Charles Handy

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Charles Handy (born 1932) is an Irish author/philosopher specialising in organisational behaviour and management. Among the ideas he has advanced are the "portfolio worker" and the "Shamrock Organization" (in which professional core workers, freelance workers and part-time/temporary routine workers each form one leaf of the "Shamrock").

He has been rated among the Thinkers 50, a private list of the most influential living management thinkers. In 2001 he was second on this list, behind Peter Drucker, and in 2005 he was tenth. When the Harvard Business Review had a special issue to mark their 50th Anniversary they asked Handy, Peter Drucker and Henry Mintzberg to write special articles.

In July 2006 he was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws by Trinity College, Dublin.


Born the son of a Church of Ireland archdeacon in Clane, Co. Kildare, Ireland, Handy was educated as a boarder at Bromsgrove School and Oriel College, Oxford.

Handy's business career started in marketing at Shell International. He was a co-founder of the London Business School in 1967 and left Shell to teach there in 1972.


  • Marketing Executive, Shell International Petroleum Company 1956-65
  • Economist, Charter Consolidated 1965-66
  • International Faculty Fellow, MIT 1966-67
  • London Business School 1967-95 (Professor 1978-94)
  • Warden, St George's House, Windsor Castle 1977-81
  • Writer and broadcaster, 1981-

He was Chairman of the Royal Society of Arts...
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