Name First Name Middle Formal Name Born Died Nationality Profession Key Concepts                                                                
Ackoff Russell Lincoln R L Ackoff 1919 American Scientist Following training as an Architect he moved into operations research and systems theory. His 'Introduction to Operational Research' (1957) co-authored with churchman and Arnoff, served to define the subject
Argyris Chris C Argyris 1923 American Psychologist Double-loop learning and organisational learning.
Ashby William  Ross W Ross Ashby 1903 1972 English Psychiatrist His 1947 paper "Principles of the Self-Organizing Dynamic System" was first time 'self-organisation' concept was published. In 1956 he published his seminal work 'An Introduction to Cybernetics'  in which he describes his Law of Requisite Variety.  'Design for a Brain: The Origin of Adaptive Behavior' followed in 1960.
Bata Tomas T Bata 1876 1932 Czech Republic Entrepreneur Successful international businessman with an acute sense of social consciousness. Pioneers of employee welfare and social advancement. He also became the mayor of Zlín. "He who pursues money will never achieve it. If you serve as best as you can, you will not be able to escape money."
Bateson Gregory G Bateson 1904 1980 English Zoologist Played a major role in the early formulation of cybernetics, and helped introduce systems and communications theory to social and natural scientists. 
Bayes Thomas T Bayes 1702 1761 English Mathemetician First used probability inductively and then established a mathematical basis for probability inference by means of calculating, from the number of times an event has not occured, the probability that it will occur in future trials. He set down his findings on probability in "Essay Towards Solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances" (1763)
Beer Anthony Stafford A S Beer 1926 2002 English  Polymath User his Army Operations Research experience in steel industry to great effect. Met Weiner and other before applying cybernetics principles to business management with hisbook 'Cybernetics and Management' (1959) Developed the Viable Systems Model to guide organisation transformation as described in 'Platform for Change'; Designing Freedom'; 'Heart of the Enterprise' and 'The Brain of the Firm'.
Bell Alexander Graham A G  Bell 1847 1922 Scottish-American Scientist Prolific inventor associated with the telegraph, telephone, phonograph and precursor of the optical fibre. His first metre approach is reflected particularly in two sayings: "Before anything else, preparation is the key to success" and "The most successful men in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion. It is the man who carefully advances step by step, with his mind becoming wider and wider— and progressively better able to grasp any theme or situation— persevering in what he knows to be practical, and concentrating his thought upon it, who is bound to succeed in the greatest degree."
Bennis Warren W Bennis American Academic Adviser on leadership. Leaders are made not born "Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right thing." In 2005 in the HBR he states "Business schools have taken the wrong track....By allowing the scientific research model to drive out all others, business schools are institutionalizing their own irrelevance." 
Bertalanffy Ludwig van Ludwig van Bertalanffy 1901 1972 Austrian Biologist Founded modern systems theory in 'General System Theory: Foundations, Development, Applications' 1968. Believed that a "general theory of systems would allow models that can be used in, and transferred to, different fields" while also safeguarding against vague analogies which "often have marred progress."
Bogdanov Alexander A Bogdanov 1873 1928 Russian Physician From 1913 to 1922 he wrote 'Tectology: Universal Organization Science' which anticipated many basic ideas later explored by cybernetics.
de Bono Edward E de Bono 1933 Maltese Psychology Founder of lateral thinking; making thinking deliberative rather than reactive.
Boulding Kenneth K Boulding 1910 1993 English Economist Believed that human economic and other behavior had to beviewed in context of a larger interconnected system. Important to understand the dynamics of the general system (the global society) in which we live before attempting to understand our own behaviour - economic or otherwise. 
Box George Edward Pelham G E P Box 1919 English Statistician Specialist in design of experiments. A key contribution to the field is his book 'Statistics for Experimenters'. He warns that: "All models are wrong; some models are useful."
Bridgeman Percy  Williams P W Bridgeman 1882 1961 American Physicist Nobel laureate in physics 1946. "The scientific method is nothing more than doing your damnedest, no holds barred."
Bush Vannevar V Bush 1890 1974 American Engineer Developed design of the first practical analogue computer in 1930. Principal proponent of removing traditional barriers between the military and civilian scientitsts. Predicted the internet (he called in the 'memex') in the 1930s: "Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and to coin one at random, memex will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory."
Checkland Peter  P Checkland English Academic Founder of the 'soft systems' methodolgy
Churchman C West C W Churchman 1913 2004 American Philosopher One of the most influential philosopher of the systems movement and founding father of systems thinking and operations research in management.
Colbert Jean Bapttste J-B Colbert 1619 1683 French Civil Servant Early promoter of the principles of economic-quality at the inter-national level.  Maintained that: "If our factories, through careful work, assure the quality of our products, it will be to the foreigners' interest to get supplies from us, and their money will flow into the Kingdom."  
Collins Jim J Collins 1958 American Academic The success of his book 'Built to Last' advanced the concept that a company’s vision and core ideology (rather than a high-profile CEO or leading-edge technology) are what determines its success amodst change.
Covey Stephen S Covey 1932 American Academic Author of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". His approach focuses on life and living it more effectively.
Crosby Philip B P B  Crosby 1926 2001 American Engineer Known for his 'Quality is Free' and 'Zero Defects' approach.
Deming W Edwards W E Deming 1900 1993 American Statistician Having introduced statistical quality to Japan in the early 1950s his work jump started America's return to quality awareness in the early 1980s. Two seminal books: 'Out of the Crisis' (1986) and 'The New Economics' (1984). “Knowledge is the key, lack of knowledge is the problem.” ; “We should be guided by theory, not numbers.”
Dijkstra Edsger Wybe E W Dijkstra 1930 2002 Dutch Physicist Developed early and lasting expertise in computer programming and promoted the importance of formal verification noting that since the proofs or proof engines themselves are typically complex systems constructed by fallible humans, we aren't entitled to be entirely confident with formal methods. Held to 'first metre' views that "Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability." and that "Elegance is not a dispensable luxury but a quality that decides between success and failure." 
Drucker Peter  P Drucker 1909 2005 Austrian Academic Father of management by objectives; believed that senior management compensation should be no more than twenty times that of the lowest paid employee.
Fayol Henri H Fayol 1841 1925 French Economist Identified the main functions of management as: plan, organize, command, coordinate, and control. In 1916 he published his principle findings under 14 headings in "General and Industrial Management" 
Feigenbaum Armand V A V Feigenbaum American Engineer “An effective system for integrating quality development, quality maintenance and quality improvement efforts of the various groups within an organisation, so as to enable production and service at the most economical levels that allow full customer satisfaction”.
Fisher Ronald  Aylmer R A Fisher 1890 1962 English Statistician Early work evolved around variation in plants followed by design of experiments. “The academic mind, as we know, is sometimes capable of assuming an aggressive attitude. The official mind, on the contrary, is and has to be, expert in the art of self-defence.”
Foerster Heinz von H von Foerster 1911 2002 Austrian Physicist Developed a second-order cybernetics approach which focuses on self-referential systems. His starting point to recognize the complexity of cognitive behaviour was to distinguish between trivial and non-trivial machines. A trivial machine is one whose operations are not influenced by previous operations. It is analytically determinable and thus predictable. For non-trivial machines it is not possible to deduce its structure from its behaviour and is thus unsolvable. 'Act always so as to increase the number of choices'.  
Follett Mary Parker M P Follett 1868 1933 English Sociologist Defined management as "the art of getting things done through people."
Forrester Jay Wright J W Forrester 1918 American Engineer His seminal book 'Industrial Dynamics' (1961) showed how to apply systems thinking to analyse industrial business cycles. Followed by Club of Rome inspired 'Global Dynamics' (1973) to modelling on the planetary scale.
Fuller Buckminster B Fuller 1895 1983 American Mechanic Instead of suicide following family disasters he determined to carry out an "an experiment, to find what a single individual can contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity" which led to his 1950s invention of the geodesic dome and a host of related products and ideas 
Gantt Henry Laurence H L Gantt 1861 1919 American Engineer Devised project management scheduling and progress chart of same name in 1910s. Also devised the 'task and bonus' system of wage payment.
Ghoshal Sumantra S Ghosal 1948 2004 Indian Physicist Stressed that it is important for international organisations to align their information systems with their culture and operational norms. He originated the '525' rule that states that 25 per cent of a company's sales revenue should accrue from products launched during the last 5 years.
Gilbreth Frank Bunker F B Gilbreth 1868 1924 American Engineer Devised system of basic work motions symbolised by his 17 'Therblig' icons.
Gilbreth Lillian Moller L M Gilbreth 1878 1972 American Engineer With her husband, an early pioneer of time and motion studies basede around Taylor's principles of scientific management.
Godel Kurt K Godel 1906 1978 Czech Republic Logician In 1934 Godel introduced a mathematical framework to handle a new concept that he called 'general recursion'. An understanding of recursion is of fundamental importance to economic-quality - being dependent as it is upon linked levels of work and viable systems.
Goodhart Charles C Goodhart English Civil Servant Goodhart's law, stated in the 1980s, is the equivalent in the social sciences to the uncertainty principle in physics. In essence once a social or economic indicator is made a target for the purpose of conducting social or economic policy, then it will lose the information content that would qualify it to play such a role. 'Goodhart's Reverse Law' states that, if a government's economic credibility is sufficiently damaged, then its targets are seen as irrelevant and the economic indicators regain their reliability as a guide to policy.
Hamel Gary G Hamel 1954 American Academic With C K Prahalad in 1990 established the concept of 'core competencies'. A core competancy is defined as "an area of specialized expertise that is the result of harmonizing complex streams of technology and work activity."
Hammer Michael M Hammer 1948 American Engineer His book 'Reengineering the Corporation' launched the enormous re-engineering craze of the early 1990s providing an approach to managing change in a changing world.
Handy Charles C Handy 1932 Irish Philosopher Prolific writer on business matters under titles such as 'Understanding Organizations' (1976); 'The Future of Work' (1984); 'Gods of Management' (1986); 'The Making of Managers' (1988); and 'The Empty Raincoat' (1994). Significantly he claims: "There is as far as I know, no example in history, of any state voluntarily ceding power from the centre to its constituent parts." 
Huntington Collis P C P Huntington 1821 1900 American Entrepreneur Set up Newpoert News Drydocxk and Shipbuilding Company whose statement of purpose has become the classic example: "We build good ships here. At a profit if we can. At a loss if we must. But always  good ships"
Ishikawa Kaoru K Ishikawa 1915 1989 Japanese Engineer Father of root cause analysis for problem solving using his concept of a 'fishbone' diagram.
Jaques Elliot E Jaques 1917 2003 Canadian Psychologist His concept of Requisite Organisation relates to the effective management of work systems, including structure, leadership processes and human resources based on the concepts and practices of numerous scientific discoveries about the nature of work and the nature of people's capacity for work.
Kaplan Robert R Kaplan American Engineer Authority on cost and perormance measurement systems notably activity based costing and balanced scorecard. 
Kawakita Jiro J Kawakita 1920 Japanese Biologist Originator of the KJ method - or affinity diagram - to discover meaningful groupings within a given slection of ideas. 
Kuhn Thomas Samuel S T Kuhn 1922 1996 American Philosopher His 'The Structure of Scientific Revolutions' (1962) refuted that scientific change was a strictly rational process. It was "a series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions.(in which) conceptual world view is replaced by another."
Leibnitz Gottfried Wilhelm G W von Leibnitz 1646 1716 German Mathematician  'Characteristica Universalis' and 'Calculus Ratiocinator'. "Learned men have long since thought of some kind of language or universal characteristic by which all concepts and things can be put into beautiful order, and with whose help different nations might communicate their thoughts and each read in his own language what another has written in his"
Machiavelli Nicolo N Machiavelli 1469 1527 Floremtine Philosopher Authored 'Il Principe' (The Prince) around 1513 but not published until 1532. It has become a legendary handbook on how to become and remain a ruler. The six key tenets are: Imitate the behavior of greater men; illustrate how organisational leadership is beneficial; be dedicated to the survival of the organisation; maintain organisational stability and power; avoid waste of one's own weallth, and only seek advice when needed.
Maslow Abraham A Maslow 1908 1970 American Psychologist Established a hierarchy of the five most important human needs (Physiological - Safety & Security - Love & Belonging - Esteem - Self-actualisation) which need to be met each in turn for a fulfilled life.  
Maturana Humberto H Maturana 1928 Chilean Biologist Originator if the conceopt of 'autopoiesis' or self-creation. An autopoietic machine is organized as a network of processes of production which continuously regenerate and realize the network that produced them.
McCulloch Warren W McCulloch 1899 1969 American Physician Tranferred work on the brain and human nervous system to the world of electronics and cybernetics. 'Embodiments of Mind' (1965)
McGregor Douglas D McGregor 1906 1964 American Psychologist Authored 'The Human Side of Enterprise' in which his approach to creating an environment in which people are motivated according to Theory X (people are inherently lazy and will avoid work if they can, thus requiring constant supervision) or Theory Y (people are ambitious, self-motivated and derive joy from their work.)  Theory X managers are autoritarian and use threats. Theory Y managers work to remove barriers to support their staff.
Mill John Stuart J S  Mill 1806 1873 English Philanthropist On Liberty'; 'Utilitarianism'. His magnum opus was 'A System of Logic'
Miller James Grier G J Miller 1916 2002 American Psychologist Founder of 'Living Systems Theory' (an offshoot of Bertalanffy's General Systems Theory) LST formalizes the concept of 'life' and recognises a set of 20 'Critical Subsystems', each defined by function ('boundary', 'transporter', 'decider', 'timer' etc.) 5 Flows (information, energy, money etc) all operating on one of 8 Levels (cell, group, society etc.) 
Mintzberg Henry H Mintzberg 1939 Canadian Academic Severe critic of traditional strategic planning practices and the conventional numbers based approach to MBA courses for inexperienced young students.
Mumford Lewis L Mumford 1895 1988 American Historian An important influence on a number of more recent thinkers concerned that technology serve human beings as broadly and well as possible. He viewed the clock devised by monks in the Middle Ages as the key invention of the whole Industrial Revolution, contrary to the steam engine, writing: "The clock is a piece of machinery whose 'product' is seconds and minutes."
Neumann John von John von Neumann 1903 1957 Hungarian Mathematician Created the eponymous computing architecture in 1945;  was first to spell out the requirements for a general purpose electronic computer. His contribution to the 1946 paper "Preliminary Discussion of the Logical Design of an Electronic Computing Instrument," and the ideas in it were to have a profound impact on the subsequent development of such machines.
Ockham William  William of Ockham 1285 1349 English Philosopher His key insight is known as Occam's Razor which states that ‘Given two equally predictive theories, choose the simpler.’ (From the original Latin Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate.)
Ohmae Kenichi K Ohmae Japanese Engineer Known as “Mr. Strategy” worldwide he advises on formulating creative strategies and developing the organizational concepts to implement them both for private and public sectors.
Peters Tom T Peters 1945 American Academic His first book, 'In Search of Excellence' was a bestseller in 1982. Audiences lapped up his management-theory-for-the-masses approach.
Popper Karl Raimund K R Popper 1902 1994 Austrian Philosopher Best known for repudiating the classical observationalist-inductivist account of scientific method by advancing empirical falsifiability as the criterion for distinguishing scientific theory from non-science. A vigorous defender of liberal democracy and the principles of social criticism which he took to make the flourishing of the "open society" possible.
Porter Michael M Porter 1947 American Engineer Leading light on use of competitive advantage as a corporate or national strategy.
Prigogine Ilya I Prigogine 1917 2003 Russian Chemist Provided a bridge between the natural and social sciences and self-organising systems. Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1977.
Schumacher Ernst Friedrich E 'Fritz' Schumacher 1911 1977 German Statistician His key beliefs were that “individuals need good work for proper human development” and that "production from local resources for local needs is the most rational way of economic life." His books 'Small is Beautiful' and 'A Guide For The Perplexed'  provide critiques of materialist scientism and an exploration of the nature and organisation of knowledge. “The questions are always more important than the answers.”
Senge Peter  P Senge 1947 American Sociologist Founding believer in the importance of the 'learning organisation' which was central to the text of his 1990s book "The Fifth Discipline". He claims “Real commitment is rare in today’s organizations. Ninety percent of the time, what passes for commitment is compliance.”  
Shannon Claude Elwood C E Shannon 1916 2001 American Engineer Father of information theory and originator of practical dugutal circuit design theory. Drew upon the generic value of the concept  of entropy from thermodynamics to examine uncertaintity in communiciations and computing.
Shewhart Walter Andrew W A Shewhart 1891 1967 American Engineer Father of statistical quality control. “How much variation should we leave to chance?”
Shingo Shigeo S Shingo 1909 1990 Japanese Engineer Originator of the 'poka-yoka' mistake-proofing;  'Just-in-Time' manufacturing and SMED (single minute exchange of die) methods which comprise Toyota's 'TPS' production system. "Unless you change direction, you will end up where you are headed."
Smith Adam A Smith 1723 1790 Scottish Economist  'Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations'  "Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer."
Smuts Jan Christiaan J C Smuts 1870 1950 South African Lawyer Originated concept of 'holism and the phrase ' the whole is more than the sum of its parts' in his book 'Holism and Evolution' (1926).
Taguchi Gen'ichi G Taguchi 1924 Japanese Engineer Definition of loss functions and hence 'World Class' performance
Taylor Frederick Winslow F W Taylor 1856 1915 American Engineer Founder of 'Scientific Management'. 'The Principles of Scientific Management' published in 1911
Toyoda Sakichi S Toyoda 1867 1930 Japanese Engineer Inventor of the automatic power loom in the 1930s which were the first machines to use his principle of Jidoka (autonomous automation).  Jidoka means that a machine stops itself when a problem occurs. It later became a key part of the Toyota Production System which is the finest example of economic-quality manufacturing in the world. The success of the automatic loom led to its worldwide licencing and the money from the sale of the UK rights was used to set up the Toyota Motor Co. in 1937.
Tribus Myron M Tribus American Engineer Pre-eminent exponent of the Deming management philosophy. His seminal contribution to spreading the quality message set down by Deming is his paper 'The Germ Theory of Management' (1989). 
Venn John J Venn 1834 1923 English Mathematician  Known for his method of diagramming that represents sets, their unions and intersections - the Venn diagram.
Watt James J Watt 1736 1819 Scottish Engineer Improvement to steam engine led to Industrial revolution
Weber Maximilian M Weber 1864 1920 German Economist Well-known for his study of the bureaucratization of society
Weiner Norbert  N Weiner 1894 1964 American Mathematician He coined the term cybenetics (after Greek for 'steersman') In his book 'Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine' (MIT Press, 1948), widely recognized as one of the most important books of contemporary scientific thinking.
Whitney Eli E Whitney 1765 1825 American Engineer Invented cotton 'gin in 1793 and pioneered methods for creating interchangeable parts.
Flores Carlos Fernando C F Flores 1943 Chilean Economist Cognition, language and computers. 'Understanding Computers and Cognition : A new foundation for design'  with Terry  Winograd (1986) His concept of 'The Atom of Work' justifies the dictum that ' Work is about making and honouring commitments. Computers can't. People can.'
Mayo George Elton G E Mayo 1880 1949 Australian Psychologist Intepreter of the 'Hawthorne Experiment'. Published 'The Human Problems of an Industrialised Civilisation' in 1933