Werner Erhard

Current Academic Papers
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werner erhard harvard university

Working Paper by
Werner Erhard and
Michael C Jensen




werner erhard NBER

Working Paper by
Werner Erhard and
Michael C Jensen




ecgi werner erhard

Working Paper by
Werner Erhard

and Michael C Jensen







Werner Erhard continues to develop methodologies that provide universities and business with the means to design new contexts and paradigms – allowing individuals to think more independently and creatively, and to take more effective action, and providing organizations with powerful access to increased performance. Werner Erhard has lectured for a wide variety of prestigious institutions and professional associations around the world, including DePaul University, the Gruter Institute, Harvard Business School, Stanford University, University of Rochester Simon School of Business, Yale Law School, Yale School of Organization and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management Leadership Center, Harvard Law School, USC Marshall School of Business, UNESCO, The Center for Public Leadership, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University. Werner Erhard's written works on the topics of integrity, leadership, transformation and performance are often among the top most downloaded publications at Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN).


Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological / Phenomenological Model

This course in developmental production is a collaborative work between Werner Erhard, Professor Michael C. Jensen, Steve Zaffron, and Professor Jeri Echeverria (and past contributors Allan Scherr and Kari Granger).

The course is a leadership laboratory where instructors work with the participants to create direct access to the ways of being, thinking, planning, and action required to be a leader and to exercise leadership effectively – in any situation, and no matter the circumstances. The course is designed to give students actual access to being a leader and the effective exercise of leadership as their natural self-expression. The course has been taught at the University of Rochester Simon School of Business, at Texas A&M University Mays School of Business, Erasmus Academie (Rotterdam), Nanyang Fellows Program Nanyang Technological University, in Singapore, and Kremen School of Education, California State University, Fresno; it is currently being taught at the United States Air Force Academy. A version of it is also being taught at the Erasmus University Law School and at the ....Read More


Putting Integrity Into Finance: A Purely Positive Approach - NBER Working Paper No. 19986

Werner Erhard and Professor Michael C. Jensen write in their abstract: "The seemingly never ending scandals in the world of finance with their damaging effects on value and human welfare (that continue unabated in spite of all the efforts to curtail that behavior) argues strongly for an addition to the current financial economics paradigm. We summarize here a new theory of integrity that eliminates all the normative content that has been a part of the traditional way integrity has occurred. This new model reveals integrity as a purely positive phenomenon. Adding integrity as a purely positive phenomenon to the financial economics paradigm provides finance scholars and practitioners access to effectively dealing with the never ending scandals in the world of finance. Well beyond the scandals, we argue more generally that adding integrity as a purely positive phenomenon to the economics paradigm reveals integrity as a heretofore unrecognized critical factor of production that will create significant increases in economic efficiency, productivity, and aggregate human welfare."

(Positive as used here is as it is used in the sciences – it does not mean something good or desirable, it means the way integrity actually is and operates.)

Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
Harvard Business School
NOM Unit Working Paper No. 12-074
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Paper #19986, Issued March 2014
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Finance Working Paper No. 417/2014


The Handbook for Teaching Leadership: Knowing, Doing, and Being - Chapter 16

In Harvard University’s Handbook for Teaching Leadership, Professor Scott Snook, Dean of Harvard Business School Nitin Nohria and Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana write, “... this eclectic group of scholars argues for adopting a decidedly ontological approach to leadership education that promises to leave students actually being leaders.” ... Read More


A Purely Positive* Theory of Integrity

Werner Erhard and Professor Michael Jensen define integrity and discuss their research linking integrity and personal and corporate performance. They address integrity in a developing academic paper, whose primary purpose is to present a positive model of integrity that provides a powerful access to increased performance for individuals, groups, organizations, and societies. *Positive as used here is as it is used in the sciences - it does not mean something good or desirable, it means the way integrity actually is and operates.

This academic paper was initially presented at the Gruter Institute Conference on Values in June 2006. Since then it has been presented over 40 times, most recently at Washington University Olin School of Business March 2010...Read More


A New Paradigm of Performance

"Our new model of performance (a part of our new paradigm of performance), rather than adding more explanations for why people do what they do and why they don’t do what they don’t do, provides actionable access to the source of performance. This actionable access to the source of performance opens up a new realm of opportunity for study and research, and for new and more effective interventions, applications, and practices for improving individual, group, and organizational performance." ...Read More

Watch Werner Erhard at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government speaking about "The Ontological Foundations of Performance."   October 15, 2009.


The Barbados Group

The Barbados Group is an international group of scholars, consultants and practitioners who were brought together by Werner Erhard.  The Group's specific intention is to create a new paradigm of performance.  The working name for this new paradigm is “The Ontological Foundations of Performance.”  This new paradigm is based on the fundamental proposition that the performance of an individual, group or organization is a correlate of the way the world in which, and on which, that entity is performing "occurs" for that entity.  This new paradigm also offers access to this "occurring" through a specific use of a distinct aspect of language. 

The first publication in book form to come out of the Barbados Group’s exploration and the tenets of “The Ontological Foundations of Performance” is Three Laws of Performance, the 2009 best selling book by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan... Read More


The Mastery Foundation

The Mastery Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer, interfaith organization established in 1983. The work of the Mastery Foundation is to empower religious and grassroots community leaders in creating new conversations and possibilities in the areas of ministry, peace and reconciliation, and community empowerment.

The Mastery Foundation grew out of a series of conversations among Christian and Jewish clergy who had experienced a personal transformation when they participated in The est Training. The group requested that Werner Erhard develop a program designed specifically for them. As part of the design work, Werner Erhard requested that the Mastery Foundation enlist experts on clergy development and practice who could represent the Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish faiths. The first workshop was held in 1984 for 60 participants. Since that time, the Mastery Foundation has offered the workshop for more than 3000 lay and ordained participants in the United States, Kenya, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. ...Read More

In 1999, Werner Erhard and Peter Block developed the Mastery Foundation's Ireland Initiative, which brought a broad base of community leaders together to work on peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. This workshop continutes to provide a unique process that provokes new ways of thinking and new conversations designed to produce breakthroughs for the participants in their relationship to the past, the future, and to what is possible for themselves and their communities.

At the design conferences for the Mastery Foundation School for Leadership in 2006, 2007, and 2008, Werner Erhard presented new models of integrity and leadership, two core distinctions on which the new school is based.


The Eranos Foundation

Werner Erhard presented "A Breakthrough In Individual and Social Transformation" at the Eranos Conference in Ascona, Switzerland on June 18, 2006

The Eranos Foundation was founded in the 1930’s to provide a point of contact and opportunity for discussion for thinkers from disparate fields of knowledge ranging from depth psychology and comparative religion to history, literary criticism and folklore. The yearly conferences or "Tagungs" were frequented by luminaries like Jung, Martin Buber, Henry Corbin, D.T. Suzuki and others. ...Read More


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