Professor Hermann Simon, world famous management scholar, accomplished business practitioner and founder of Simon-Kucher & Partners, has been awarded the doctorate honoris causa degree by Kozminski University.


The Senate of Kozminski University unanimously granted Professor Simon the honorary doctorate degree in a secret ballot. The ceremony of awarding the Honorary Doctorate to Professor Simon has concluded the Fifth World Congress of Business Ethics held at Kozminski University on 11-14 July. According to Professor Andrzej K. Kozminski, President of Kozminski University and advisor of the honorary degree, reputation of Professor Simon as an outstanding academic, author of more than 30 books and 1000 articles, founder of successful management consultancy and the world’s authority on such fundamental themes, like pricing and lasting leadership in niche markets, speaks for itself.

Professor Simon is well known and highly respected in Poland, since he visits our country regularly, conducts research projects with his firm’s Warsaw staff and several of his books, not to mention many articles, have been translated to Polish. His active participation in academic debates includes delivering lectures at Kozminski University and serving on its International Corporate Advisory Board. Honorary doctorate of Professor Simon was strongly supported by Professor Jerzy Dietl from Lodz University, Professor Philip Kotler from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and Professor Erwin Pesch from Siegen University.

Professor Simon commented on his recognition: “I feel honored and grateful for this degree. When I compare our time with the first four decades of my life, we have made huge progress and live in peace today. Kozminski University has become a role model in and taken advantage of this process. It is now the leading business school in CEE countries, which is an extraordinary achievement. I am proud to be able to contribute a little to this great institution and to further progress in Poland.”

In German-speaking countries, Professor Simon is ranked the most influential management thinker after the late Peter Drucker, according to the ongoing internet survey Hermann Simon, born in 1947 in the Eifel region in western Germany, graduated from Officer’s School in Munich and served in fighter squadron of German Air Force from 1967 to 1969. From 1969 he studied business and economics at the Universities of Cologne and Bonn, and graduated in 1973 from the University of Bonn. His Ph.D. dissertation on “Pricing Strategies for New Products” and habilitation thesis on “Dynamic Product Line Marketing” were written at the University of Bonn.

Hermann Simon started teaching in 1979 at the University of Bielefeld, and later was appointed Professor of Management Science and Marketing. As Director of Universitatsseminar der Wirtschaft (USW) in Cologne from 1985 to 1988, then the largest management development institution in Germany, he became personally acquainted with most CEOs of Germany’s major firms.

Between 1989 and 1995 he was a professor at Johannes-Gutenberg-University in Mainz. During his academic years Hermann Simon spent several years at universities abroad: he was a post-doctorate fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, taught MBA and executive courses at INSEAD, was a visiting professor at Keyo University Tokyo and at Stanford University. He spent one year at Harvard Business School and taught part-time at London Business School for years.

His research topics concentrate on pricing, with emphasis on dynamic models and interactions with other marketing variables. His works on price management become standard textbooks not only in German-speaking countries, and have been translated to 15 languages.

Other area of Hermann Simon’s research is related to so called “hidden champions”, companies that excel in their niche markets and kept their leadership positions in the long run. Professor Simon has coined the term and become internationally recognized, as the subject of “hidden champions” made the covers of “BusinessWeek” and other popular magazines. He was the first German scholar to publish extensively in top-rated American management journals.

In 1995 Professor Hermann Simon quit academia to take full-time job as CEO at Simon-Kucher & Partners, then a 40-person management consultancy, he had founded with his two doctoral students, Dr. Eckhard Kucher and Dr. Karl-Heinz Sebastian. He led the firm’s international expansion: now it employs 650 people who work at 25 offices in 19 countries, also Poland. The company is considered the world’s leader in price consulting. In 2009 Professor Herman Simon retired as CEO of Simon-Kucher & Partners and now serves as its Chairman.

He has vast experience as member of corporate and university boards, including Warsaw-based Kozminski University. Hermann Simon knows Poland well and his firm’s Warsaw office plays major role in his research projects on “hidden champions”. His five books, numerous articles and papers have been published in Poland, including an article in “Master of Business Administration” (currently „Management and Business Administration. Central Europe”), journal of Kozminski University.

Photos from the celebration

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