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Roger Martin

Roger L. Martin

Premier’s Research Chair in Productivity and Competitiveness
Academic Director, Martin Prosperity Institute


MBA, Harvard Business School (1981)
AB, Economics Major, Harvard College (1979)



Personal Website:


In 2017, Roger was named the world’s #1 management thinker by Thinkers50, a biannual ranking of the most influential global business thinkers.

Roger Martin serves as the Institute Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship at the Rotman School of Management and the Premier’s Chair in Productivity & Competitiveness. From 1998 to 2013, he served as Dean. In 2013, he was named global Dean of the Year by the leading business school website, Poets & Quants. 

He has published 11 books the most recent of which are Creating Great Choices written with Jennifer Riel (Harvard Business Review Press, 2017) Getting Beyond Better written with Sally Osberg (Hss, 2015) and Playing to Win written with A.G. Lafley s (HBRP), 2013), which won the award for Best Book of 2012-13 by the Thinkers50. He has written 25 Harvard Business Review articles.

Roger is a trusted strategy advisor to the CEOs of companies worldwide including Procter & Gamble, Lego and Verizon.

A Canadian from Wallenstein, Ontario, Roger received his AB from Harvard College, with a concentration in Economics, in 1979 and his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1981.

Academic Positions

  • Present

    Academic Director, Martin Prosperity Institute

  • Present

    Academic Director, Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship

  • 1998-2013

    Dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Non-Academic Positions

  • 1991-1998

    Member, Global Executive Committee Chairman, Monitor University

  • 1995-1996

    Co-CEO, Monitor Company Canada Limited

  • 1987-1991

    Managing Director, Monitor Company Canada Limited

Featured Work

Creating Great Choices: 

Move Beyond Trade-Off Thinking. When it comes to our hardest choices, it can seem as though making trade-offs is inevitable. But what about those crucial times when accepting the obvious trade-off just isn't good enough? What do we do when the choices in front of us don't get us what we need? In those cases, rather than choosing the least worst option, we can use the models in front of us to create a new and superior answer. This is integrative thinking. First introduced by world-renowned strategic thinker Roger Martin in "The Opposable Mind," integrative thinking is an approach to problem solving that uses opposing ideas as the basis for innovation. Now, in "Creating Great Choices," Martin and his longtime thinking partner Jennifer Riel vividly illustrate how integrative thinking works, and how to do it. The book includes fresh stories of successful integrative thinkers that will demystify the process of creative problem solving, as well as practical tools and exercises to help readers engage with the ideas. And it lays out the authors' four-step methodology for creating great choices, which can be applied in virtually any context. The result is a replicable, thoughtful approach to finding a "third and better way" to make important choices in the face of unacceptable trade‐offs. Insightful and instructive, "Creating Great Choices" blends storytelling, theory, and hands-on advice to help any leader or manager facing a tough choice.


Getting Beyond Better

Getting Beyond Better

Getting Beyond Better

In this compelling book, strategy guru Roger L. Martin and Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally R. Osberg describe how social entrepreneurs target systems that exist in a stable but unjust equilibrium and transform them into entirely new, superior, and sustainable equilibria. All of these leaders—call them disrupters, visionaries, or changemakers—develop, build, and scale their solutions in ways that bring about the truly revolutionary change that makes the world a fairer and better place.

Click here to purchase. 

Fixing the Game

Fixing the Game

Fixing the Game: Bubbles, Crashes, and What Capitalism Can Learn from the NFL(Harvard Business Review Press, 2011)

Using the NFL as his primary example, Martin illustrates that it is possible to take a much more thoughtful and effective approach to the intersection of the real and the expectations markets and to governance in general in the capital markets.

To purchase "Fixing the Game", click here.

The Opposable Mind

The Opposable Mind

The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking (Harvard Business Press, 2007)

In this primer on the problem-solving power of “integrative thinking,” Martin draws on more than 50 management success stories to demonstrate how the human brain’s ability “to hold two conflicting ideas in constructive tension” is an evolutionary leap through which decision-makers can synthesize “new and superior ideas.”

To purchase "The Opposable Mind", click here.




Diaminds: Decoding the Mental Habits of Successful Thinkers (Rotman/University of Toronto Press, 2009)

What constitutes successful thinking in business? What are some of the techniques used by top business minds in order to solve problems and create value? Co-authors Moldoveanu and Martin break new ground in addressing these questions, offering a new conception of successful intelligence.

To purchase "Diaminds", please click here.

Playing to Win

Playing to Win

Playing to Win

The authors of Playing to Win, A. G. Lafley, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, and Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management, say most firms shy away from these difficult strategic choices, settling instead for false approaches that can lead to irreversible blunders.

Click here to purchase. 

The Design of Business

Design of Business

The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage (Harvard Business Press, 2009)

Most companies today have innovation envy. Why do many get disappointing results when they have made genuine efforts to be innovative? Roger Martin offers a compelling and provocative answer: to innovate and win, companies need design thinking.

To purchase "The Design of Business", click here. 


The Responsibility Virus

The Responsibility Virus

The Responsibility Virus: How Control Freaks, Shrinking Violets And the Rest of Us Can Harness the Power of True Partnership (Basic Books, 2002)

Are you a heroic leader or a passive follower? Chances are you act like one or the other, and it’s doing serious damage to your company, customers, and colleagues. Behind this harmful behavior is the fear that you’ll be held responsible for any failure. Martin calls this “The Responsibility Virus.”

To purchase "The Responsibility Virus", click here. 

The Future of the MBA

The Future of the MBA

The Future of the MBA: Designing the Thinker of the Future, with Mihnea Moldoveanu (Oxford University Press, 2008)

The MBA is probably the hottest ticket among the current university graduate degree offerings—with over 120,000 students enrolling annually in the United States alone.  The Future of the MBA provides a detailed and systematic review of the major debates on management education.

To purchase "The Future of the MBA", please click here.

Book Chapters

Best Practices in Corporate Social Responsibility, with Alison Kemper, in
QFinance: The Ultimate Resource
(Bloomsbury, 2009)

"Jurisdictional Advantage," with Maryann Feldman, in
Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, National Bureau of Economic Research (MIT Press, 2005)

"What Canada Could be for Education in the 21st Century," in
Memos to the Prime Minister: What Canada Could be in the 21st Century
(John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2001)

"Breaking the Code of Change: Observations and Critique"
Breaking the Code of Change
(Harvard Business School Press, 2000)


Where are the Exports? The Canadian Health Care Mystery (November 2003)

Confidence Control and Compensation in the Modern Corporation, background paper prepared for The Ditchley Foundation Conference (September 2003)

The Problem with Corporate Governance, prepared for the International Academy of Management (March 2003)

Demand for Innovation, prepared for Industry Canada Innovation Consultation (August 2002)

Why do People and Organizations Produce the Opposite of What They Intend?, with M.A. Archer and L. Brill, prepared for The Walkerton Enquiry (2002)

Canadian Competitiveness: A Decade After the Crossroads
(With Michael Porter, May 2001)

Agency Theory and the Design of Efficient Governance Mechanisms with Mihnea Moldoveanu, prepared for the Joint Committee on Corporate Governance (2001)

Board Governance and the Responsibility Virus, prepared for the Joint Committee on Corporate Governance (2000)

Strategic Choice Structuring (1997)

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Research and Teaching Interests

Integrative Thinking, Design of Business, Strategy, Incentives & Governance, Democratic Capitalism, Social Innovation

Honors and Awards

  • 2018

    Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, Royal Military College of Canada

  • 2017

    #1 Top Management Thinker in the World, Thinkers50

  • 2016

    Member of the Order of Canada, Order of Canada

  • 2013

    #3 Top Management Thinker in the World, Thinkers50

  • 2013

    Dean of the Year, Poets & Quants'

  • 2013

    20 Most Influential Business Professors Alive Today, Top Business Degrees

  • 2010

    Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinkers, Foreign Policy Magazine

  • 2009

    The 25 Most Influential People in Business, Canadian Business Magazine

  • 2007

    B-school All Star,

  • 2005

    Innovation Guru,

  • 2004

    McLuhan International Festival of the Future, Commerce Visionary Award

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