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INSEAD Professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne top the Thinkers50 2019 ranking

Beyond Disruption

INSEAD Professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne top the Thinkers50 2019 ranking

INSEAD Professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne top the Thinkers50 2019 ranking

  • Mauborgne is the first woman to occupy the number one position and Kim is the first from North Asia.
  • It is the first time professors from a European business school are named the world’s most influential management thinkers.
  • Professors Erin Meyer and Gianpiero Petriglieri have also advanced their ranking.

W. Chan Kim, INSEAD Professor of Strategy and International Management, and Renée Mauborgne, INSEAD Affiliate Professor of Strategy and Distinguished Fellow of Strategy and International Management, have been named as the world’s most influential management thinkers by the Thinkers50 2019. The bi-annual ranking is widely regarded the “Oscars of Management Thinking” recognising thought-leadership achievements.

Mauborgne is also the first women to occupy the number one position; Kim the first from North Asia; and it is the very first time that faculty members from a European business school have topped the ranking.

Professors of Strategy W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, co-directors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute and co-authors of the New York Times Bestseller and a #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller, Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing - Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth (Hachette, 2017), and the global bestseller Blue Ocean Strategy (2005, Expanded Edition 2015), are ranked first for their thought-leadership on companies that seek out “blue oceans” of untapped market space, rather than competing head-to-head in “red oceans”.

Blue Ocean Strategy is recognised as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written. It has sold over four million copies and is published in a record-breaking 46 languages. It is a bestseller across five continents.

The professors top the ranking this year after repeated appearances in the top five of the Thinkers50 ranking.

Erin Meyer, INSEAD Senior Affiliate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, ranks 32nd this year, moving up by seven spots from the prior ranking. Meyer is a specialist on cross-cultural management and her evaluation of different cultures has resulted in a strategic framework for organisations seeking international success. She is the best-selling author of The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business. She also authored several popular HBR articles. Meyer was the winner of the 2015 Thinkers50 Radar Award and ranked 39th in the 2017 Thinker50.   

Gianpiero Petriglieri, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD, ranks 37th this year, advancing 10 positions. Petriglieri’s award-winning research focuses on leadership and learning in the workplace, notably leadership in the age of “nomadic professionalism”, and broadening and strengthening leadership communities. His research has appeared in top academic journals and the media. He writes regularly for the Harvard Business Review. At INSEAD, he directs the Management Acceleration Programme, the school’s flagship executive programme for emerging leaders. Petriglieri was ranked 47th in the 2017 Thinker 50.   


The Thinkers50 2019 rankings and awards took place at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London on 18 November 2019. Attendees included academics and management gurus from around the world.

The rankings and awards is based on a set of metrics and input from advisors led by the award’s founders. It has ten established criteria, including originality and practicality of ideas, international outlook, ability to inspire, and presentation style. Every two years, Thinkers50 salutes the leading business and management ideas of the current age with its Ranking of Management Thinkers and its awards for distinguished achievement in a number of specific management categories. Its annual Radar list introduces emerging thinkers with the potential to make lasting contributions to management theory and practice.

For the full Thinkers50 2019 Ranking and Awards, please click here.

About INSEAD, The Business School for the World

As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to develop responsible leaders who transform business and society. Our research, teaching and partnerships reflect this global perspective and cultural diversity.

With locations in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore), the Middle East (Abu Dhabi), and now North America (San Francisco), INSEAD's business education and research spans four regions. Our 162 renowned Faculty members from 40 countries inspire more than 1,300 degree participants annually in our Master in Management,  MBAGlobal Executive MBA, Specialised Master’s degrees (Executive Master in Finance and Executive Master in Change) and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 10,000 executives participate in INSEAD Executive Education programmes each year.

INSEAD continues to conduct cutting-edge research and innovate across all our programmes. We provide business leaders with the knowledge and awareness to operate anywhere. Our core values drive academic excellence and serve the global community as The Business School for the World.

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