Werner Erhard is an original thinker whose ideas have transformed the effectiveness of and quality of life for millions of people and thousands of organizations around the world. For more than 40 years he has been the creator of innovative ideas and models of individual, organizational, and social transformation.
His work has been the source of new perspectives for thinkers and practitioners in fields as diverse as business, education, philosophy, medicine, developing and emerging countries, conflict resolution, and community building. Erhard has created new ways of seeing things in areas where progress has stalled or where breakthroughs would make a significant difference. A majority of the Fortune 100 companies, and many foundations and governmental entities, have used his ideas and models. Fortune magazine’s 40th anniversary issue (5/15/95), in examining the major contributions to management thinking, recognized Werner Erhard’s ideas about methods for empowering people as one of the major innovations in management thinking of the last few decades.
While he may be best known to the general public for applications derived from his models (including The est Training started in 1971 and replaced in the mid-1980s by The Forum), currently Werner Erhard commits his time and intellectual effort almost exclusively to the academic world. Some of his recent research, writings, lectures, and courses can be found on his author page in the Social Sciences Research Network. His current work is disseminated through such organizations as the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the Harvard Law School, John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Harvard Business School and the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI). More than two million people around the world have participated in the public, corporate and academic programs and courses that Werner Erhard has created.
About The Forum, Social scientist Daniel Yankelovich said of a large scale study he conducted of participants of The Forum: “Several of the study’s findings surprised me quite a bit, especially the large number of participants for whom The Forum proved to be ‘one of the most valued experiences of my life’. This is not a sentiment that people, especially successful, well-educated people, express lightly.”
Werner Erhard is largely self-educated, albeit with tutoring from some important thinkers of his time such as – Philosophers,Isaiah Berlin, Hubert Dreyfus, Michel Foucault, Sir Karl Popper, Hilary Putnam, and Michael Zimmerman; Leadership and Business Academics, Warren Bennis, Fernando Flores, Ronald Heifetz, and Dave Logan; Economics Academics, Milton Friedman, and Michael C. Jensen; Neuroscientists: David Eagleman, and Karl H. Pribram; Theoretical Physicists, Richard Feynman, and Leonard Susskind; Social Scientists, anthropologist Gregory Bateson; Cyberneticists: Heinz von Foerster and James Grier Miller, Biologist Humberto Maturana and IBM Fellow, Allan Scherr; Futurist, Buckminster Fuller; and Artist Robert Rauschenberg, among others.
Philosopher Michael E. Zimmerman said of Erhard, “He had no particular formal training in anything, but he understood things as well as anyone I’d ever seen; and I’ve been around a lot of smart people in academia. This is an extraordinary intellect I saw at work”.
In recognition of his humanitarian work around the world, in 1988 Werner Erhard was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award.
Werner Erhard's Papers at SSRN (Social Science Research Network)
Creating Leaders: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model (with co-authors Michael C. Jensen and Kari L. Granger) - Chapter 16 in "The Handbook for Teaching Leadership: Knowing, Doing, and Being,” edited by Harvard Business School’s Scott Snook (Senior Lecturer), Nitin Nohria (Dean of the Harvard Business School and George F. Baker Professor of Administration), and Rakesh Khurana (Dean of Harvard College and Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development).
Introduction to Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological Model (with co-authors Michael C. Jensen and Kari L. Granger)
Putting Integrity into Finance: A Purely Positive Approach (with co-author Michael C. Jensen)
Integrity: A Positive Model that Incorporates the Normative Phenomena of Morality, Ethics and Legality - Abridged (with co-authors Michael C. Jensen and Steve Zaffron)
The Four Foundations of a Great Personal Life, Great Leadership and a Great Organization (with co-author Michael C. Jensen)
Integrity: Where Leadership Begins - A New Model of Integrity (with co-authors Michael C. Jensen and Steve Zaffron)
Beyond Agency Theory: The Hidden and Heretofore Inaccessible Power of Integrity (with co-author Michael C. Jensen)
A New Model of Integrity: The Missing Factor of Production (with co-authors Michael C. Jensen and Kari L. Granger)
A New Model of Integrity: An Actionable Pathway to Trust, Productivity and Value (with co-authors Michael C. Jensen and Steve Zaffron)
A 'Value-Free' Approach to Values (with co-author Michael C. Jensen)
Creating Leaders: A New Model, An Evening with Werner Erhard and Professor Michael C. Jensen
Presentation at the Simon School of Business “Sands Lecture” on February 5, 2014, and later to the Simon School NYC Conference – “The Global Marketplace: Rising To the Challenges of Regulation, Disruption and International Competition”, May 8, 2014, Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City (with co-author Michael C. Jensen)
A New View of Integrity: A Life-Changing Model (with co-author Michael C. Jensen)
Beyond Agency Theory: The Power of Integrity (with co-author Michael C. Jensen) PDF of PowerPoint Slides
The Hidden and Heretofore Inaccessible Power of Integrity: A New Model (with co-author Michael C. Jensen) PDF of Keynote Slides
Werner Erhard’s Curriculum Vitae