Portrait image for Eric Flamholtz

Eric Flamholtz

Professor Emeritus, Management and Organizations
(310) 477-0444
Areas of Expertise:
  • Human Resource Accounting
  • Human Resource Management
  • Leadership Effectiveness
  • Management Control Systems
  • Managing Growth
  • Organization Development


Professor Eric Flamholtz (1943–2024) began his academic career as one of the founders of the field of human resource accounting. His book on this subject (Kluwer Academic Press, 1998) is generally recognized as the landmark work in this area.

Flamholtz’ interests focused on organizational growth and development, especially in entrepreneurial firms. His research led to several frameworks that analyze the key building blocks of organizational success and the transitions required from one stage of development to the next. He also developed validated methodologies for organizational assessment, strategic planning, performance management and culture management that have been applied by organizations globally. His co-authored book Growing Pains: Building Sustainably Successful Organizations, Fifth Edition (Wiley, 2016), describing this research and related applications, is widely considered the definitive work in this area. It has been translated into several languages, including Bulgarian, Chinese, German, Japanese, Polish, Russian and Spanish.

Flamholtz also authored and co-authored several other widely read books, including: Building Family Business Champions (Stanford University Press, 2016); Corporate Culture: The Ultimate Strategic Advantage (Stanford University Press, 2011); Leading Strategic and Organizational Change (Cambridge University Press, 2008); Changing the Game: Managing Organizational Transformations of the First, Second, and Third Kinds (Oxford University Press, 1998); Organizational Control (Kluwer, 1996); The Inner Game Of Management (American Management Association, 1988); and Human Resource Accounting (three editions). His most recent book is The Leadership Crisis Playbook (Vandeplas Publishing, 2020).

In 1978, Flamholtz founded Management Systems Consulting Corporation, an organizational development firm specializing in helping rapidly growing organizations manage their growing pains and become sustainably successful organizations. The firm has licensed affiliates using its proprietary, validated and proven methodologies in Argentina, Bulgaria, China, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore and Ukraine, as well as in the U.S. He consulted to or conducted executive leadership programs at companies such as: Amgen, Guggenheim Partners, PIMCO, Starbucks, Simon Properties, Neutrogena, American Century Investors, Baskin-Robbins, the Disney Stores, IBM, Navistar International, Nike, the Kusto Group (Kazakhstan and Singapore), the Silk Road Group (Georgia) and Techcombank (Vietnam), and several organizations in Australia, Bulgaria, China, France, Georgia, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland, Russia and Vietnam. Flamholtz served as a member of the board of directors of 99 Cents Only Stores for nine years, and was chair of the strategic planning and compensation committees.

Flamholtz was a frequent lecturer at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in China. He also presented seminars and workshops to a wide variety of firms and organizations, including: IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Monsanto, Nestlé, Nike, Citrix Systems, American Express Travel, Colgate Palmolive, AT&T, Young Presidents Organization (YPO), Forbes Presidents Forum, Fortune Growth Conference, Fortune Human Resources Forum, Fortune CFO Forum, General Motors, PepsiCo, Allergan, the Hyatt Corporation, Borg Warner, TRW, Federal Express, Warburg Pincus (Singapore), Xu Zhou Construction Machinery Group (China), Xiamen University (China), Shanghai Advanced Finance Institute (China), Cornell University’s Executive Master of Management in Hospitality, Oristano University (Italy), University of Lugano (Switzerland), CETYS University (Mexico) Moscow School of Management Skolkovo (Russia) and Almaty University (Kazakhstan), as well as many others globally.

His Ph.D. dissertation was co-winner of the McKinsey Foundation for Management Research Doctoral Dissertation Award. In 2007, he 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.” In 2012, he was appointed honorary professor at Almaty University, Kazakhstan. In 2014, Flamholtz received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University in St. Louis, where he received his MBA.

In addition to serving on the faculty of UCLA, Flamholtz previously served on the faculties at the University of Michigan and Columbia University.


Ph.D. Business Administration (Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management), 1969, University of Michigan

MBA Management, 1966, Washington University

B.S. Economics, 1964, Hunter College, City University of New York



flamholtz, E. (1995). Managing Organizational Transitions: Implications for Corporate and Human Resource ManagementEuropean Management Journal, 13 (1), 39-51.

flamholtz, E. (1996). Effective Organizational Control (1996) A Framework, Applications,and ImplicationsEuropean Management Journal, 14 (6), 596-611.

flamholtz, Eric G. and Aksehirli, Zeynep. (2000) Organizational Success and Failure, An Empirical Test of a Holistic ModelEuropean Management Journal, 18, (5) 488-498.

flamholtz, E. (2001). Corporate Culture and the Bottom LineEuropean Management Journal, 19 (3), 268-275.

flamholtz, E. and Hua, Wei, (2002). Strategic Organizational Development and the Bottom Line: Further Empirical EvidenceEuropean Management Journal, 20 (1), 72-81.

flamholtz, E. and Hua, Wei, (2002). Strategic Organizational Development, Growing Pains and Corporate Financial Performance: An Empirical TestEuropean Management Journal, 20 (5), 527-536.

flamholtz, Eric G. and Hua, W.  (2003). Searching for Competitive Advantage in the Black BoxEuropean Management Journal, 21 (2), 222-236.

flamholtz, E. (2003). Putting Balance and Validity into the Balanced Scorecard.  Journal of Human Resource Costing and Accounting, 7 (3),  15-26.

flamholtz, E.G., Bullen, M.L., and Hua, W. (2003). Measuring the ROI of Management Development: An Application of the Stochastic Rewards Valuation ModelJournal of Human Resource Costing and Accounting, Spring, pp. 21-40.

flamholtz, E.S. (2005). Conceptualizing and Measuring the Economic Value of Human Capital of the Third KindJournal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting.

flamholtz, E.G. & Randle, Y. (2007). Successful Organizational Development and Growing PainsManagement Online Review.

flamholtz, E.G. & Nayar, Madhavan (2007). Information Integrity in the Digital Age: A challenge for the boardManagement Online Review.



Eric G. Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle, Growing Pains: Transitioning from an Entrepreneurship to a Professionally Managed Firm, Jossey-Bass Publishers, Inc. (2000).

Eric G. Flamholtz, Human Resource Accounting: Advances in Concepts, Methods, and Applications, Kluwer Academic Press, (1999).

Eric G. Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle, Changing The Game: Transformations of the First, Second and Third Kinds, Oxford University Press (1998).

Eric G. Flamholtz, Effective Management Control: Theory and Practice, Kluwer Academic Publishers (1996).

Eric G. Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle, The Inner Game of Management, AMACOM, (1987).


Case Studies

Countrywide Financial Corporation

Pardee Homes



Recognition and Service

Doctoral dissertation co-winner of McKinsey Foundation for Management Research Doctoral Dissertation Award for 1969

Editorial Board, European Management Journal

Editorial Board, Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting



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