Eric Image.png

Dr. Eric Flamholtz,
President & Founder

Eric Flamholtz is President of Management Systems Consulting Corporation, which he co-founded in 1978.  He is Professor Emeritus at UCLA's Anderson School of Management, where he teaches in various Executive Education programs, and previously served on the faculties of Columbia University and the University of Michigan. 

Dr. Flamholtz currently lectures and teaches in several programs for Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xu Zhou, Chengdu, and Sanya, including their CEO Leadership Program, EMBA, Multinational Managers program, Innovative Entrepreneurship program, and custom programs for various companies. 

In addition, he served for eight years as a member of the Board of Directors of 99 Cents Only Stores ("NDN"), a NYSE Company, until the firm went private in 2012.  At NDN, he was Chair of the Compensation and Strategic Planning Committees.

Flamholtz has a multidisciplinary background. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan (organizational behavior and human resource management), an M.B.A. from Washington University (management) in St. Louis, and an undergraduate degree in economics and accounting from Hunter College.  While studying for his Ph.D at the University of Michigan, Eric worked as a researcher for the legendary Rensis Likert at the Institute for Social Research.

Flamholtz’s doctoral dissertation, which helped pioneer the area of "Human Resource Accounting," was co-winner of the McKinsey Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Award. He has done research and taught Accounting, Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, and strategy.  He has taught accounting at the University of Michigan, Columbia University and UCLA; and Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at Michigan and UCLA, as well as Advanced Management at Columbia.  In addition, Eric has taught in Executive Program’s at Columbia, Cornell, and UCLA.

Dr. Flamholtz has helped hundreds of organizations make successful transitions at different stages of growth and development as well as deal with a wide variety of organizational and leadership issues.  His clients have included IBM, Starbucks, Amgen, Neutrogena, PIMCO, American Century Investors, PowerBar, Tommy Bahama, Navistar International, Simon Properties, Pardee Homes (a Weyerhaeuser company), Guggenheim Partners, Mövenpick Gastronomy International (Switzerland), The Disney Store, Wolfgang Puck Food Company, Baskin Robbins, Li Ning (China), The Kusto Group (Kazakhstan), The Riverside Group (China), PacifiCare Health Systems, MGA Entertainment Inc., Jamba Juice, Chart House Enterprises, City National Bank, Citation Corporation, Cendant Mortgage, Southern California Presbyterian Homes,  Guilford Pharmaceuticals, Infogix, RCM, and the North American Division of Allianz Global.  Eric has also worked with Kemper Insurance, General Dynamics, United Technologies, Meredith Publishing, Touche Ross, LifeScan (subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), Mileage Plus (subsidiary of UAL Corp.), Surgitek (subsidiary of Bristol Meyers), Republic Pictures, U.S. Filter, New World Entertainment, Tekelec, Emergent BioSolutions, First Quadrant, Silicon Image, several companies in Vietnam (including Coteccons, BTAP, Betong 6, and Phu Hong Gia), and many others.  

Additionally, Eric has presented seminars and workshops for a wide variety of firms and organizations throughout the world, including FedEx, Nike, Colgate Palmolive, AT&T, Hughes Electronics, Young Presidents Organization (YPO), Forbes Presidents Forum, Fortune Growth Conference, Fortune Human Resources Forum, Fortune CFO Forum, General Motors, PepsiCo, Abbott Laboratories, ARCO, Allergan, the Hyatt Corporation, Borg Warner, CIT, Computer Sciences Corporation, TRW, YPO (Philippines), United Overseas Bank (Singapore), Warburg Pincus (Singapore), Reuters (Switzerland), Smartmatic (Venezuela), and Xu Zhou Construction Machinery Group (China).  He has been a lecturer at Cornell University's Hotel and Restaurant Program and in a similar program at Rosen College in the University of Central Florida.  Dr. Flamholtz has presented lectures, keynote sessions and executive seminars for Stockholm University (Sweden), HEC (France), various universities in Sardinia, Italy, the International Academy of Business (Kazakhstan), MIRBIS in Moscow (Russia), The University of Lugano (Switzerland), and Xiamen University (China).  During his career, he has also lectured and/or presented academic papers at many Universities in the US, including Cornell University, University of Chicago, Harvard Business School, the Wharton School and The University of New Mexico (Price Waterhouse Distinguished Lecturer).

Eric has completed research projects for the National Science Foundation, The US Office of Naval Research, and the National Association of Accountants.

Since 1976, Dr. Flamholtz has done executive coaching for hundreds of executives, including founders of entrepreneurial firms and CEOs of established companies in a wide variety of industries, including financial, retail, real estate, and healthcare. He did extensive coaching for the senior leaders at Starbucks, including its founder and CEO Howard Schultz, during their early rapid growth years.  Schultz (who authored a Forward of one of Flamholtz’s books, Changing the Game and who cited Flamholtz’s work at Starbucks in his own book), was named the “2011 Business Person of the Year” by Fortune magazine. He also coached almost all of the senior leaders at PIMCO during a three year assignment. He coached the entire senior leadership team at American Century Investors during their rapid growth years over a nine year relationship.  During 2009, he designed and conducted a one year coaching program for forty CEOs and Chairs of some of China's leading companies for the “CEO Leadership Program” at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai. He has also coached the CEO and other senior leaders of Li Ning, the sports apparel company founded by the legendary “Prince of Gymnastics.”  He also consulted with The Riverside Group, a leading property development and management company in China, where he coached the entire senior leadership team to effectively manage growth related issues and help them achieve effective scale up.  

He is currently doing a significant amount of lecturing, leadership development, coaching, and consulting in China. He has done leadership development programs for Xu Zhou Construction Machinery Group, Shenzhen Fantasia, and B-Ray Investment Holding Group.  He has also consulted with Haohe Construction and 1000 Color in China. 

Dr. Flamholtz’s which have been published in several languages include:

  • Corporate Culture: The Ultimate Strategic Asset (co-authored) Stanford University Press, 2011.
  • Leading Strategic Change: Bridging Theory and Practice, (co- authored), Cambridge University Press, 2008.
    • Published in Russian by EKSMO Publishing in 2011.
  • Growing Pains: Transitioning from an Entrepreneurship to a Professionally Managed Firm, Fourth Edition, (co- authored), Jossey-Bass, 2007.
    • Published in Chinese by Tsinghua University Press in 2011
    • Also published in German, Japanese and Spanish.
  • The Inner Game of Management (co-authored), American Management Association, 1987.
    • Published in Japanese, and Spanish.
  • Organizational Control: Theory and Practice, Kluwer Academic Press, 1996.
    • Published in Italian, 2003.
  • Human Resource Accounting, Kluwer Academic Press, 1999.
    • Published in Farsi (Iran), 2012.
  • Changing the Game: Managing Organizational Transformations of the First, Second, and Third Kinds (co- authored), Oxford University Press, 1998. 

Eric has also published more than 100 articles. He is generally regarded as the thought leader in the field of Human Resource Accounting, which he helped pioneer.  His book Growing Pains, now in its fourth edition, has been published in many languages including Chinese, Japanese, German, Spanish, and others, and is considered the seminal book in the field of entrepreneurial transitions (organizational scale up) to professional management. He serves on the Editorial Boards of European Management Journal, and The Journal of Human Resource Costing and Accounting.

In April 2007, Eric received the “Distinguished Ph. D Alumni Award” from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan “in recognition of his Contributions to and Excellence in Management and Organization.”  He is the seventh Ph.D. alumnus of the University of Michigan to receive this recognition. In 2012, Dr. Flamholtz was made an Honorary Faculty member of the International Academy of Business, Kazakhstan.

Flamholtz's work as an advisor,  consultant and coach is relatively unique in that it is based upon an empirically validated theoretical framework as well as extensive practical experience in its application over more than 35 years.