Edgar H. Schein
Born(1928-03-05)March 5, 1928
Zürich, Switzerland
DiedJanuary 26, 2023(2023-01-26) (aged 94)
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materHarvard University, Stanford University, University of Chicago
Known forcoercive persuasion, organizational development, career development, group process consultation, organizational culture, corporate culture
AwardsLifetime Achievement Award in Workplace Learning and Performance of the American Society of Training Directors, 2000
Everett Cherrington Hughes Award for Career Scholarship, 2000
Marion Gislason Award for Leadership in Executive Development, from the BU School of Management Executive Development Roundtable, 2002, Life time achievement award as Scholar Practitioner, Academy of Management, 2009; Life time achievement award for Leadership, International Leadership Assoc., 2012; Honorary Doctorate, Bled School of Management, Slovenia, 2012.
Scientific career
InstitutionsMIT Sloan School of Management

Edgar Henry Schein (March 5, 1928 – January 26, 2023)[1] was a Swiss-born American business theorist and psychologist who was professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He founded the discipline of organizational behavior,[2] and made notable contributions in the field of organizational development in many areas, including career development, group process consultation, and organizational culture.[3] He was the son of former University of Chicago professor Marcel Schein.

Model of organizational culture

Illustration of Schein's model of organizational culture
Illustration of Schein's model of organizational culture

Schein's model of organizational culture originated in the 1980s. Schein (2004) identifies three distinct levels in organizational cultures:

  1. artifacts and behaviours
  2. espoused values
  3. assumptions

The three levels refer to the degree to which the different cultural phenomena are visible to the observer.

Career anchors

The career anchor is a part of what one finds as they clarify their self-image surrounding one's (1) needs and motives, (2) talents, and (3) values, the anchor being set of needs, values, and talents that a person is least willing to give up when forced to make a choice. The concept is Schein's attempt to reflect the lifelong search of every human to find themselves.[6]

Schein's original research in the mid-1970s identified five possible career anchor groups: (1) autonomy/independence, (2) security/stability, (3) technical-functional competence, (4) general managerial competence, and (5) entrepreneurial creativity. Follow-up studies in the 1980s identified three additional constructs: (6) service or dedication to a cause, (7) pure challenge, and (8) life style.

A 2008 study distinguishes between entrepreneurship and creativity to form nine possible constructs.[7]



Awards, honors

Board member

See also


  1. ^ 5 enduring management ideas from MIT Sloan’s Edgar Schein
  2. ^ Coutu, Diane (March 2002). "The Anxiety of Learning". Harvard Business Review. 80 (3): 100--6. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  3. ^ "Edgar Schein - Faculty | MIT Sloan School of Management". mitsloan.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-06-12.
  4. ^ http://businessmate.org/Article.php?Artike1ld=36Edgar H. Schein's Model of Organizational Culture Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Summary of Culture Levels - Schein. Abstract". www.valuebasedmanagement.net. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  6. ^ a b Schein, E. H. (1980),Organizational Psychology, third edition, accessed 31 May 2020
  7. ^ Danziger, Nira (2008). "The construct validity of Schein's career anchors orientation inventory". Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Retrieved 2011-11-09.