D. Quinn Mills

Albert J. Weatherhead, Jr. Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus

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. 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.