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C. K. Prahalad
  C.K. Prahalad

C.K. Prahalad is Once Again the World's Top Management Guru

10/14/2009 --

Two Ross School professors and one alum make the biennial Thinkers 50 list.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — While there are a plethora of great management thinkers, the best in the world teaches at the Ross School of Business.

For the second time running, C.K. Prahalad, the Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Strategy, tops CrainerDearlove's "Thinkers 50" list of the Most Influential Business Thinkers. In 2007, he also placed No. 1 on the biennial ranking of the Top 50 management thought leaders worldwide.

"C.K. Prahalad's influence on the business world is immense," said Des Dearlove, co-creator of the ranking, in a statement published on "He coined the term 'core competencies' in the 1990s, which set the strategy agenda for a generation of managers. More recently, his work on 'The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid' has shown the role business can play in tackling world poverty."

In addition to Prahalad, Ross School Professor David Ulrich, who directs the school's Human Resource Executive Program, also made the list again, coming in at No. 31 -- just behind Stephen Covey and Thomas Friedman.

Prahalad, who ranked No. 3 in 2005 before getting the top spot in 2007, was the only Top 5 guru to retain his position. Ulrich moved up 11 spots from No. 42 in 2007. Strategos founder Gary Hamel, a Ross School Ph.D. graduate and long-time collaborator of Prahalad's, is No. 10 and Harvard professor and Ann Arbor native Michael Porter is No. 11.

Other notables include Marshall Goldsmith, who has led programs for the Ross School's Executive Skills and Executive MBA programs, as well as Malcolm Gladwell, Paul Krugman, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Tom Peters and Jack Welch.

To create the list, leadership consulting firm CrainerDearlove surveyed 3,500 people around the world to identify the 100 most important business thinkers and then consulted a panel of experts to rank the Top 50. This is the fifth edition of the biennial list.

See the complete Thinkers 50 list.

For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847,