D. Quinn Mills

Emeritus Professor

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Daniel Quinn Mills consults with major corporations and governments and lectures about management, leadership, strategy, economics and geopolitics.   He is an expert on the differences between Asian and Western leadership styles.  His most recent article is “Asian and American Leadership Styles:  How They Differ,” published in the Peking University Business Review, August, 2007.  An American, Mills is also a member of the Innovation Council of Malaysia, a ministry level council chaired by the Prime Minister.

During the Vietnam War (1967-1974), Mills was responsible within the federal government for wages, prices, and production in the capital goods industries constituting some 14% of America’s Gross Domestic Product. 

Mills arrived at the Harvard Business School in 1976 having taught at MIT's Sloan School of Management from 1968 to 1975.  He remained at Harvard until 2007.

Mills has been interested in early stage businesses and as a director and investor has helped develop several firms.   He has been a director of a publicly listed company, chairing its audit committee for several years.            

A thought leader, Mills has written books on leadership, geo-politics, investments, capital markets, business strategy, network organizations, demographics, marketing, empowerment, and union relations.  

His most recent book is Democracy and Its Elected Enemies, published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press also, Master of Illusions:  Presidential Leadership, Strategic Independence and America’s Public Culture, published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press.   The book explores America’s role in the world in the aftermath of the second Iraqi War.

Other recent books include three studies of executive leadership:  Principles of Management; LeadershipHow to Lead, How to Live; and Principles of Human Resource Management — each published in 2005 and 2006 by MindEdge Press.  

Another book, Having It All:  Six Steps for Putting Both Your Career and Your Family First, published in 2004 by Prentice-Hall, offers an effective approach for people to balancing their work and family lives.

Two books published early in this decade tell the story of equity market manipulations:  Wheel, Deal and Steal:  Deceptive Accounting, Deceitful CEOs, and Ineffective Reforms (published by The Financial Times/Prentice Hall, April 2003) and Buy, Lie and Sell High:  How Investors Lost out on Enron and the Internet Bubble (published in 2002).

A 1996 book, Broken Promises, sets forth the strategy that IBM adopted in the 1990s to turn itself around, while another 1996 work, Staying Afloat, proposes business strategies for the world’s construction companies.

In the early eighties, Mills was one of the first to examine the impact of demographics on management and consumption.  He studied the baby boomers in his book Not Like Our Parents (1987).  Also, he helped start interest in moving from management to leadership in business with his Rebirth of the Corporation (1991), and helped define and establish the new management approach of empowerment through The GEM Principle (1994).

Mills’ earliest books dealt with economics and employee relations.  As a government official he helped bring to a close the cycle of wage-push inflation which damaged the economy in the 1960s and ‘70s, and described these efforts in Government, Labor and Inflation (1975), Industrial Relations in Transition (1984), and his university-level textbook Labor-Management Relations (in five editions).

Widely and often quoted as well as seen in the national media, Mills has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, and been quoted in articles in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Business Week.  He is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.

His MA and Ph.D., both in economics, are from Harvard.   Mills received his undergraduate degree from Ohio Wesleyan University.



  1. Democracy and Its Elected Enemies: American Political Capture and Economic Decline

    Steven Rosefielde and Daniel Quinn Mills

    Democracy and Its Elected Enemies reveals that American politicians have usurped their constitutional authority, substituting their economic and political sovereignty for the people's. This has been accomplished by creating an enormous public service sector operating in the material interest of politicians themselves and of their big business and big social advocacy confederates to the detriment of workers, the middle class, and the nonpolitical rich, jeopardizing the nation's security in the process. The authors contend that this usurpation is the source of America's economic decline and fading international power and provide an action plan for restoring "true" democracy in which politicians only provide the services people vote for within the civil and property rights protections set forth in the Constitution.

    Keywords: Ethics; Government and Politics; Macroeconomics; Public Administration Industry; United States;


    Rosefielde, Steven, and Daniel Quinn Mills. Democracy and Its Elected Enemies: American Political Capture and Economic Decline. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. View Details
  2. Building World Class Universities in Asia

    D. Quinn Mills

    After discussing higher education's potential contribution to Asia's economic progress and the characteristics (and limitations) of a leading university, Professor Emeritus Daniel Quinn Mills lays out his recommendations for building a world-class university in Asia, including how to hire faculty, build a curriculum, attract and retain students, and achieve top-quality research.

    Keywords: Development Economics; Curriculum and Courses; Higher Education; Selection and Staffing; Research; Asia;


    Mills, D. Quinn. Building World Class Universities in Asia. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2010. View Details

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  1. Management in Perspective: Lessons Learned from Harvard Business School

    D. Quinn Mills and Franziska Zellweger

    Keywords: Management;


    Mills, D. Quinn, and Franziska Zellweger. "Management in Perspective: Lessons Learned from Harvard Business School." In E-Learning an Hochschulen. An Beispielen lernen, edited by Dieter Euler and Karl Wilbers, 89–96. Switzerland: Institut für Wirtschaftspädagogik, 2003, German ed. View Details
  2. The Leader as Partner: A Contrast of European and American Leadership Styles

    D. Quinn Mills, Stephan A. Friedrich, Hans H. Hinterhuber and Dirk Seifert

    Keywords: Leadership Style; Europe; United States;


    Mills, D. Quinn, Stephan A. Friedrich, Hans H. Hinterhuber, and Dirk Seifert. "The Leader as Partner: A Contrast of European and American Leadership Styles." Chap. 17 in Partnering: The New Face of Leadership, edited by Larraine Segil, Marshall Goldsmith, and James Belasco, 177–186. New York: AMACOM, 2002. View Details
  3. The Use of Virtual Classes at Harvard Business School: A Successful Model for Corporate e-Learning

    D. Quinn Mills and Dirk Seifert

    Keywords: Business Education; Information Technology; Education Industry;


    Mills, D. Quinn, and Dirk Seifert. "The Use of Virtual Classes at Harvard Business School: A Successful Model for Corporate e-Learning." Chap. 13 in Corporate e-Learning. Edited by Reiner Neumann, Ralf Nacke, and Alexander Ross, 171–180. Wiesbaden, Germany: Gabler Verlag, 2002. View Details
  4. Managing Change in Higher Education: A Leader's Guide

    D. Q. Mills and J. Pumo

    Keywords: Change Management; Higher Education; Leading Change; Education Industry;


    Mills, D. Q., and J. Pumo. "Managing Change in Higher Education: A Leader's Guide." In Renewing Administration: Preparing Colleges and Universities for the 21st Century, edited by Diana G. Oblinger and Richard N. Katz. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, 1999. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Leadership Forum: Building Great Careers - Video

    D. Quinn Mills and Carole Winkler

    Leadership: Can I learn it, how do I do it, and how can I use it to advance my career? How is today's world different from the one our teachers entered years ago, and how does that affect me? The two videos on this DVD address these and other questions typically asked by students trying to make challenging and life-altering career decisions. The videos may be used in whole or in part with background from: Mills, D. Quinn. Leadership: How to Lead, How to Live. Waltham, Mass.: MindEdge Press, 2005; Thomas, D. A., and John J. Gabarro. Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 1999; Mills, D. Quinn. Principles of Management. Waltham, Mass.: MindEdge Press, 2005; Mills, D. Quinn, Sasha Mattu, and Kirstin Hornby. Having It All ... And Making It Work: Six Steps for Putting Both Your Career and Your Family First. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 2004. The videos may also be supplemented by an excellent by an excellent on-line course that is available at the Winchester Center for Management Development, accessed via www.execlearn.com.

    Keywords: Personal Development and Career; Work-Life Balance; Leadership Development; Talent and Talent Management; Leadership Style; Knowledge Dissemination; Teaching; Executive Education; Decision Choices and Conditions; Management Style; Education Industry;


    Mills, D. Quinn, and Carole Winkler. "Leadership Forum: Building Great Careers - Video." Harvard Business School Multimedia/Video Case 307-708, April 2007. View Details
  2. Siemens Medical Solutions: Strategic Turnaround

    D. Quinn Mills and Julian Kurz

    Describes how Siemens Medical Solutions (MED) accomplished a remarkable turnaround from a money-losing operation to one of Siemens' most profitable divisions. By late 1996, a challenging market environment in the health care industry as well as inefficiencies in the company's manufacturing, logistics, and sales/service processes had a negative impact on MED's profitability. Reacting to these challenges, CEO Reinhardt defined and implemented a comprehensive turnaround program centered around people, processes, and products. The case highlights the most important aspects of the company's turnaround and later expansion and provides an outlook for the company's future challenges and opportunities.

    Keywords: Opportunities; Globalized Firms and Management; Health Care and Treatment; Transformation; Problems and Challenges; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry;


    Mills, D. Quinn, and Julian Kurz. "Siemens Medical Solutions: Strategic Turnaround." Harvard Business School Case 703-494, June 2003. (Revised November 2003.) View Details
  3. First Marblehead Corporation (A)

    D. Quinn Mills and Matt Salloway

    Daniel Meyers, chairman and CEO of First Marblehead Corp., provides financial engineering services to educational institutions. This case deals with the market for student loans.

    Keywords: Financing and Loans; Education; Markets; Microfinance; Management Teams; Financial Services Industry; Education Industry;


    Mills, D. Quinn, and Matt Salloway. "First Marblehead Corporation (A)." Harvard Business School Case 301-069, January 2001. (Revised September 2002.) View Details
  4. Cerner Corporation (A)

    D. Quinn Mills and Matt Salloway

    The CEO thinks people are not working long enough hours. He sends a memo. This series describes the backlash.

    Keywords: Crisis Management; Management Style; Leadership Style; Nonverbal Communication; Employees; Organizational Culture; Health Industry;


    Mills, D. Quinn, and Matt Salloway. "Cerner Corporation (A)." Harvard Business School Case 301-136, June 2001. View Details
  5. Acer Group, The: Vision for the Year 2000

    D. Quinn Mills and Richard C. Wei

    In the early 1990s, Acer, Inc. set two goals: to be a top-five PC company worldwide in 1995 and to be a global consortium of companies by the year 2000. The company identified potential obstacles concerning capital, image, number of experienced international managers, and marketing experience in foreign markets, and devised a strategy to reach its goals. This case examines the company's strategy in the context of changes in the PC industry.

    Keywords: Mission and Purpose; Goals and Objectives; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Organizational Structure; Global Strategy; Multinational Firms and Management; Experience and Expertise; Marketing Strategy; Production; Rank and Position; Business Strategy; Capital; Computer Industry; Japan;


    Mills, D. Quinn, and Richard C. Wei. "Acer Group, The: Vision for the Year 2000." Harvard Business School Case 495-001, September 1994. (Revised September 1994.) View Details
  6. ABC Sales and Service Division: A Case Study of Personal and Organizational Transformation

    D. Quinn Mills, Brock W. Orwig, Janet M. Pumo, Todd C. Stilson and Richard C. Wei

    In the midst of dramatic changes in the information systems industry and declining profits at the ABC Co., the vice president in charge of the sales and service division, Jeff, and his managers attempt to transform their division. The transformation gets off to a good start but soon runs into problems as the managers are forced to lay off employees and to cancel a conference intended to move the transformation forward. Jeff wonders what he should do next as some members of his management team resign and morale is low.

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Transformation; Motivation and Incentives; Resignation and Termination; Communication; Business or Company Management; Information Technology Industry;


    Mills, D. Quinn, Brock W. Orwig, Janet M. Pumo, Todd C. Stilson, and Richard C. Wei. "ABC Sales and Service Division: A Case Study of Personal and Organizational Transformation." Harvard Business School Case 494-075, January 1994. View Details
  7. Note on How Organizations Can be Structured

    D. Q. Mills

    Describes four basic organizational forms--hierarchy, division, matrix, and cluster. Diagrams of each are included. Their strengths and weaknesses under different business environment conditions are detailed. There is a table comparing the forms on several key organizational dimensions and a second table that describes key management practices in each form.

    Keywords: Management Practices and Processes; Organizational Culture; Organizational Design; Organizational Structure;


    Mills, D. Q. "Note on How Organizations Can be Structured." Harvard Business School Background Note 490-040, December 1989. View Details
  8. People Express - March 1984

    D. Quinn Mills

    Describes People Express business strategy and whether it was successful. Describes changing environment in the airline industry and asks students to make decisions concerning a new business strategy for People Express. Follow-up to the (A) case.

    Keywords: Change; Industry Structures; Business Strategy; Aerospace Industry;


    Mills, D. Quinn. "People Express - March 1984." Harvard Business School Supplement 487-043, November 1986. View Details
  9. People Express - May 1985

    D. Quinn Mills

    Describes situation facing Don Burr at People Express in May of 1985. Purpose is to get students to make a business policy decision. Follow-up to People Express - March 1984.

    Keywords: Decisions; Policy; Management Teams; Air Transportation Industry;


    Mills, D. Quinn. "People Express - May 1985." Harvard Business School Supplement 487-044, November 1986. View Details
  10. Megalith, Inc. -- Hay Associates (B)

    D. Quinn Mills and George W. Baird

    Describes Hay Associates Climate Survey Questionnaire and the eight dimensions of organizational climate. Rewritten by G.W. Baird, company partner.

    Keywords: Surveys; Organizations; Human Resources;


    Mills, D. Quinn, and George W. Baird. "Megalith, Inc. -- Hay Associates (B)." Harvard Business School Case 484-070, February 1984. View Details
  11. Megalith, Inc. -- Hay Associates (C)

    D. Quinn Mills, George W. Baird and George W. Baird

    Provides a glossary of executive compensation terms. Rewritten by G.W. Baird, company partner.

    Keywords: Executive Compensation; Compensation and Benefits; Employment Industry;


    Mills, D. Quinn, George W. Baird, and George W. Baird. "Megalith, Inc. -- Hay Associates (C)." Harvard Business School Case 484-071, February 1984. View Details

Other Publications and Materials

    Research Summary

  1. Securities Industry

    by D. Quinn Mills

    I have recently published two books about the bull market of the 1990s. The first deals with the internet bubble; the second deals with the large company financial reporting scandals. Both books consider the events, causes (including matters of ethics) , and what might be done about the situation.
  2. Work/family

    by D. Quinn Mills

    I have just published, in 2004, a book on how professionals might manage the challenge of balancing work and family demands. The book is oriented not at the problem, which is often dealt with in publications by others, but with six steps for dealing with it.