Henry Mintzberg

Henry Mintzberg
McGill University | McGill · Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management (MDIIM)

PhD MIT 1968, SM MIT 1965, B.Eng McGill 1961

About

171
Publications
180,314
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
58,498
Citations

Publications

Publications (171)
Article
For the past 15 years, and especially since I published Managers not MBAs in 2004, we have been on a journey: to renew organizations by transforming how their managers are developed. We have come a long way, through our own development of a family of programs that suggest some novel ways by which organizations can be renewed. This has been based on...
Article
The widely accepted view equates strategy making with planning, assuming that strategies are 'formulated' before they are 'implemented'. Based on the detailed tracking over time of the actions of a single project organization, strongly resemblant of an ideal type called 'adhocracy', this paper shows that strategies can 'form' in a variety of differ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify critical challenges to public leaders in troubled times, based on the experience and thoughts of an accomplished and world-renowned academic in the field of strategy and leadership. The authors have also included it on the original paper, which is attached. Design/methodology/approach A semi-struc...
Article
Full-text available
Although corporations can play important roles in addressing some of society’s problems, it’s naïve to think that corporate social responsibility can turn the corporate landscape into a win-win wonderland. ---------------- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) isn’t a piece of cake. It is fraught with contradictions, subject to political challenges...
Article
Full-text available
Myths impede the effective management of health care, for example that the system is failing (indeed, that is a system), and can be fixed by detached social engineering and heroic leadership, or treating it more like a business. This field needs to reframe its management, as distributed beyond the " top " ; its strategy as venturing, not planning;...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we challenge the notion that complex and resilient problems - such as global warming and poverty - will have to be resolved by governments or responsible corporations. Instead, we argue for the potency of social initiatives promoted by communities of engaged people. A variety of experiences from around the world, and especially fro...
Article
Myths impede the effective management of health care, for example that the system is failing (indeed, that is a system), and can be fixed by detached social engineering and heroic leadership, or treating it more like a business. This field needs to reframe its management, as distributed beyond the "top"; its strategy as venturing, not planning; its...
Article
Full-text available
FROM THE OCTOBER 2011 ISSUE F ixing U.S. health care was never going to be easy, but some persistent myths have made it more difficult than it should be. The first myth is that the system is failing. In reality, it is succeeding, but in an expensive way: Thanks to costly treatments, people are living longer. The problem is that, as a society, the U...
Article
It's been a hectic morning, as usual. You're struggling to keep your head above water. And here comes an email from HR: Apparently, it's time you participated in another development program. Just what you need! You think back on the last one: It was pleasant enough, especially the discussions with other managers in the halls. You even picked up som...
Article
HOW A COMPANY understands and organizes design activities can have a profound impact on innovation. To conceptualize this notion, four models are defined, each of which describes how firms address the issues of form, function and fit. One of these – Cooperative Design – holds special promise for innovation because it engages managers as valuable “s...
Article
Top performance is “a question of building strong institutions, not creating heroic leaders. Heroic leaders get in the way of strong institutions,” Henry Mintzberg says in this interview. He focuses on his latest book, Managing, and describes how a leader manages on three planes, from the conceptual to the concrete: with information, through people...
Article
Full-text available
return to index | share | comment as one of annan ' s advisors told a journalist, he " runs the u.n. like an old fashioned african village, with long discussions among the elders, periods of reflection and eventually a decision. " We develop leaders, and We develop countries. Or so we believe. We also believe that we develop countries by developing...
Article
Full-text available
A classic part of the community development process is people facing an acute economic or social problem connecting with others specializing in conceptual solutions. For example, South Asian villagers confronting chronic poverty may work with non-governmental organizations offering micro-credit schemes. These are two sides of the development relati...
Article
Decades of short-term management have inflated the importance of GEOs and reduced employees to fungible commodities. Middle managers, who see the connections between operations and strategy, can be instrumental in rebuilding a sense of community in businesses. Copyright © 2009 Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.
Article
AbstractA number of the fundamental premises of strategic management are put into question in a study that tracks the realized strategies of a prominent university over a century and an half. Amidst continual change in detail, there was remarkable stability in the aggregate, and nothing resembling quantum or revolutionary change in strategy ever oc...
Article
The strategies of the Sherbrooke Record, a small English language daily newspaper in Quebec's Eastern Townships, are tracked across three decades to draw some conclusions about strategy formation in general and about the actions of two of Canada's most prominent businessmen in particular. John Bassett Jr. and later Conrad Black managed the organiza...
Article
This paper tracks the strategies of a “quintessentially Canadian company,” Dominion Textile Inc., through most of its history, from 1873 to 1990.Created entrepreneur-ially, but soon consolidated politically, it became the dominant player in an important industry in Canada, faltering bureaucratically before it renewed itself competitively. As discus...
Article
“Policy” has long meant to the public sector what “strategy” means to the private sector. In both cases, a highly rational model has long been dominant: that policy or strategy is formulated consciously, preferably analytically, made explicit, and then implemented formally. Much research and other evidence has raised all kinds of doubts about the v...
Book
Full-text available
“Aunque no está muerta, la planificación estratégica ha tenido una larga caída de su pedestal. Pero incluso ahora, pocas personas entienden completamente la razón: la planificación estratégica no es pensamiento estratégico” (Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb, 1994). Hace ya un cuarto de siglo que Henry Mintzberg removía con esta demoledora frase las...
Article
When they cut R&D, underinvest in their brands, and - worse - cut worker and middle management ranks, leaders are merely punishing their employees (and stockholders) for their own inability to create real value, says this McGill University professor, Productivity improvements come from better management or applying new technologies, not from making...
Article
Politics and conflict sometimes capture an organization in whole or significant part, giving rise to a form we call the Political Arena. After discussing briefly the system of politics in organizations, particularly as a set of ‘political games’, we derive through a series of propositions four basic types of Political Arenas: the complete Political...
Article
Full-text available
Management is often taught as if it were immaterial—a set of abstract formulae, case histories and flow diagrams. These may be useful, but only if tested and put to use in the material practice of managing. Education makes matters worse if it becomes the simple consumption of this insubstantial fare. This article proposes seven principles for educa...
Article
Incl. abstract and bib. references A visit to Ghana, with the hosts interested in developing leaders and the guest interested in developing countries, led to a questioning of both. Three approaches to development are discussed. The top-down government planning approach, discredited with the fall of communism, has been replaced by an outside-in 'glo...
Article
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Alfred P. Sloan School of Management. Thesis. 1968. Ph.D. MICROFICHE COPY ALSO AVAILABLE IN DEWEY LIBRARY. Vita. Bibliography: leaves 374-381. Ph.D.
Article
This article presents a reply by the author of the book, Managers Not MBAs: A Hard Look at the Soft Practice of Managing & Management Development. Given that the book constitutes a rather harsh critique of business schools in general and their mothership Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in particular, the author takes it as an encou...
Article
Management professor Henry Mintzberg argues that a little leadership goes a long way.
Article
Full-text available
The authors argue that contemporary management education does a disservice by standardizing content, focusing on business functions (instead of managing practices) and training specialists (rather than general managers). Working with several major international universities, the authors have developed a vision of management education that grounds M...
Article
Managers can't be created in a classroom. Instead they should be engaged actively in their learning, which means it should relate to their personal experience. Unfortunately, most degree programs for such people rely on the first generation of other people's experience and the second generation of artificial experience, while mostly ignoring the ma...
Article
Managers are told: Be global and be local. Collaborate and compete. Change, perpetually, and maintain order. Make the numbers while nurturing your people. To be effective, managers need to consider the juxtapositions in order to arrive at a deep integration of these seemingly contradictory concerns. That means they must focus not only on what they...
Article
Full-text available
To understand social processes in history or today, how far is it useful to think in terms of phases, cycles, or curves of learning or growth? Professional historians have been distinctly cool in answering: “The individual emerges as being more highly conditioned by history than prima facie we had imagined”; there are group forces at work, and the...
Article
Managing may be managing, but it is practiced in a wide range of ways in the so-called 'healthcare' system. All or in some cases part of a day in the life of seven managers is described and then analysed, separately and then together. This presents a consistent picture of the varieties as well as the discontinuities in managing this hopefully integ...
Article
Borders of different kinds get in the way of management education. Six years of experience with the International Masters Program in Practicing Management has suggested how we might break down these borders, to get beyond "students," beyond "globalization," beyond "teaching," and beyond the business functions. The management education classroom sho...
Article
Full-text available
In an article written well before Enron became a euphemism for corporate irresponsibility, the authors make the case that such misdeeds, so prevalent in recent months, are symptoms of a syndrome of selfishness that has taken hold of our business institutions, our societies and our minds. Drawing on history, literature, philosophy and management thi...
Article
Managing Healthcare and the Treatment of Disease Why is it that healthcare systems are so difficult to manage? It would appear that no country is satisfied with the current state of its health system. In all parts of the world, reforms are either being considered, planned or applied, many of them diametrically opposed. Each reform purports to be ca...
Article
This paper is about two managers of Red Cross refugee camps in Tanzania who manage by exception in rather exceptional circumstances. Using a model of managerial work that delineates roles carried out at the information, people, and action levels, inside and outside the unit, these managers' activities concentrate especially on communicating and con...
Article
Full-text available
The clinical methods used in health care and disease cure are easily understood. Yet when combined into institutions and broadened into social systems, the management of them becomes surprisingly convoluted. Part I of this article presents a framework to help understand how this happens.
Article
Full-text available
The development of appropriate levels of integration in the system of health care and disease cure will require stronger collective cultures and enhanced communication among the key actors. Part II of this paper uses this line of argument to reframe four major issues in this system: coordination of acute cure and of community care, and collaboratio...
Article
Sustaining the physical environment requires sustenance of the associated institutional environment. Questions are raised about this, based on the observation of a day in each of the lives of two headquarters managers at Greenpeace, the Executive Director and a Director of certain of the central units. In our analysis, we look beyond the obvious do...
Article
Sustaining the physical environment requires sustenance of the associated institutional environment. Questions are raised about this, based on the observation of a day in each of the lives of two headquarters managers at Greenpeace, the Executive Director and a Director of certain of the central units. In our analysis, we look beyond the obvious do...
Article
Full-text available
Walk into any organization and you will get a snapshot of the company in action--people and products moving every which way. But ask for a picture of the company and you will be given the org chart, with its orderly little boxes showing just the names and titles of managers. Now there's a more revealing way to depict the people and operations withi...
Article
457 p., ref. bib. : 23 p. Dans cet ouvrage incisif, Henry Mintzberg passe au crible le processus qui a fasciné tant d'organisations depuis une trentaine d'années : la planification stratégique. Est-elle un mythe ? Quelle est la véritable relation entre planification et stratégie ? En définitive, qu'est-ce que la planification ? et la stratégie ? L'...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we review briefly the evolution of the field in terms of ten "schools." We ask whether these perspectives represent fundamentally different processes of strategy making or different parts of the same process. In both cases, our answer is yes. We seek to show how some recent work tends to cut across these historical perspectives - i...
Article
The orchestra conductor is a popular metaphor for managers today--up there on the podium in complete control. But that image may be misleading, says Henry Mintzberg, who recently spent a day with Bramwell Tovey, conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, in order to explore the metaphor. He found that Tovey does not operate like an absolute rule...
Article
Managing in the public sector can be characterized as “managing on the edges”, between politics and administration and between administration and operations, as well as between external pressures and internal processes. Interestingly, this seems to come out most sharply, not in the upper offices of the capital, but down on the ground, where conflic...
Article
This article builds around a framework of cure, care, control, and community, with collaboration at the center, to consider 12 issues common to many hospitals. These include, among others, the fragmentation of efforts, confusion in mission (and in mission statements), the problems of bundling research with clinical work, selectivity in informing bo...
Article
Perhaps no other article published in the management literature has had the impact of Richard Pascale's piece on the "Honda Effect" that was published in the Spring 1984 issue of the California Management Review. This now classic article has stimulated considerable debate over the role and value of corporate strategy in business decision making—whi...
Article
Any new and promising management idea has a hidden complexity that practitioners ignore at great peril. In this article, Henry Mintzberg and his colleagues draw on their research and experience to point out nine of the of the often-overlooked factors that impact collaborative efforts. These principles include ''Real collaboration may well be psychi...
Article
Full-text available
Sumario: A continuum of strategies shows that while some industries favor customization and some foster standardization, others mix the two in their products, processes, and customer transactions in intriguing ways
Article
This paper takes a fresh look at both decision-making research and the actual process of organizational decision making. A model is proposed that captures the true complexity of decision making, including the ambiguity of commitment, decision maker experience, affect and insight, and the interwoven network of issues associated with each decision. T...
Article
To pronounce any environment permanently turbulent is as silly as calling it permanently stable. Environments are always changing in some dimensions while remaining stable in others.
Article
As part of a research project on managerial work based on a new model of the roles, the head nurse of a hospital unit was observed during a working day. Her work is described, with reference especially to the roles of leading, linking, controlling, and doing. Conclusions are drawn about the advantages of a craft style of management as opposed to th...
Article
A spinning top is an apt metaphor for diversification that works. It requires sitting on a base of strong business, possessing substantial bulk in the form of planning systems and adapting mechanisms, and receiving thrust from the central management—all held together by a viable culture and maintaining its balance through its dynamic energy. This a...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
El objetivo de la colección que tengo el honor de dirigir (Grupo Planeta de España), es proveer de conocimiento de primer nivel para las y los directivos del Siglo XXI. The objective of the collection that I have the honor to lead (Grupo Planeta of Spain), is to provide first level knowledge for the managers of the XXI Century.
Project
Exploring the limitations of CSR theories and practices and how to address them from both research and practice perspectives.