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Dave Ulrich named most influential thinker of the decade

Dave Ulrich has been recognised as the top HR thinker of the last decade

Dave Ulrich, professor of business at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and co-founder of The RBL Group, has been voted the most influential thinker of the decade in the HR Most Influential rankings.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of HR Most Influential, HR magazine recognised the most influential practitioners and thinkers of the decade.

Ulrich is famous for his work on redefining HR and is widely regarded as the founder of the HR business model adopted by so many businesses across the world. His latest work, Leadership Capital Index, aims to provide investors with the equivalent of a Moody’s Index for leadership.

Ulrich described the event as “incredible, magical, and wonderful”. Speaking to HR magazine editor Katie Jacobs, he said that he felt “honoured and humbled” by the recognition.

“Any personal award is a team effort,” he added. “I have a fantastic team and the HR community is a marvellous support body.”

Adrian Furnham, management expert and professor of psychology at University College London, was also recognised on the list. When asked how HR has changed over the past decade he described the “astonishing” effect of technology.

“If you’re not familiar with technology you are missing out on something very important,” he said. “Because of technology, in the future there will be fewer people and more systems. I think a lot of HR professionals are not particularly technology based. We need to know what the power of technology is, and the limitations of it.”

Speaking at the event, Siân Harrington, publishing director of HR magazine, said that HR has evolved to tackle the realities of the external business environment.

“We have gone through re-structuring, re-alignment, managing complex change programmes and the war for talent,” she said. “HR now sits at the centre of some of the most important decisions an organisation can take as it formulates and executes its strategies.”

The top ten most influential thinkers of the decade are:

Dave Ulrich, Rensis Likert professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Adrian Furnham, professor of psychology, University College London

Cary Cooper, 50th anniversary professor of organisational psychology & health, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester

Charles Handy, writer and broadcaster

David Guest, chair of the examination board for the MSc in human resource management and organisational analysis, King’s College London

Edward E Lawler, director, Center for Effective Organisations and distinguished professor of business, University of Southern California

Lynda Gratton, professor of management practice, London Business School

Peter Cappelli, George W Taylor professor of management and director, The Wharton School and Wharton's Center for Human Resources

Rob Goffee, Emeritus professor of organisational behaviour, London Business School

Will Hutton, principal, Hertford College, Oxford University