Donated by Charles and Elizabeth Handy to the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University, the Charles Handy Papers include original correspondence, articles, manuscripts and other documents related to his career as a leading authority in the field of management.
Among his most influential books are The Age of Unreason, The Empty Raincoat, The Elephant and the Flea, Gods of Management, The Age of Paradox, Beyond Certainty and Myself and Other More Important Matters. His latest book, The Second Curve: Thoughts on Reinventing Society, is set to be published in March 2015.
Referred to by some as “the British Peter Drucker,” Charles Handy was born in Kildare, Ireland, in 1932 and was educated in England and in the United States. He graduated from Oriel College, Oxford, with first-class honors in “Greats”—a study of classics, history and philosophy.
After college, Handy worked for Shell International in South-East Asia and London and then entered the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was at MIT that Handy met Warren Bennis, Chris Argyris, Ed Schein and Mason Haire, and became interested in organizations and how they work.
He returned to England in 1967 to manage the Sloan Program at Britain’s first Graduate Business School in London. In 1972, Handy became a full professor at the school, specializing in managerial psychology.
From 1977 to 1981, Handy worked at a conference and study center in Windsor Castle which was concerned with ethics and values in society. He was chairman of the Royal Society of Arts in London from 1987 to 1989 and holds honorary doctorates from seven British Universities. Many in Britain know him for his “Thoughts for Today,” which he delivered for five years on BBC Radio.
In 2000, he received the Order of the British Empire, an order of chivalry in the British honors system, by Queen Elizabeth II.
Handy has been rated among the Thinkers50, a list of the most influential management thinkers in the world. In 2001 he was second on the list, behind only Peter Drucker. In 2011, Thinkers50 presented Handy with a lifetime achievement award.
Handy’s wife, Elizabeth, a renowned photographer who is also his business partner and frequent collaborator, has donated her photographs of Charles to the collection.