David Bach Every two years, the â??Thinkers 50â?? ranking identifies the most influential living thinkers in the field of management. Essentially a ranking of management gurus, the list, produced by Suntop Media, is a fascinating gauge of what is â??hotâ?? in the market for ideas. This year, the guru at the top is University of Michigan professor CK Prahalad whose recent book, The Bottom of the Pyramid, urges managers to fundamentally rethink how we view the worldâ??s poor. Microsoftâ??s Bill Gates, Harvardâ??s Michael Porter, and author Tom Friedman are also on the list. Beyond the official 50, a number of up and coming management thinkers are recognized as making substantial strides to entering the top 50 in the next few years. Prof. David Bach of IE Business School has been nominated as â??one to watchâ?? for the future.

Bachâ??s research focuses on the nexus of business and politics, a field he calls â??nonmarket strategyâ??. The idea is that firms need to look beyond the traditional market-based value chain to create competitive advantage. Relations with governments, regulators, and NGOs are becoming increasingly important and successful firms try to manage relations in this â??nonmarketâ?? environment to obtain an edge over competitors. Together with his colleague David Allen, Bach directs a new Center for Nonmarket Strategy at IE that works with leading companies to develop best practices. Through MBA courses such as â??Business, Government & Societyâ??, IE has been able to bring this cutting-edge research into the classroom.

â??Itâ??s an honor to be mentioned in the same context as these tremendously influential thought leaders,â? says Bach. â??Nonmarket strategy is a very exciting field of research that offers new perspectives on the role of business in society, global competition, and sustainability. This recognition underscores the potential impact of the ideas on the practice of management.â?