Michael Porter is generally recognized as the father of the modern strategy field and has been identified in a variety of rankings and surveys as the world’s most influential thinker on management and competitiveness. He is also a leading authority on the application of competitive principles to social problems such as health care, the environment, and corporate responsibility. Porter is the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at the Harvard Business and the author of 18 books and over 125 articles. He received a B.S.E. with high honors in aerospace and mechanical engineering from Princeton University in 1969; an M.B.A. with high distinction in 1971 from the Harvard Business School, where he was a George F. Baker Scholar; and a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University in 1973. In 2001, Harvard Business School and Harvard University jointly created the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, dedicated to furthering Porter’s work.
Topic: America's Place in the World
Michael Porter: The U.S. is caught up in these issues big time. I think that the kind of tragic thing about the U.S. situation right now is, I think for a country where the vast majority of Americans have such good motives – and try so hard around the basics of freedom and democracy, and helping other people, and being generous, and being philanthropic and all these things – that somehow the country gets demonized and attacked.
Frankly, I find it at the very grassroots level as I travel around the world, which I do a lot.
I think there’s a tremendous level of respect for the U.S., but for whatever reason, if you read the newspaper, you would think we’re the worst country in the world. And I don’t think that any of the folks that call us names have even glanced at themselves at the mirror, because I don’t know how you would come to that conclusion.
So that’s troubling, and I think that’s partly our own fault; and I think it’s because of the way we’ve engaged the world lately. And I think we can do so much more.
Recorded on: June 11, 2007