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Center for
Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Public Management Program Oral History Panel

Arjay Miller, 4th dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business
John Steinhart, Stanford Sloan Director 1979–1984, first director of the Public Management Program
Alain Enthoven, Marriner S. Eccles Professor of Public and Private Management, Emeritus
Robert Flanagan, Konosuke Matsushita Professor of International Labor Economics and Policy Analysis, Emeritus
Henry Rowen, Edward B. Rust Professor of Public Policy and Management, Emeritus
Chuck Holloway, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Professor of Management, Emeritus
Published: February 10, 2011

In response to the historical events of the late 60's and the growing societal demands on business, the Stanford Graduate School of Business developed a pioneering vision for educating leaders who understand the world they live in and know to work across silos to accomodate the needs of both business and society.

When offered the Stanford Business School deanship, Arjay Miller agreed on condition that the School begin a program that would educate business in the concerns of government and society, and government in the needs of business.

Essentially, he envisioned a program that would produce managers better able to anticipate and deal with the disturbing and unexpected crises he had just encountered in his job as a high-ranking corporate executive at Ford Motors Co.:

In 1965, Ralph Nader published his scathing critique of the safety record of the auto industry, Unsafe at Any Speed. Miller was struck by how ineptly he and his colleagues handled negotiations with the government regulators. And vice versa. "We blew it," he recalled in a 2000 interview. Then in 1967, Detroit was ravaged by urban riots. As chairman of the city's Economic Development Committee, Miller was charged with bringing jobs to the inner city. "We failed miserably," he said later. With that, the innovative Public Management Program was born and was later emulated by other business schools across the country.

The founders of the Public Management Program share their motivations for creating the first program of the sort at a business school and why it is more relevant than ever today. They spoke at an October 28 Oral History Panel hosted by the school's Library.