Ian Mitroff

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Ian Irving Mitroff (born 1938) is an American organizational theorist, consultant and Professor Emeritus at the USC Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California He is noted for a wide range of contributions in the field of organizational theory from contributions on strategic planning assumptions[1] and management information systems,[2] to the subjective side of the workplace and spirituality, religion, and values.[3][4][5]


Ian Mitroff studied at the University of California, Berkeley where he received a B.S. in Engineering Physics, a M.S. in Structural Mechanics (Structural Engineering), and a PhD in Engineering Science (Industrial Engineering) with the thesis, entitled "A study of simulation-aided engineering design." In his PhD study he obtained a minor in the Philosophy of Social Systems Science under the direction of C. West Churchman.

Mitroff is Professor Emeritus from the University of Southern California, where he was the Harold Quinton Distinguished Professor of Business Policy at the Marshall School of Business. He also had a joint appointment in The Annenberg School of Communication at USC.

Currently, he is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health at St. Louis University, and an Adjunct Professor in the College of Environmental Design and a Senior Investigator in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, University of California Berkeley. He is also the President of the consulting firm Mitroff Crisis Management. Mitroff has advised and influenced various academic, corporate, and government leaders in over twenty foreign countries.

Mitroff is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Academy of Management and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1992-1993, he was President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences. In September 2000, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor’s degree from the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Stockholm. In September 2006, he was awarded a gold medal by the UK Systems Society for his lifelong contributions to systems thinking.

Mitroff is a member of editorial boards in several management and social science journals. He is also a frequent guest on national radio and TV talk shows including the “Window On Wall Street” (CNN Financial News), the “Dick Cavett Show” (CNBC, New York), “Late Night America” (PBS TV), “Marketplace” (National Public Radio), and “Business Unusual,” (CNN Financial News).


Mitroff's teaching and research interests are in the management of organizational crises, spirituality at work, and applied epistemology (complex problem solving).[6] He has published in the fields of business policy, Crisis management, Corporate culture, Contemporary media, Current events, Foreign affairs, Nuclear deterrence, Organizational change, Organizational psychology and psychiatry, Philosophy of science, Public policy, Sociology of science, Scientific method, Spirituality in the workplace and Strategic planning.

Mitroff has published over 300 articles and over 30 books. A selection:[7]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Mitroff, Ian I. The subjective side of science: A philosophical inquiry into the psychology of the Apollo moon scientists. Elsevier Scientific Pub. Co. (1974).
  • Mason, Richard O., and Ian I. Mitroff. Challenging strategic planning assumptions: Theory, cases, and techniques. New York: Wiley, 1981.
  • Mitroff, Ian I. Stakeholders of the organizational mind. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1983.
  • Mitroff, Ian I., and Harold A. Linstone. The unbounded mind: Breaking the chains of traditional business thinking. Oxford University Press, 1993.
  • Mitroff, Ian I., and Elizabeth A. Denton. A spiritual audit of corporate America: A hard look at spirituality, religion, and values in the workplace. Vol. 140. Jossey-Bass, 1999.

Articles, a selection:

  • Mason, Richard O., and Ian I. Mitroff. "A program for research on management information systems." Management science 19.5 (1973): 475-487.
  • Pondy, Louis R., and Ian I. Mitroff. "Beyond open system models of organization." Research in organizational behavior 1.1 (1979): 3-39.
  • Mitroff, Ian I., and Elizabeth A. Denton. "A study of spirituality in the workplace." The Sloan Management Review Association. Retrieved from: http://www. freebizplan. org/business_strategies/spirituality. htm (2013).


  1. ^ Morgan, Gareth, Fred Gregory, and Cameron Roach. Images of organization. (1997).
  2. ^ March, Salvatore T., and Gerald F. Smith. "Design and natural science research on information technology." Decision support systems 15.4 (1995): 251-266.
  3. ^ Weick, Karl E. "Educational organizations as loosely coupled systems." Administrative science quarterly (1976): 1-19.
  4. ^ Fry, Louis W. "Toward a theory of spiritual leadership." The leadership quarterly 14.6 (2003): 693-727.
  5. ^ Latour, Bruno, and Steve Woolgar. Laboratory life: The construction of scientific facts. Princeton University Press, 2013.
  6. ^ Ian Mitroff, PhD Professor Marshall Goldsmith School of Management. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  7. ^ He has written articles in journals and newspapers such as the Journal of Industrial Crisis Quarterly, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Research in Corporate Responsibility, Executive Excellence, the Los Angeles Times, the Journal of Management Studies, the Chicago Sun Times, the International Herald Tribune, and others.

External links[edit]