Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries

Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries is a Dutch management scholar and psychoanalyst, Professor of leadership development and organizational change at INSEAD, and consultant.[1] His work focuses on leadership and the dynamics of individual and organizational change.[2] Specifically, Kets de Vries explores the interface between management theory, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, executive coaching and evolutionary psychology.

Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Manfred Kets de Vries.jpg
Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries in June 2019
NationalityNetherlands Dutch
EducationUniversity of Amsterdam
Harvard Business School

The American Psychological Association awarded him the Harry and Miriam Levinson Award in 2001 for his contributions to the field of consultation and in 2009, Kets de Vries was rated amongst the Top 50 Thinkers in Management.[3]


Kets de Vries received a master's degree in Economics in 1966) from the University of Amsterdam; an International Teachers Program certificate in 1967, his M.B.A. in 1968, and his D.B.A. in 1970 from Harvard Business School.

He also received training from the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society, where he has been a member since 1982.

Kets de Vries has held professorships at McGill University, the École des Hautes Études Commerciales, Montreal, and Harvard Business School, and has lectured at management institutions around the world.

He is a founding member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations, of which he became, in 2009, a Lifetime Distinguished Member,[4] a member of the International Psychoanalytic Association and a corresponding member of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society.

Kets de Vries has won numerous awards for his work in the leadership field. In 2005, he was the first non-American to receive the International Leadership Award for "his contributions to the classroom and the board room".[5] In 2008, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award (the Leadership Legacy Project) of the International Leadership Association, being viewed as one of the world’s six founding professionals in the development of leadership as a field and discipline.[6] In 2010 the Dutch Psychoanalytic Institute in the Netherlands presented him with the Freud Memorial Award, in acknowledgement of his work on the interface between psychoanalysis and organizations. In October 2011, Kets de Vries was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa title from IEDC Bled School of Management for his "outstanding contribution to creation and integration of knowledge and leadership development for a better world".[7] In October 2012, Kets de Vries received an Honorary Doctorate from the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) at IBS-Moscow.[8] In 2013, Kets de Vries gave a TEDx Talk on the subject of leadership dysfunction.[9] In 2016, Kets de Vries was the first beneficiary of the INSEAD Dominique Héau Award for “Inspiring Educational Excellence.”[10] In 2016, he was awarded the German Life Achievement Award der Weiterbildungsbranche, a prize offered by the German further education sector.[11]


Kets de Vries is the founder of INSEAD's Global Leadership Centre, program director of INSEAD's top management seminar, "The Challenge of Leadership: Creating Reflective Leaders" and the scientific director of the "Consulting and Coaching for Change; Executive Master's Program". He is also the founder of the Kets de Vries Institute, a consulting firm.

He is a distinguished visiting professor at ESMT European School of Management and Technology in Berlin.[12]

Selected WorksEdit

* 1980's

  • Kets de Vries, Manfred F. R.; Miller, D. (1984). The Neurotic Organization: Diagnosing and Changing Counterproductive Styles of Management. Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-87589-606-5.
  • 2000's
  • Kets de Vries, Manfred F. R. (2006). The Leadership Mystique: a user's manual for the human enterprise. FT Press. ISBN 0-273-65620-1.
  • Kets de Vries, Manfred F. R. (2006). The Leader on the Couch: A Clinical Approach to Changing People and Organizations. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. ISBN 9985-9757-4-X.
  • Kets de Vries, Manfred F. R.; Carlock, Randel S.; Florent-Treacy, Elizabeth (2007). Family Business on the Couch: A Psychological Perspective. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. p. 324. ISBN 978-0-470-51671-3.
  • Kets de Vries, Manfred F. R. (2009). Sex, Money, Happiness and Death: The Quest for Authenticity. Palgrave. p. 264. ISBN 0-230-57792-X.
  • Kets de Vries, Manfred F. R. (2009). Reflections on Character and Leadership. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. p. 366. ISBN 978-0-470-74242-6.
  • Kets de Vries, Manfred F. R. (2009). Reflections on Leadership and Career Development. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. p. 264. ISBN 978-0-470-74246-4.

* 2010's


  1. ^ "Manfred Kets de Vries". INSEAD. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  2. ^ Coutu, Diane. "Putting Leaders on the Couch". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  3. ^ "The Thinkers50 Ranking 2009". Thinkers 50. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  4. ^ "ISPSO Distinguished Member". ISPSO. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Distinguished Leadership Award". ILA. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Lifetime Achievement Award". ILA. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  7. ^ "IEDC Honorary Professorship and Doctor Honoris Causa Recipients". IEDC. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Mysticism of Leadership: Creating Authentic Organizations". RANEPA. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  9. ^ "From Hero to Zero: Why leaders turn bad". TED Talks. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Dominique Heau Award". INSEAD.
  11. ^ "Life Achievement Award Preisträger".
  12. ^ Kets de Vries (ESMT)

External linksEdit