George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home
477 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA
ARGYRIS, Chris Born in New Jersey, on July 16, 1923, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family, on Saturday, November 16, 2013. He served as a second lieutenant in the Signal Corps during WW2. After the war, he received his A.B. in psychology and business at Clark University in 1947, his M.A. in economics and psychology from Kansas University in 1949 and his doctorate in Organizational Behavior from Cornell University in 1951. Having met and soon married in 1950, Chris and Renee celebrated their 63rd anniversary with their children, Dianne and Phillip, in July of this year. Known as a founder of the field of Organizational Learning, he taught at Yale University for 20 years, where he was instrumental in the creation of the Yale School of Management. In 1971 he became the James Bryant Conant Professor of Education and Organizational Behavior at Harvard University, and held joint appointments at the Law School and later at the Kennedy School of Government. He received numerous awards and honorary doctorates over his lifetime and was the author of over 30 books and 150 articles. He was a dedicated and passionate teacher, deeply proud of the work his students are continuing around the world today. His love of the outdoors was reflected in his many hikes in the mountains of New Hampshire and across New England with family and friends. His best thinking was done while taking long walks, which he did daily until he was 89 years old. Chris is survived by his wife Renee, daughter Dianne, son Phillip, and brother Peter. Visiting hours at the George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home, 477 Washington St., (Rt. 16) WELLESLEY, Wednesday, Nov. 20 from 4-8 pm. Funeral Service in St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 57 Brown St., Weston, Thursday, Nov. 21 at 11 am. Relatives and friends kindly invited. Interment Linwood Cemetery, Weston. Online guestbook and directions at George F. Doherty & Sons Wellesley 781-235-4100

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Published by Boston Globe from Nov. 17 to Nov. 20, 2013.
4:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.
George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home
477 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA
Funeral service
St. Demetrious Greek Orthodox Church
, Weston, MA
Funeral services provided by:
George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home
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56 Entries
Since calling Chris shortly before his death and telling him that my then six year old daughter (now 44) named her favorite stuffed animal Argyris, I have related that story to my graduate students. They have called many of their teachers, professors, and mentors to share fond memories and share thanks. That memory of Chris lives on in all the calls and emails. Hopefully, those who visit these pages will continue to reach out and thank those who were influential to them.
William Owings
November 11, 2019
Ah, Chris Argyris! My eyes are still moist having learned of your death. It came one week after I retired from a career in an organization, and often as I attempted something taking courage and clarity about motives, saying, or thinking, "with Chris Argyris on my shoulder." Chris visited about 50 of us Yale freshmen on a weekend retreat for Christians days before our college life began, in September 1967. He said, as I have reported to friends hundreds of times since, "Gentlemen, study behavior of your fellow humans while at Yale. People will be the source of a your worst miseries and greatest pleasures, but to do well with them and yourself, you need skill. This is something you can work on, you can become competent in. I am competent." Seeing this black belt of a man towering over us and saying "competent" in this context seared something into my soul. Today I finished reading is last book, and am sitting at my dining room table writing about it and went to look for news on him and found this obituary. God bless him out there in the Mystery and all of his family. His closing words in his book, "I have tried to suggest in this book that bypassing Traps is a moral hazard of the highest magnitude."
Ted Phelps
April 14, 2015
Great scientist and teacher. Wedded to the truth and ready to silence-break. Miss him.
William Livingston
March 30, 2015
In the summer of 1963 I was a PhD student working for Chris and he did my career an enormous good. I asked him how to repay. He told me, without using those words, to pay it forward. Just tonight I did that with one of my graduate students and thought I'd have my student write Chris to say his student had partially repaid a debt. too late.
Roman L Weil
March 17, 2015
I met Chris in 1972 . He ran a 2 week programme at the University of Bradford. It was very early action science and it was both shattering and liberating . Chris was mild,gentle,sharp as a needle and so honest And that grin!! His ideas and drive took root in me (if not all the skills). They live with me now.It was a joy and privilege to meet him. A man for all seasons and all time
Eric Schlesinger
October 22, 2014
Chris's ideas and theories have inspired me since studying for my bachelors, and continue today in my PhD. I never met Chris, but his work has captivated me and changed the way I think (and learn). Thank you for enriching my life.
Charles Dibsdale
September 28, 2014
Some twenty-five years ago a professor in the education department of Ottawa University, Ottawa Ontario suggested I read "Action Science". I've been in 'good' trouble ever since. I never had the privilege of meeting Dr. Argyris in person, however, after viewing his brief online case studies I felt like I was watching a modern day Socrates... teaching, through his actions, practical wisdom.
John W Dodson
August 14, 2014
I just discovered about Chris Argyris's family. Although I never knew him, I own several of his books and articles and referenced them in my own work. His contributions informed and inspired me. He leaves a tremendous legacy.
Jean Latting
July 14, 2014
I was honoured and privileged to have met Chris and worked with him at Monitor, accompanying him at meetings in his beloved Greece. I was very sorry to hear of his passing and I will remember him always with great respect and gratefulness.
Constantine Psaltis
March 16, 2014
As a doctoral student more than 30 years ago I was greatly influenced by Chris Argyris. My five year old daughter heard the name Argyris so frequently that she named her favorite stuffed animal Argyris. I feel fortunate to have told him that story before he died. We have lost one of the greats. Bill Owings
William Owings
January 22, 2014
Massoud Elmifard
January 9, 2014
I don't believe that too many people understood the organisation better than he did. I have been reading his work with great admiration and respect and I hope to build on his work in my future studies.
Trevor Christie-Taylor
December 5, 2013
My meetings with Chris in Norway back in 1986 changed both my professional and personal life. A learning giant has passed away, but his ideas will live on forever.
Nils Sortland
December 2, 2013
I share here my acknowledgement of Chris in my doctoral thesis: "... My sincerest gratitude to ... Chris Argyris who deeply inspires me by his dedication of almost a lifetime in helping others to think and behave more effectively: The lucidity and depth of your thinking never failed to amaze me. Together with Donald Schön (1930-1997), you have taken my mind to places it has not been before." My thesis had also become for me a journey of personal double-loop learning. I'm privileged to have shared some of his wisdom. Thank you Chris, I'm grateful.
Andrew Johnson
November 30, 2013
While I was not fortunate enough to study under Professor Argyris, I was introduced to his work as a graduate student. His thoughts and ideas resonated with me and continue to have a profound impact on me and in my work in a corporate training environment. His work will live on by all of us who put it into practice every day. My condolences to the Argyris family.
Joan Quagenti
November 27, 2013
I used one of his theories in my Phd thesis. Deep insights into organizational learning.
Daniel Zepeda
November 26, 2013
I used one of his theories in my Phd thesis.
November 26, 2013
Chris was my advisor for a year at Harvard. I use what he taught me every day - really, every single day. He changed my life.
John Shibley
November 26, 2013
I was privileged to be a student of Chris back in his time at Yale. His messages greatly affected the style of my consulting career and my private life. When I would see him at an airport or a restaurant over the years, he would graciously be pleased to speak with a former student.
Terry Rothermel
November 26, 2013
Mr Argyris still inspires with his timeless contributions on organizational learning and overcoming defensive routines. Thank you for this.
Armand Rouw
November 25, 2013
My condolances to Chris' family. I met Chris for the first time in Holland in 1981. As my doctoral thesis advisor at MIT he helped me to set out on intellectual and professional journey, and provided advise over many decades. I am profoundly grateful.
Wim Overmeer
November 24, 2013
Chris was one of the nicest people I've ever met. Quite the gentleman!

Bonnie DuPont Jansen
Bonnie Jansen
November 22, 2013
I arrived at Harvard University as a naive graduate student from New Zealand to do my PhD in the early 70s not knowing who Chris was, but soon realized he offered an intellect, a passion for the improvement of practice and an ethical stance that could help me get closer to my own dreams. He offered an incredible blend of challenge and support. I'll never forget the seminars in his home that went late into the evening, and the stories he told. His influence on my personal and professional life is immeasurable. I am proud to be one of his students and to be contributing to a new generation of researchers and leaders who are continuing and developing strands of his seminal work.

His legacy will endure in both the academic and practical world.

I live in Auckland, New Zealand not in Massachusetts - I had to put a North American entry in the last field as those were the only options available!
My very best wishes to Dianne and the rest of Chris's family.
Viviane Robinson
November 21, 2013
Chris was a dear person, with deep grace. We were at his funeral this morning, and it was such a gift. The church--a beautiful Greek Orthodox--was filled with at least two generations of Chris' students, and there was a gentle and rich sense of the community that exists..Jim Moore
James F. Jim Moore
November 21, 2013
Sorry to hear of this. Chris had a profound effect on my life. Best wishes and my sympathies to the family.

Tom Bigda-Peyton
November 21, 2013
Though I did not know Prof Argyris myself, my father, John G. Kacandes, originally of Neptune, NJ and longtime resident of White Plains, NY, was a huge admirer. I am in possession of correspondence between the two and it is clear that my father received and appreciated advice from Prof. Argyris. Their families came from the same part of Greece. Though my father is still alive, he suffers from dementia. On his behalf, I extend condolences to Prof. Argyris's whole family.
Irene Kacandes (Professor, Dartmouth College)
Irene Kacandes
November 21, 2013
Chris gave me the opportunity to come to the US back in 1973. It is hard for me to explain how much of an impact he had on me as a graduate student. I tried to apply the lessons he taught me later when I helped start Cambria - it was not perfect but I think Chris recognized what we tried to do.
Chris was tough-minded, acute, precise yet open and fair. More than most, he really walked the talk. His work will continue to be critical to any efforts to improve the effectiveness of any collective endeavor.

I have many memories of walks and chats with Chris. He had the rare ability to make you own your own issues without judging you. Despite or perhaps because of his intellectual toughness, he was warm, generous with his time and very personable. His one foible: Chris had an incredible sweet tooth.
As always, he said it best when his passing wish was "to leave an echo whispering down the ways." I, for one, will never forget.
Bernie Cullen
November 20, 2013
I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the family.
November 20, 2013
I was a student of Chris at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I am so grateful to have run into him some years ago and to have had the opportunity to tell him in person that he had the most significant impact on my work of any other human being. I owe him a great deal, and hold his family in my heart. I simply want to add my gratitude to that of many.
Alice Nichols
November 20, 2013
My life changed for the better in 1996 when I was introduced to Chris' work. It sits at the heart of how I try to live my life with my family and in business
Brendan Croucher
November 20, 2013
Some of us had the privilege of knowing Chris. All of us who teach leadership are his students.
George Labovitz
Boston University
November 20, 2013
My deepest condolences to Renee and the family. All three of my siblings and I thoroughly loved reading Chris' work and applying it in our studies and now in our work. We all learned from countless professors who spoke of the influence Chris' work had on them. Every Argyris & Argeris was so proud of Chris' work and legacy. May eternal be his memory.
Elizabeth Argeris
November 20, 2013
An incredible person, who touched so many of us. Chris was my greatest teacher at Monitor...
George Barnett
November 20, 2013
I have been touched by the work and person of Chris Argyris since 1990 when I went to Harvard to meet him at the time I was still at Citi. While I only had 1 "classroom" experience [email protected] Deisgn in 1996 or so _ he was one of the GREATs and also - as a fellow Greek American - I wanted to register my great respect and admiration. - PETER J. ELIOPOULOS, Larchmont, New York
November 20, 2013
Through his writing, he profoundly affected my understanding of organizations and my own effectiveness. There is not a day that my work isn't affected by his thinking and insight. We have lost a remarkable man and mind. My very best to his family and friends.
Wayne Peterson
November 20, 2013
The world has lost a brilliant mind. The work of Chris and his associates held the exceptionally rare status of being both brilliantly insightful and tremendously useful, and the impact of this work will be felt for generations to come. My very deepest sympathies to his wife Renee, to Dianne, and to Phillip.
Craig Weber
November 19, 2013
Great contribution to the body of knowledge Chris Argyris! I quote your work often. Thanks, Elizabeth
November 19, 2013
Dear Family,
Please accept my deepest condolences.
I mention Chris Argyris findings every opportunity I get. Elizabeth Harasimowicz
November 19, 2013
Phill, just to send our condolences and love you all at this sad time, and for you to know that we will pray for you, your mother, and your sister in these coming days and beyond into the future for strength and all the resources that you will need as you walk onwards, along with many good memories to sustain and keep you.

love from Paul and Paulette
Paul Bartlett
November 19, 2013
Through his writing he influenced me and my thinking about this world. Thankyou,

Helen Samujh
November 19, 2013
I had the privilege of studying with Chris Argyris and Don Schon at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. For the past 19 years, I have been teaching leadership courses influenced by what I learned at HGSE. I am grateful for the careful reasoning I learned from these two giants and the ability to respond in real time.
Bill Kondrath
November 19, 2013
Erica and I and all of Mobius send our condolences and love to Dianne and her mother and brother and all our mutual colleagues whose lives, professionally, intellectually and personally, were entwined with Chris's brilliant methodology and insights. Our professional has lost a beacon and our friends have lost their father and friend and we will remember him with gratitude and hope to be one small part of an overflowing legacy. May his memory be a blessing.
Amy Elizabeth Fox
November 19, 2013
A great loss to the action research community
Shankar Sankaran
November 19, 2013
Chris was a giant among management thinkers. His work influenced me enormously throughout almost 40 years of consulting to this day. I had the privilege of attending a programme he ran in the UK in 1980, a time when I was working for my PhD. His writings were directly relevant to my research and he generously made time to talk with me during his stay in Britain. Needless to say his comments were dazzlingly insightful. We have lost a delightful man and a towering intellect.
Chris McGIvern
November 19, 2013
I had the privilege of being Chris Teaching Assistant at Harvard for two academic years and having him on my doctoral committee. When I think of Chris, the word "rigorous" comes to mind. He insisted on high standards but he also applied the same standards to himself. Within the field of organization behavior, he will continue to be thought of as one of the giants. Indeed I suspect his theory of action perspective will be perceived as ahead of its time. But that was Chris Argyris......

--Larry Stybel
Larry Stybel
November 18, 2013
I will always remember Chris for his dry wit and his kindly delivered wisdom. I'll always be proud to have been part of his family.
Ophelia Chang
November 18, 2013
Chris influenced me deeply through his rigorous and tenacious passion for learning. I brought back to Scotland rich memories of experiences I had because of his mentorship. Through him I am more able each day to learn anew how to be more open,more honest and more willing to learn. I bow low with deep appreciation of a great man, a wonderful scientist and guide. Thank you to his family for sharing him.
Michael Butler-Burns
November 18, 2013
Studying with Chris Argyris' colleagues has not only made me a better professional, but a better person. I will be forever grateful to everything he and his cohort put out into the world.
Annie Marks
November 18, 2013
I will never forget him or his course at Harvard Ed. He was a wonder--a mind that was open and continuing to learn, a good sense of humor, always honest. I continue to refer to his ideas and my experience in his course even now--almost 30 years later. His course revolutionized my thinking. I thank his spirit and his family and friencs who had to share him with us. And I extend condolences to you all for your loss.

Linda Kopans
Natick MA
November 18, 2013
I knew Chris when the Army sent him to Clark University. He returned to get his doctorate there and as fellow students we developed a friendship there. Chris was an investigative psychologist who pioneered in the ffield of social behavior. I want the family to know that his contributions as a person and scholar continues to live on.
Dr Bernard H Shulman
November 18, 2013
Chris Argyris has been a major inspiration in my scientific work over the past 20 years. I am deeply moved by his passing away, but at the same time I am grateful that he has been with us so long and confident that his work will remain of vital importance to the world of work & organization. My thoughts are with his family and friends and with anyone who was close to him.
Max Visser
November 18, 2013
I am a friend to Dianne, Chris' beloved daughter and have cherished this friendship for many years. I was privileged to know Chris as an incredible father to his children and loving husband to his wife. I refer to his wonderful teachings all the time in courses that I teach to managers here at Harvard but also got to know what a great human being Chris was to his family and friends. The world has not only lost a cherished thought leader but also a great family man.
Gary Cormier
November 18, 2013
A great leader and teacher who affected me deeply. I was one of Chris' students at the Harvard Ed School. I came to Cambridge directly from the Haight-Ashbury. My hair was down far past my shoulders. Chris did not have hair like that.

Despite our many differences, Chris offered me a warm welcome to a very foreign environment and actually secured an internship for me at Arthur D. Little, which he supervised. I vividly recall my first meeting with several executives from ADL with Chris in attendance. These were all high powered guys. Within about two minutes, Chris essentially "owned" the meeting, and these men --who were all pulling down severe salaries-- were looking at him as though he bore a bit of a resemblance to Moses, and I thought to myself, "Wow! Argyris is on the Board of Directors of America, Inc.".

He was kind enough to open doors for me literally and conceptually that I would never have figured out how to budge for myself. I cannot appreciate him enough for that. The world will not see another like him anytime soon.
Michael Sales
November 18, 2013
I never actually met your father but I feel as if I knew him in a small way. It was obvious when you spoke of him, Dianne, how much he meant to your family and to you. My thought are with you and your family.
Kate Sands
November 18, 2013
He will be always remembered as one of those few Scholars that took Learning seriously not just as a topic of his scholarship, but as someone that practised learning throughout his career and life. I am honoured to have learned so much from him and to have had his mentorship over the years. He will be greatly missed.
Professor Elena Antonacopoulou, GNOSIS, University of Liverpool, UK

The Practice Theme Committee has already launched a Chris Argyris Life Time Achievement Award in 2013 and further events will be organised during the AoM 2014 to celebrate his life and achievements.
November 18, 2013
I had the privilege of working with Chris as his administrative assistant at Monitor many years ago. May his memory be eternal!
Andrea Boujoukos
November 18, 2013
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