85 Management Gurus & Their Contributions In Management Domain

A list of well known, world famous management gurus, experts who have contributed quite substantially to business domain in general and to management domain in particular.

The most comprehensive, concise list of all well known, top management gurus ever, along with their contributions.
Management Gurus

Let’s get to it!

85 Top Management Gurus & Their Contributions

Dale Carnegie (1888-1995)


  • Founder of Dale Carnegie Training course, you can’t deny its importance in management domain.
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Richard L. Daft


  • Delivered fundamental contributions to “Organization Behavior” & “Organization Design”.

Henri Fayol (1841-1925)


  • Father of the famous approach to business administration, called Fayloism.

Chester Barnard (1886-1961)


  • Developed immensely successful theory called “Theory Of Cooperation And Organization”.

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915)


  • Developed the famous “Scientific Management Theory” that is now called “Taylorism”.
  • Also developed the famous Stop Watch Method for business efficiency
  • Famous for an all time classic on management under the title of "The principles of Scientific Management".

For more than a century, this influential work by Frederick Winslow Taylor — the pioneer of scientific management studies — has inspired administrators and students of managerial techniques to adopt productivity-increasing procedures. 

Indeed, this book laid the groundwork for modern organization and decision theory.

As an engineer for a steel company, Taylor made careful experiments to determine the best way of performing each operation and the amount of time it required, analyzing the materials, tools, and work sequence, and establishing a clear division of labor between management and workers. 

His experiments resulted in the formulation of the principles expounded in this remarkable essay, first published in 1911.

Taylor advocated a scientific management system that develops leaders by organizing workers for efficient cooperation, rather than curtailing inefficiency by searching for exceptional leaders someone else has trained. 

The whole system rests upon a foundation of clearly defined laws and rules. Moreover, the fundamental principles of scientific management apply to all kinds of human activities, from the simplest individual acts to the most elaborate cooperative efforts of mighty corporations. 

Correct application of these principles, according to Taylor, will yield truly astonishing results.

Peter Ferdinand Drucker


  • Developed the world famous approach in management called “Management by Objectives”.
  • Considered as the father of modern management

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Frederick Herzberg (1923-2000)


  • Developed “Job Enrichment” and the “Motivator-Hygiene Theory”.

Abraham Harold Maslow (1908-1970)


  • Gave management Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs Theory

David Clarence McClelland


  • Developed “Need Theory

Henry A. Landsberger


  • Father of famous “Hawthorne effect

Clayton Paul Alderfer (1940 - 2015)


  • Developed “ERG Theory

Also authored "The Practice of Organizational Diagnosis: Theory and Methods".


"This book is the ultimate blueprint for researchers and practitioners working with systems. The Practice of Organizational Diagnosis provides a lens for thoroughly examining the effects of individual, group, and organizational dynamics. Most importantly, this book demonstrates how we can effectively align research and practice as well as teaching and learning in support of systemic change." --Patrick Jean-Pierre, PsyD, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, New York University.

"This is the most substantive book of our time on organization theory and 'how to' conduct sound social science research and evidence-based consulting in organizations. The rigorous and ethical approach to organizational diagnosis at the heart of this book makes it essential reading for organization behavior scholars and organization consultants alike." -- Alice Mann, Ph.D., Senior Consultant, Kates Kesler Organization Consulting.

"The Practice of Organizational Diagnosis, integrates and extends his lifetime of research on group and intergroup relations in organizations. Drawing both on conceptual analyses and compelling organizational examples, the book shows how intra-individual, group, and inter-group forces combine to shape organizational dynamics in sometimes surprising ways. 

It demonstrates that informative organizational diagnoses must draw both on that which is deliberate and explicit and that which is unconscious and tacit. This book, and the work on which it is based, provides a model for others who seek to conduct conceptually rigorous, empirically testable, and practically useful assessments of behavior in organizations." -- J. Richard Hackman, Ph.D., Edgar Pierce Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology, Harvard University.

"This book gives the field of organizational diagnosis full professional status, complete with theory, method, empirical support and meaningful ethical standards. It is the most profound contribution to organizational theory in a generation." -- David N. Berg, PhD, Organizational Psychologist, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University.

"Clayton Alderfer is one of the giants in the field of organizational psychology and consulting, and this book represents the culmination of more than 40 years of his research, practice, and teaching. The book offers no less than a new paradigm for thinking about, studying, and diagnosing organizations. And it provides a wonderful blend of theory, methodological reflections, and concrete advice. 

This book is one of those rare works that is both profound and practical. Professor Alderfer's critique of the most popular approaches to organizational diagnosis and consulting, along with his proposed alternative, promises to have an enduring impact. I have no doubt that it will become one of the classics in the field." -- Cary Cherniss, Professor of Applied Psychology and Director of the Doctoral Program in Organizational Psychology at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University.

"Coming as it does from an acknowledged expert, Clay Alderfer's book should have a profound influence on students and practitioners in the field of organizational psychology." - William H. Donaldson, Chairman of Donaldson Enterprises, and former Dean and Professor at the Yale School of Management.

"The Practice of Organizational Diagnosis: Theory and Methods is an important text for any student in organizational studies and organizational diagnosis. The first and primary reason is its discussion of ethical issues in the relationship between organization and psychologist: the client and the consultant/counselor/mentor." -- Jonathan D. Springer, PsycCRITIQUES

"Clayton Alderfer's The Practice of Organizational Diagnosis offers a deeply insightful discourse on the nature of groups and organizations. The chapters of the volume methodically build the layers of an argument for taking seriously an in-depth understanding of the theory and practice of organizational diagnosis. 

This volume offers a sweeping theory of organizational diagnosis, ranging across fields and disciplines, and in so doing illuminates the theory-methods-practice continuum. 

It is undeniably ambitious in scope. Scholars who teach and research aspects of organizational change will find this volume, used slowly and carefully, a multilayered education--for themselves and their students--about the useful theory and practice of professional diagnosis." --William A. Kahn, Academy of Management Learning & Education

Douglas McGregor (1906-1964)


  • Developed the famous Theory X & Theory Y

Edgar Henry Schein (1928)


  • Father of “Schein's Organizational Culture Model
  • And of 'Career Anchors' concept

Peter Senge (1947)


  • Learning Organization” Concept

Jay Wright Forrester (1918 - 2016)


  • Founder of “Systems Dynamics Approach

Michael Eugene Porter (1947)


  • I think I don’t need to list his work ;p
  • Authored an all time famous, best seller under the title "Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors", cited in more than 60K management research papers.

Now nearing its sixtieth printing in English and translated into nineteen languages, Michael E. Porter's Competitive Strategy has transformed the theory, practice, and teaching of business strategy throughout the world.

Electrifying in its simplicity—like all great breakthroughs—Porter’s analysis of industries captures the complexity of industry competition in five underlying forces. 

Porter introduces one of the most powerful competitive tools yet developed: his three generic strategies—lowest cost, differentiation, and focus—which bring structure to the task of strategic positioning. 

He shows how competitive advantage can be defined in terms of relative cost and relative prices, thus linking it directly to profitability, and presents a whole new perspective on how profit is created and divided. 

In the almost two decades since publication, Porter's framework for predicting competitor behavior has transformed the way in which companies look at their rivals and has given rise to the new discipline of competitor assessment.

More than a million managers in both large and small companies, investment analysts, consultants, students, and scholars throughout the world have internalized Porter's ideas and applied them to assess industries, understand competitors, and choose competitive positions. 

The ideas in the book address the underlying fundamentals of competition in a way that is independent of the specifics of the ways companies go about competing.

Competitive Strategy has filled a void in management thinking. It provides an enduring foundation and grounding point on which all subsequent work can be built. 

By bringing a disciplined structure to the question of how firms achieve superior profitability, Porter’s rich frameworks and deep insights comprise a sophisticated view of competition unsurpassed in the last quarter-century.

Birger Wernerfelt (1951)


  • Author of the most cited paper in social sciences called “A Resource-based View of the Firm (1984)”.

Igor Ansoff (1918-2002)


  • Known as father of “Strategic Management
  • Developed “Product Market Growth Matrix

Bruce Doolin Henderson (1915-1992)


  • Founder of famous Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Armand Vallin Feigenbaum (1922 – 2014)


  • His concept of “Total Quality Control” inspired TQM Domain

Mary Parker Follett (1868 -1933)


  • Considered to be the Mother of Modern Management

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Fritz Roethlisberger (1998 -1974)


  • Author of the most influential book on management in the 20th century, called Management And The Worker (1939)

Robert R. Blake (1918-2004) & Jane Mouton (1930-1987)


  • Together developed the famous Managerial Grid Model

Clayton M. Christensen (1952)


  • Father of Disruptive Innovation Theory

James Scouller


  • Developed Three Levels of Leadership Model

Fred Fiedler (1922)


  • Developed famous Fiedler Contingency Model

James Victor Downton, Jr (1938)


  • Introduced Transformational Leadership Approach

Kenneth D. Mackenzie (1937)


  • Developed “Theory of Group Structures” & contributed quite a lot to “Organization Design” Domain.

Paul Hersey (1931-2012) & Ken Blanchard (1939)


  • Both of them developed Situational Leadership Theory

Kenneth Hartley Blanchard


  • Author of one of the most successful book in management, called The One Minute Manager that sold over 13 million copies!

Albert S. Humphrey (1926-2005)


  • Developed SWOT Analysis Approach

Chris Argyris (1923 – 2013)


  • Is considered one of the co-founders of Organization Development Domain.

Warren Gamaliel Bennis (1925 – 2014)


  • Regarded as being The Pioneer in the modern domain of leadership studies & research.

Robert D. Putnam (1941)


  • Founder of Two Level Game Theory

Henry Laurence Gantt (1861 – 1919)


  • Created the valuable Gantt Charts

Rensis Likert (1903 - 1981)


  • Developed the famous 5 point Likert Scale

Eliyahu Moshe Goldratt (1947 -  2011)


  • Developed Theory of Constraints (TOC) and Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)

Bill Smith


  • Contributed to the famous Six Sigma set of tools & techniques

George O. Charrier


  • Cog’s Ladder Approach

Henry R. Towne (1844-1924)


  • Known as early Systematizer of Management

Leon Pratt Alford (1877 - 1942)


  • Known for his seminal work in the field of industrial management

Hugo Diemer (1870 -1937)


  • Authored first text book on Industrial Engineering & Management, called Factory Organization and Administration.

Walter Andrew Shewhart (1891 –1967)


  • Known as The Father of Statistical Quality Control (STC)

Michael Martin Hammer (1948 - 2008)


  • Regarded as one of the founding fathers of the management theory of Business Process Re-engineering (BPR).

W. Edwards Deming (1900 - 1993)


  • Developed PDCA Approach also known as Deming Cycle

Kaoru Ishikawa (1915 - 1989)


  • Developed the approach of Quality Circle also known as Ishikawa Charts

John Boyd (1927 - 1997)


  • Famous for developing OODA LOOP

Robert S. Kaplan (1940) & David P. Norton (1941)


  • Both of these two experts developed performance management tool called Balanced Score Card (BSC)

Kenneth Richmond Andrews (1916 – 2005)


  • Played fundamental role in conceiving & promoting the notion of Business Strategy

Philip Selznick (1919 - 2010)


  •  Developed Cooptation theory

Geoffrey P. Chamberlain


  • Chamberlain's Theory of Strategy

Alfred DuPont Chandler Jr. (1918 - 2007)


  • Developed Structure Follows Strategy notion
  • Contributed to Chamberlain’s Theory of Strategy

Richard Normand Langlois (1952)


  • Vanishing Hand theory

James G. March (1928)


  • Ambidextrous Organization Approach

Michael D. Cohen (1945 - 2013) & Johan Olsen (1939)


  • Developed decision making approach called Garbage Can Model

Herbert A. Simon (1916 - 2001)


  • Introduced the notions of Bounded Rationality and Satisficing

John A. Zachman (1934)


  • Zachman Framework

Ikujiro Nonaka (1935)


  • SECI Model

Thomas A. Stewart (1948)


  • He was listed at number 17 in the list of 50 Most Influential Management Thinkers by European Foundation for Management Development, also considered as the pioneer in the domain of Intellectual Capital.

Cyril Northcote Parkinson (1909 - 1993)


  • Best known for Parkinson's Law also known as Law of Triviality

Michael Scott Morton (1937) & George Gorry


  • Anthony Triangle

Ford Whitman Harris (1877 - 1962)


  • Developed Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) approach for inventory management

Edward de Bono (1933)


  • Six Thinking Hats Approach

George T. Doran


  • SMART Criteria Approach

August-Wilhelm Scheer (1941)


  • Renowned for the development of the Architecture of Integrated Information Systems (ARIS) concept.

Geary Rummler & Alan Brache


  • Both are considered to be minds behind SWIM Lane approach aka Rummler-Bache Diagrams

Sakichi Toyoda (1867 - 1930)


  • 5 Whys Approach

Morgan R. Walker and James E. Kelley Jr


  • Critical Path Method (CPM) Algorithm

Seiichi Nakajima (1919 - 2015)


  • Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) Approach
  • Founder of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) system

Phil S. Ensor


  • Developed Functional Silo Syndrome Concept

Taiichi Ohno (1912 - 1990)


  • Kanban Approach

William James Reddin (1930 – 1999)


  • The 3D Theory

William G. "Bill" Ouchi (born 1943)


  • Theory Z of Ouchi

Dwight D. Eisenhower  (1890 - 1969)


  • The Eisenhower Method

David Allen (1945)


  • Getting Thing Done (GTD) Method for Time Management

William Henry Leffingwell (1876 -1934)


  • The man who introduced scientific management to the work place

John Tregoning (1845 - 1920)


  • Considered as one of the very first author to write on Factory Management

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