He earned his Master's degree in Management and PhD from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1965 and 1968 respectively. His undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering is from McGill University.
Henry Mintzberg writes prolifically on the topics of management and business strategy, with more than 150 articles and fifteen books to his name. His seminal book, The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning (Mintzberg 1994), criticizes some of the practices of strategic planning today.
In 2004 he published a book entitled Managers Not MBAs (Mintzberg 2004) which outlines what he believes to be wrong with management education today. Mintzberg claims that prestigious graduate management schools like Harvard Business School and the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania are obsessed with numbers and that their overzealous attempts to make management a science are damaging the discipline of management. Mintzberg advocates more emphasis on post graduate programs that educate practicing managers (rather than students with little real world experience) by relying upon action learning and insights from their own problems and experiences.
Ironically, although Professor Mintzberg is quite critical about the strategy consulting business, he has twice won the McKinsey Award for publishing the best article in the Harvard Business Review. Also, he is credited with co-creating the organigraph, which is taught in business schools.
From 1991 to 1999, he was a visiting professor at INSEAD.
Mintzberg runs two programs which have been designed to teach his alternative approach to management and strategic planning at McGill University: the International Masters in Practicing Management (I.M.P.M.) in association with the McGill Executive Institute and the International Masters for Health Leadership (I.M.H.L.). With Phil LeNir, he owns Coaching Ourselves International, a private company using his alternative approach for management development directly in the workplace.
He has two daughters, Susie and Lisa, and three grandchildren, Laura, Tomas and Maya.
Contribution to organization theory
The organizational configurations framework of Mintzberg is a model that describes six valid organizational configurations (originally only five; the sixth one was added later):
- Simple structure characteristic of entrepreneurial organization
- Machine bureaucracy
- Professional bureaucracy
- Diversified form
- Adhocracy or Innovative organization
Regarding the coordination between different tasks, Mintzberg defines the following mechanisms:
- Mutual adjustment, which achieves coordination by the simple process of informal communication (as between two operating employees)
- Direct supervision, is achieved by having one person issue orders or instructions to several others whose work interrelates (as when a boss tells others what is to be done, one step at a time)
- Standardization of work processes, which achieves coordination by specifying the work processes of people carrying out interrelated tasks (those standards usually being developed in the technostructure to be carried out in the operating core, as in the case of the work instructions that come out of time-and-motion studies)
- Standardization of outputs, which achieves coordination by specifying the results of different work (again usually developed in the technostructure, as in a financial plan that specifies subunit performance targets or specifications that outline the dimensions of a product to be produced)
- Standardization of skills (as well as knowledge), in which different work is coordinated by virtue of the related training the workers have received (as in medical specialists – say a surgeon and an anesthetist in an operating room –responding almost automatically to each other’s standardized procedures)
- Standardization of norms, in which it is the norms infusing the work that are controlled, usually for the entire organization, so that everyone functions according to the same set of beliefs (as in a religious order)
According to the organizational configurations model of Mintzberg each organization can consist of a maximum of six basic parts:
- Strategic Apex (top management)
- Middle Line (middle management)
- Operating Core (operations, operational processes)
- Technostructure (analysts that design systems, processes, etc.)
- Support Staff (support outside of operating workflow)
- Ideology (halo of beliefs and traditions; norms, values, culture)
Contribution to business strategy theory
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Mintzberg’s research findings and writing on business strategy, is that they have often emphasized the importance of emergent strategy, which arises informally at any level in an organisation, as an alternative or a complement to deliberate strategy, which is determined consciously either by top management or with the acquiescence of top management. He has been strongly critical of the stream of strategy literature which focuses predominantly on deliberate strategy.
Mintzberg is cited in Chamberlain's Theory of Strategy as providing one of the four main foundations on which the theory is based.
Perhaps the most convenient example of his theory being implemented is on Kondak, which proves that his Theory critically analyzes the theories effectiveness.
|1973||The Nature of Managerial Work|
|1979||The Structuring of Organizations: A Synthesis of the Research|
|1983||Power in and Around Organizations|
|1983||Structure in fives: Designing Effective Organizations|
|1989||Mintzberg on Management: Inside Our Strange World of Organizations|
|1991||The Strategy Process: (with Joe Lampel, Sumantra Ghoshal and J.B. Quinn)|
|1994||The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning: Reconceiving the Roles for Planning, Plans, Planners (Mintzberg 1994)|
|1998||Strategy Safari (with Bruce Ahlstrand and Joseph Lampel)|
|2000||Managing Publicly (with Jacques Bourgault)|
|2000||Why I Hate Flying|
|2004||Managers not MBAs (Mintzberg 2004)|
|2005||Strategy Bites back|
|2007||Tracking Strategies: Towards a General Theory of Strategy Formation|
|2009||Management? It's not What you Think! (with Bruce Ahlstrand and Joseph Lampel)|
|2012||Managing the Myths of Health Care|
- Mintzberg's Cv
- IMPM.org and Coachingourselves.com
- Mintzberg, Henry, 1994, The rise and fall of strategic planning: Reconceiving roles for planning, plans, planners, Free Press, Toronto, pp. 24–25.
- Mintzberg, Henry, 1990, The Design School: Reconsidering the basic premises of strategy formation, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 171–196.
- Mintzberg, Henry, Ahlstrand, Bruce, and Lampel, Joseph, 1998, Strategy safari: A guided tour through the wilds of strategic management, Free Press, New York, pp. 33–35.
- Mintzberg, Henry (1994), The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning: Reconceiving the Roles for Planning, Plans, Planners, Free Press, p. 458, ISBN 0-02-921605-2
- Mintzberg, Henry (2004), Managers, not MBAs: a hard look at the soft practice of managing and management development, Berrett-Koehler, p. 464, ISBN 1-57675-275-5
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Henry Mintzberg|
- Official website
- audio of 2015 CBC interview (with Michael Enright) regarding Mintzberg's 2014 book Rebalancing Society