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List of business theorists
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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:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Business theorists:

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Harvard Business Review Survey

We 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 March: Social scientist at Stanford

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

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 • 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 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 Samuelson: Nobel laureate economist at MIT • Edgar Schein: Psychologist and management scholar at MIT • Adrian Slywotsky: Management writer and consultant • Frederick Taylor (1856–1915): The “father of scientific management” • John Van Maanen: Ethnographer at MIT • Sidney Winter: Economist at Wharton

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