Henry Mintzberg biography and books

Henry Mintzberg - Toolshero

Henry Mintzberg, OC, OQ, FRSC (1939) is an internationally renowned academic, author and researcher. Henry Mintzberg is currently professor of Management Studies at the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This article highlights besides his biography, his contribution to management and theories also some of his famous quotes, books and publications. Enjoy reading!

Henry Mintzberg biography

Henry Mintzberg took up a career in education after he had obtained a Master’s degree (M.Sc.) in management (1965) and a doctorate (Ph.D.) from the MIT Sloan School of Management (1968).

He is especially interested in and passionate about topics within management and business strategy. He has written over 150 articles and 15 books. In 1994, he published his ground-breaking work in the book The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning. To this day many organizations make use of this knowledge for their strategic planning.

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In 2004, he published another popular book Managers not MBAs. In this book Henry Mintzberg advocates more emphasis on postgraduate programmes.

These programmes are usually taken by practising managers (rather than students with little real world experience). The starting principle in these programmes is “action learning” using insights from their own problems and experiences.

One of his famous management theories is the theory of the 10 Managerial Roles. These are a great set of management roles for the learning executive and manager. Another great theory are the 5P’s of Strategy, a great strategy vision approach.

Next to that, the Organizational Configurations, a the foundation for various classifications of organisations.

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Famous quotes

  1. “Companies are communities. There’s a spirit of working together. Communities are not a place where a few people allow themselves to be singled out as solely responsible for success.”
  2. “Managers who don’t lead are quite discouraging, but leaders who don’t manage don’t know what’s going on. It’s a phony separation that people are making between the two.”
  3. “Technologies tend to undermine community and encourage individualism.”
  4. “If the private sectors are about markets and the public sectors are about governments, then the plural sector is about communities.”
  5. “This obsession with leadership… It’s not neutral; it’s American, this idea of the heroic leader who comes in on a white horse to save the day. I think it’s killing American companies.”
  6. “We’re all flawed, but basically, effective managers are people whose flaws are not fatal under the circumstances. Maybe the best managers are simply ordinary, healthy people who aren’t too screwed up.”
  7. “Basically, managing is about influencing action. Managing is about helping organizations and units to get things done, which means action. Sometimes, managers manage actions directly. They fight fires. They manage projects. They negotiate contracts.”
  8. “Strategy making needs to function beyond the boxes to encourage the informal learning that produces new perspectives and new combinations… Once managers understand this, they can avoid other costly misadventures caused by applying formal techniques, without judgement and intuition, to problem solving.”
  9. “Effective managing therefore happens where art, craft, and science meet. But in a classroom of students without managerial experience, these have no place to meet — there is nothing to do.”
  10. “Theory is a dirty word in some managerial quarters. That is rather curious, because all of us, managers especially, can no more get along without theories than libraries can get along without catalogs — and for the same reason: theories help us make sense of incoming information.”

Publications and books by Henry Mintzberg et al.

  • 2015. Rebalancing Society: Radical Renewal Beyond Left, Right, and Center. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • 2013. Simply Managing. Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • 2012. Customizing customization. Sloan Management Re.
  • 2012. Reflecting on the strategy process. Sloan Management.
  • 2010. Time for Design. Journal: Design Management Review , vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 10-18.
  • 2010. Managing on three planes. Journal: Leader To Leader , vol. 2010, no. 57, pp. 29-33.
  • 2010. Management? It’s Not What You Think! AMACOM.
  • 2009. Managing. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • 2008. Business Schools Programmes at the Crossroad. Journal: Finance & Bien Commun , vol. 30, no. 1.
  • 2007. Tracking Strategies: Toward a General Theory. Kindle Edition. OUP Oxford.
  • 2006. Management Education as if Both Matter. Journal: Management Learning – MANAGE LEARNING , vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 419-428.
  • 2005. The invisible world of association. Journal: Leader To Leader , vol. 2005, no. 36, pp. 37-45.
  • 2005. Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour Through The Wilds of Strategic Management. Simon and Schuster.
  • 2005. Strategy Bites Back: It Is Far More, and Less, than You Ever Imagined. FT Press.
  • 2004. Managers, not MBAs: A hard look at the soft practice of managing and management development. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • 2004. Management as Life’s Essence: 30 Years of the Nature of Managerial Work. Journal: Strategic Organization – STRATEG ORGAN , vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 205-212.
  • 2003. The strategy process: concepts, contexts, cases. Pearson Education.
  • 2003. The manager’s job: Folklore and fact. London: Routledge.
  • 2002. Reality programming for MBAs.
  • 2002. The economist who never came back. Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Management – SCAND J MANAG , vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 616-618.
  • 2001. Managing the care of health and the cure of disease—Part I: Differentiation. Health care management review, 26(1), 56-69.
  • 2001. The yin and the yang of managing. Journal: Organizational Dynamics – ORGAN DYN , vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 306-312.
  • 2000. Sustaining the Institutional Environment. Journal: Organization Studies – ORGAN STUD , vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 71-94.
  • 1999. Managing quietly. Journal: Leader To Leader , vol. 1999, no. 12, pp. 24-30.
  • 1998. Strategy Safary – The complete guide through the wilds of strategic management. Free Press.
  • 1998. Covert leadership: notes on managing professionals. Harvard business review, 76, 140-148.
  • 1996. Managing government, governing management. Harvard Business Review, 74(3), 75.
  • 1995. Opening up decision making: The view from the black stool. organization Science, 6(3), 260-279.
  • 1994. Rise and fall of strategic planning. Simon and Schuster.
  • 1994. The fall and rise of strategic planning. Harvard business review, 72(1), 107-114.
  • 1994. The rise and fall of strategic planning: Reconceiving roles for planning, plans, planners (Vol. 458). New York: Free Press.
  • 1993. Structure in fives: Designing effective organizations. Prentice-Hall, Inc.
  • 1993. Rounding out the managers job. Sloan Management Review, 3.
  • 1992. Cycles of organizational change. Strategic management journal, 13(S2), 39-59.
  • 1990. The design school: reconsidering the basic premises of strategic management. Strategic management journal, 11(3), 171-195.
  • 1990. Strategy formation: schools of thought. Perspectives on strategic management, 1968, 105-235.
  • 1990. The managers job. New York.
  • 1989. Mintzberg on management: Inside our strange world of organizations. Simon and Schuster.
  • 1989. Visionary leadership and strategic management. Strategic management journal, 10(S1), 17-32.
  • 1987. The strategy concept 1: five p’s for strategy. U. of California.
  • 1985. Of strategies, deliberate and emergent. Strategic management journal, 6(3), 257-272.
  • 1985. Strategy formation in an adhocracy. Administrative science quarterly, 160-197.
  • 1985. The organization as political arena. Journal of management studies, 22(2), 133-154.
  • 1982. Tracking strategy in an entrepreneurial firm. Academy of management journal, 25(3), 465-499.
  • 1981. Organization design: fashion or fit?. Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University.
  • 1980. Structure in 5’s: A Synthesis of the Research on Organization Design. Management science, 26(3), 322-341.
  • 1979. The structuring of organizations: A synthesis of the research. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship.
  • 1979. An emerging strategy of “direct” research. Administrative science quarterly, 582-589.
  • 1976. The structure of “unstructured” decision processes. Administrative science quarterly, 246-275.
  • 1976. Planning on the left side and managing on the right (p. 49). July-August: Harvard Business Review.
  • 1973. Strategy-Making in Three Modes. California management review, 16(2).
  • 1971. Managerial work: analysis from observation. Management science, 18(2), B-97.

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Original publication date: 03/24/2015 | Last update: 05/16/2023

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Vincent van Vliet
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Vincent van Vliet

Vincent van Vliet is co-founder and responsible for the content and release management. Together with the team Vincent sets the strategy and manages the content planning, go-to-market, customer experience and corporate development aspects of the company.


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