- Philosophy Statement
I am a philosophically trained Social Scientist with a PhD in Engineering. I work on complex messy problems that cut across all fields of inquiry. I am one of the founders of the field of Crisis Management. As such, I have worked on large-scale crises of all kinds. The problems we face can no longer be posed correctly, let alone solved, by disciplinary thinking. They require inter- and trans-disciplinary thinking of the highest order. I also work on minimizing Errors of the Third Kind: Solving the WRONG Problems Precisely.
Dr. Ian I. Mitroff is currently an Adjunct Professor in The College of Environmental Design, University of California Berkeley. He is also a Senior Investigator in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor of Health Policy, School of Public Health, St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri.
He is Professor Emeritus from the University of Southern California, where he was the Harold Quinton Distinguished Professor of Business Policy at the Marshall School of Business. He is the President of the consulting firm Mitroff Crisis Management, and is regarded as one of the founders of the discipline of Crisis Management. He founded and directed the USC Center for Crisis Management.
Known for his thinking and writing on a wide range of business and societal issues, Dr. Mitroff is the author of 29 previous books, including “Swans, Swine, and Swindlers: Coping with the Growing Threat of Mega Crises and Mega Messes,” “Dirty Rotten Strategies; How We Trick Ourselves and Others into Solving the Wrong Problems Precisely,” “A Spiritual Audit of Corporate America,” “Smart Thinking for Crazy Times,” “The Essential Guide to Managing Corporate Crisis,” “The Unbounded Mind” and “Managing Crises Before They Happen,” “The Subjective Side of Science: A Philosophical Study of the Apollo Moon Scientists.”
His PhD is in Engineering Science and the Philosophy of Social Science from U.C. Berkeley. He is a Fellow of The American Psychological Association, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and The American Academy of Management. He has an honorary Ph.D. from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stockholm. He is the recipient of a gold medal from the United Kingdom Systems Society for his life-long contributions to understanding complex problems.
- Courses Taught
- Social Factors in Design
- The Philosophy and Methodology of Science
- Crisis Management
- Systems Thinking
- Interpersonal Dynamics
- Awards + Recognition
- Fellow of The American Psychological Association.
- Fellow of the American Academy of Management.
- Fellow of The American Association for the Advancement of Science.
- Honorary PhD from the University of Stockholm.
- Gold medal from the UK Systems Science for life-long contributions to systems thinking.
- Selected Publications
Swans, Swine, and Swindlers: Coping with the Growing Threat of Mega Crises and Mega Messes, with Murat Alpaslan, Stanford University Press,2011.
Dirty Rotten Strategies, How We Trick Ourselves and Others into Solving the Wrong Problems Precisely, with Abe Silvers, Stanford University Press, Palo Alto, CA, 2009.
Cram 101 Textbook Outlines: Crisis Leadership: Planning for the Unthinkable, Academic Internet Publishers, 2007.
Why Some Companies Emerge Stronger and Better From a Crisis, AMACOM, New York, 2005.
Crisis Leadership: Planning for the Unthinkable, with Gus Anagnos, John Wiley, New York, 2003.
Pour Un Management Ethique et Spirituel, with Thierry Pauchant, Quorum Books, New York, 2002.
Managing Crises Before They Happen, with Gus Anagnos, AMACOM, New York, 2000.
A Spiritual Audit of Corporate America: A Hard Look at Spirituality, Religion, and Values, with Elizabeth Denton, Jossey-Bass Publishers Inc., San Francisco, 1999.
Smart Thinking for Crazy Times: The Art of Solving the Right Problems, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., San Francisco, 1998.
The Essential Guide to Managing Corporate Crises: A Step-By-Step Handbook for Surviving Major Catastrophes, with Christine M. Pearson and L. Katharine Harrington, Oxford University Press, New York, 1996.
The Management of Crises and Paradoxes: Preventing the Destructive Effects of Organizations (in French), with Thierry Pauchant, H.E.C., Montreal, Canada, 1995.
The Challenge of the 21st Century: Managing Technology and Ourselves in a Shrinking World, Harold A. Linstone with Ian I. Mitroff, State University of New York Press, Albany, New York, 1994.
Framebreak: The Radical Redesign of American Business, with Richard O. Mason and Christine M. Pearson, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1994.
Crisis Management: A Diagnostic Guide for Improving Your Organization's Crisis-Preparedness, with Christine M. Pearson, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1993.
The Unbounded Mind, with Harold Linstone, Oxford University Press, New York, 1992.
Transforming the Crisis Prone Organization, Thierry Pauchant, with Ian I. Mitroff, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1992.
We're So Big And Powerful Nothing Bad Can Happen To Us, An Investigation of America's Crisis-Prone Corporations, with Thierry Pauchant, Birch Lane Press, New York, 1990.
The Unreality Industry, The Deliberate Manufacturing of Falsehood and What It Is Doing to Our Lives, with Warren Bennis, Birch Lane Press, New York, 1989.
Break-Away Thinking, How To Challenge Your Business Assumptions (And Why You Should), John Wiley, New York, 1988.
Business Not As Usual, Rethinking Our Individual, Corporate, and Industrial Strategies for Global Competition, Jossey-Bass, 1987.
Corporate Tragedies, Product Tampering, Sabotage, and Other Catastrophes, with Ralph Kilmann, Praeger, New York, 1984.
Stakeholders of the Organizational Mind: Toward A New View of Policy Making, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1983.
The 1980 Census: Policymaking Amid Turbulence, with R.O. Mason and V.P. Barabba, Lexington Books, Lexington, Mass., 1983.
Creating A Dialectical Social Science: Concepts, Methods, and Models, with R.O. Mason, D. Reidel, Amsterdam, 1982.
Challenging Strategic Planning Assumptions, Theory, Cases, and Techniques, with R.O. Mason, John Wiley, New York, 1981.
Methodological Approaches to Social Science: Integrating Diver-gent Concepts and Theories, with Ralph Kilmann, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1978.
The Subjective Side of Science: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Psychology of the Apollo Moon Scientists, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1974; reissued by Intersystems Publishers, Seaside, CA, 1984