A Tribute to Mike Driver

Mike Driver

Korn Ferry has had an affiliation with Decision Dynamics since 2000 when it began using the assessments authored by Michael Driver and offered by Decision Dynamics, the company he co-founded.  We are pleased to provide Decision Dynamics' Tribute to Dr. Michael Driver.

With pride and gratitude, we at Decision Dynamics would like to acknowledge the late Dr. Michael J. Driver (1936-2004), our colleague, collaborator and mentor.

Mike was a scholar, teacher and innovator.  He had tremendous impact in several fields of inquiry, including decision making, cognitive complexity, careers and leadership, as well as management practice.  His seminal work on decision-style theory and research spanned forty years.  Mike’s decision style assessment work is available on-line through Decision Dynamics, the consulting firm he co-founded with Ken Brousseau in Los Angeles, and Decision Dynamics AB, founded in Sweden by Mike’s former USC graduate student, Rikard Larsson with two Swedish colleagues.*  Today this on-line assessment is presented as Style View I and Style View II.

In the 1970s, Mike’s theory and research work branched into the area of Careers.  His Career-Concept model, first presented at a 1976 conference, is the basis for both the online Career View assessment and the Career Adventure exercise.  His career-theory building and research and the role he played in founding and developing the Careers Division of the Academy of Management led to his being honored at a Memorial Session at the 2005 Academy of Management Conference.  In addition, the impact he had on how we think about and research careers resulted in the awarding of the first annual Michael J. Driver Best Career Research Paper at that conference.

Mike’s interest in developing and researching assessment instruments went beyond that of decision style and career concepts, extending also to achievement, emotional reactions, and tolerance for incongruity.  His management consulting work utilized assessment instruments he developed in these areas as well as the two “calling card” areas he was most associated with – decision style and careers.

It was Mike’s two “calling card” areas that prompted the USC introduction of Mike and Decision Dynamics to executive search firm Korn Ferry in the 1990s.  This association led to the shared Decision Dynamics and Korn Ferry research that showed which decision styles and career motivations were associated with management success.

With Mike, we at Decision Dynamics were able to research and better understand the role organizational career culture played in the life of both the organization and its employees.  The legacy Mike gave us is one we are most proud to continue building on.  Please read more about him in the linked article “Michael Driver: a career life to remember” by Dianne Sundby and C. Brooklyn Derr.  This article was included in the 2007, Volume 12, Number 4 edition of the Career Development International Journal honoring Mike Driver.

*Katarina Kling and Patrick Sweet