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Charles Handy

The Hungry Spirit, 1997

Photograph of Charles Handy, photo copyright Elizabeth HandyAbout the Author

Charles Handy (born 1932) is from Kildare, Ireland and was educated in England and in the United States. He graduated from Oriel College, Oxford, with first-class honours 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. Here Handy met Warren Bennis, Chris Argyris, Ed Schein and Mason Haire, and became interested in organisations and how they work.

Handy returned to England in 1967 to manage the Sloan Programme at Britain's first Graduate Business School in London. In 1972, Handy became a full Professor at the School, specialising in managerial psychology. From 1977 to 1981, Handy worked at a conference and study centre 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. He is known to many for his ‘Thoughts for the Day’ on the BBC Radio Today programme and his numerous books on business and society. Handy and his wife Elizabeth, who is also his business partner, have two adult children and share their time between homes in England and Italy.  

Top 10 Ideas

Download Charles Handy's Top 10 Ideas from the interview.

Interview Transcript

Download a transcript of the interview.

Charles Handy: Part 1, The Purpose of Business

In this video, Charles Handy, author of The Hungry Spirit (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about the purpose of business with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 3 September 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Charles Handy: Part 2, Socially Responsible Investment

In this video, Charles Handy, author of The Hungry Spirit (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about socially responsible investment with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 3 September 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Charles Handy: Part 3, Reforming Capitalism and the Citizen Corporation

In this video, Charles Handy, author of The Hungry Spirit (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about reforming capitalism and the citizen corporation with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 3 September 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Charles Handy: Part 4, China and India

In this video, Charles Handy, author of The Hungry Spirit (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about China and India with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 3 September 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Charles Handy: Part 5, Economic Growth and Climate Change

In this video, Charles Handy, author of The Hungry Spirit (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about economic growth and climate change with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 3 September 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Charles Handy: Part 6, The Citizen Company

In this video, Charles Handy, author of The Hungry Spirit (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about the citizen company with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 3 September 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Charles Handy: Part 7, Bottom of the Pyramid Markets and Multinationals

In this video, Charles Handy, author of The Hungry Spirit (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about bottom of the pyramid markets and multinationals with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 3 September 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Charles Handy: Part 8, Globalisation and the Role of Government

In this video, Charles Handy, author of The Hungry Spirit (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about globalisation and the role of government with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 3 September 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Charles Handy: Part 9, The Role of Education

In this video, Charles Handy, author of The Hungry Spirit (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about the role of education with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 3 September 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Charles Handy: Part 10, Business Evolution and Personal Inspiration

In this video, Charles Handy, author of The Hungry Spirit (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about business evolution and personal inspiration with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 3 September 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

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Interested in our Executive Programmes?

Other Books (Selection)

Understanding Organisations (Penguin Books, 1976)

Gods of Management: The Changing Work of Organizations (Souvenir Press, 1986)

The Age of Unreason (Harvard Business School Press, 1990)

The Elephant and the Flea: Reflections of a Reluctant Capitalist (Arrow Books, 2001)

Myself and Other More Important Matters (Random House, 2006)

The New Philanthropists (with Elizabeth Handy, William Heinemann, 2006)

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