industry (1910s) (?)
*Henry R. Towne - scientific management (1890s)
*Jack Trout - marketing warfare strategies and positioning (marketing) (1980s-2000s)

U

V

W

*Richard Waterman - Excellence theories (1970s, 1980s) (?)
*James Watt (1736-1819) - Industrial Revolution, division of labour, standard operating procedures, cost control (1810s)
*Max Weber - a founder of the modern study of sociology and public administration (1900)
*Joseph Wharton (1826-1909) - protective tariffs, business cycles, Wharton School of Business
*Eli Whitney (1765-1825) - interchangeable parts, cost accounting (1810s,1820s)
*Oliver Williamson - transaction costs, theory of the firm (1960s)

X

Y

Z

Harvard Business Review Survey

The Harvard Business Review asked 200 management gurus—the business thinkers most often mentioned in the media and management literature—who their gurus were. Below are their responses.

"Eight Mentions" Peter Drucker: Management theory

"Seven Mentions" James G. March: Social scientist at Stanford

"Six Mentions" Herbert Simon (1916–2001): Nobel laureate economist and organizational theorist at Carnegie Mellon

"Five Mentions" Paul Lawrence: Organizational researcher at Harvard Business School

"Four Mentions" Richard Beckhard (1918–1999): Management theorist at MIT • Fernand Braudel (1902–1985): French historian • Ian Koshnick: Attorney organizational designer at the University of Maryland; Henry Mintzberg: Management writer and critic at McGill • Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950): Economist at Harvard • Karl Weick: Social psychologist at the University of Michigan

"Three Mentions" Russell Ackoff: Operations and systems theorist at Wharton • Warren Bennis: Leadership theorist and writer at the University of Southern California • Ronald Coase: Nobel laureate economist at the University of Chicago • W. Edwards Deming (1900–1993): Statistician and quality consultant • Erving Goffman (1922–1982): Sociologist • Gary Hamel: Consultant and management writer • Jay Lorsch: Organizational researcher at Harvard Business School • Michael Porter: Professor of strategy and competitiveness at Harvard Business School • C.K. Prahalad: Management theorist at the University of Michigan • Jack Welch: Former CEO, General Electric • Oliver Williamson: Organizational economist at the University of California, Berkeley

"Two Mentions" Chris Argyris: Organizational psychologist at Harvard • Kenneth Arrow: Nobel laureate economist at Stanford • Gregory Bateson (1904–1980): Anthropologist • Daniel Bell: Sociologist at Harvard • John Seely Brown: Former chief scientist at Xerox • Alfred Chandler: Historian at Harvard Business School • C. West Churchman: Systems theorist • James C. Collins: Management writer and consultant • Eric Erikson (1902–1994): Psychological-growth theorist at Harvard • Michel Foucault (1926–1984): French polymath • Anthony Giddens: British sociologist • Andrew Grove: Former CEO, Intel • Everett Hughes (1897–1983): Sociologist • Michael Jensen: Organizational strategist and former professor at Harvard Business School • Stuart Kauffman: Biologist, chaos and complexity theorist • Kurt Lewin (1890–1947): Social psychologist • Karl Marx (1818–1883): German economist and social theorist • Douglas McGregor (1906–1964): Management theorist at MIT • Robert K. Merton (1910–2003): Sociologist at Columbia • Geoffrey Moore: Management writer and consultant • Richard Pascale: Management writer and consultant • Jeffrey Pfeffer: Business professor at Stanford • Paul A. Samuelson: Nobel laureate economist at MIT • Edgar Schein: Psychologist and management scholar at MIT • Adrian Slywotsky: Management writer and consultant • Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856–1915): The “father of scientific management” • John Van Maanen: Ethnographer at MIT • Sidney Winter: Economist at Wharton

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