Henry Mintzberg

Topics: Management, Strategic management / Pages: 9 (2075 words) / Published: Mar 29th, 2008
Henry Mintzberg

Born 1939; educator

Education: McGill University; MIT.

Career: Worked for Canadian National Railways 1961-1963; later he was visiting professor at a number of universities and business schools; President of Strategic Management Society 1988-91; consultant to a large number of organizations; visiting professor at INSEAD; director of the Center for Strategy Studies in Organizations at McGill University; professor at McGill

The work of Canadian Henry Mintzberg counters much of the detailed rationalism of other major thinkers of recent decades. From his first publication, The Nature of Managerial Work, Mintzberg has challenged orthodoxy, arguing the case for a more intuitive and humane approach to strategy formulation and practice, as well as to the structure of organizations. The Nature of Managerial Work exposed many of the myths surrounding senior managers, revealing them to be creatures of the moment rather than far-sighted strategists carefully planning their next move.

Mintzberg has generated a unique reputation, as someone apart from the mainstream able to analyze basic assumptions about managerial behaviour. His most recent work tackles head-on the role and process of strategic planning. Mintzberg argues that intuition is 'the soft underbelly of management ', and that strategy has set out to provide uniformity and formality when none can be created.

Despite a series of highly important and influential books and appointments at two of the world 's leading business schools (McGill in Canada and INSEAD in France) Henry Mintzberg remains something of an outsider in the world of management thinking.

While his books are scholarly rather than populist, he emphasizes the creative and spontaneous, the right-side of the brain rather than the left side with its predilection for analysis and rationality. He is a wry humanist who carries out his work with academic rigour. 'A well published waif ' is how he jokingly describes

References: 1 Peters, T, 'Plans down the drain ', Independent on Sunday, 24 April 1994. 2 Mintzberg, H, 'The Manager 's Job: Folklore and Fact ', Harvard Business Review, July/August 1975.

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