Marvin Bower

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Marvin Bower
Marvin Bower.jpg
Born August 1, 1903
Died January 22, 2003
Occupation Consultant, Management expert

Marvin Bower (born August 1, 1903 in Cincinnati, Ohio — died January 22, 2003 in Delray Beach, Florida) was an American business theorist and management consultant.


Bower was the son of the deputy recorder at Cuyahoga County, and grew up in the Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio and attended Glenville High School. He earned his bachelor's degree from Brown University in 1925. His father advised him to study law, and Bower graduated from Harvard Law School in 1928. Bower then attended Harvard Business School, graduating in 1930. Following completion of his studies, Bower worked as an associate at Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue in Cleveland.

In 1933, Bower was hired by James O. McKinsey in the new Chicago firm of James O. McKinsey & Company to manage a newly acquired branch in New York. Following McKinsey's death in 1937, the two offices split up and Bower resurrected the New York firm, with the assistance of New York partners, as McKinsey & Company in 1939. He served as managing director from 1950 to 1967, and remained a leadership figure at McKinsey as director and partner until 1992.

According to the Harvard Business School,[1] Bower "is considered the father of modern management consulting." His principled insistence on impeccable professional standards in substance, ethics, and style; his dedication to the professional development of his colleagues; and his candor, all served as a role model for several generations of management consultants, both within and outside McKinsey.


He published several books and articles, among them:

  • The Will to Manage: Corporate Success Through Programmed Management (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1966), ISBN 0-07-006735-X
  • The Will to Lead: Running a Business With a Network of Leaders (Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Mass., 1997), ISBN 0-87584-758-7
  • Perspective on McKinsey - internal McKinsey publication


  1. ^ "Marvin Bower". Harvard Business School. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 

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