The 50 Most Influential Business Thinkers
Corporate strategy sage C.K. Prahalad is the mostinfluential management thinker in the world,according to the Thinkers 50, a biennial ranking of business gurus.Prahalad, who serves as the Paul and RuthMcCracken distinguished university professor of strategy at the University of Michigan's RossSchool of Business, tops the list for the secondtime running."C.K. Prahalad's influence on the business world isimmense," said Des Dearlove, co-creator of theranking, in a statement. "He coined the term 'corecompetencies' in the 1990s, which set the strategyagenda for a generation of managers. Morerecently, his work on
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid
has shown the role business can playin tackling world poverty."To create the list, leadership consulting firm CrainerDearlove surveyed 3,500 peoplearound the world to identify the 100 most important business thinkers, and then consulteda panel of experts to rank the top 50. This is thefifth edition of the biennial list.While Prahalad maintained his No. 1 slot from the2007 edition, economic turbulence has significantlychanged the rest of the ranking.Thirteen thinkers make their first appearance onthe list in 2009, including Nobel laureateMuhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank andauthor of
Banker to the Poor
. The economistsurges onto the list in sixth place.Names that have slipped off the list include Scott Adams, creator of
, and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who ranked third in 2007. All together, only19 members of the original 50 members of the list still make the cut.Stuart Crainer, co-creator of the list and partner at CrainerDearlove, says this year'sranking illustrates the slipping influence of business school academics--and the increasinginfluence of economists during the recession. Economists Paul Krugman (ranked third),Joseph Stiglitz (22nd) and Niall Ferguson (42nd) did not appear on the list in 2007."Managers are quite fickle," says Crainer. "They're looking for the next big idea all thetime."
"C.K. Prahalad's influence on the businessworld is immense," says Des Dearlove, co-creator of the global ranking with StuartCrainer. "He coined the term 'corecompetencies' in the 1990s, which set thestrategy agenda for a generation of managers. More recently, his work on
TheFortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid
hasshown the role business can play intackling world poverty."