Short Profile

Milan Zeleny is an exile, globetrotter, professor, Czech, American, author, farmer, Bohemian Brother and “free native” of Klucké Chvalovice, Smrčany and Zbýšov, global professor, gardener, system scientist, economist, New Yorker, Prague-Žižkov patriot, FC Slavia Prague supporter, adviser, coach, ronin, seeker, mathematician, biologist, father, son, lover and friend, historian and visionary, soldier, reader, “former” soccer, basketball, and softball player, also a dancer, storyteller, shy and overconfident person, also aloner, lover of all things authentic and original, hater of all things mass and unoriginal, uncomplicated, modest and demanding, nostalgic and visionary.

Global Professor and Economist Milan Zeleny

He functions as a global professor of management systems and promoter of the Bata management system. He is a defender of free (not open) market capitalism, of non-party and non-ideological approach to economy. He holds the top position among the most cited Czech economists.
Currently, he is the Professor of Management Systems at Fordham University in New York, specializing in strategy, knowledge management, Bata management system, multiple criteria decision making, productivity of work and corporate management systems. He also lectures at the Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín, Xidian University in Xi’an in China, and numerous other places.
He has published over 500 professional papers (in English) and some 600 essays, stories, popular and newspaper articles (many of them in Czech). He founded and has been the Editor-in-chief (for over 33 years) of the Human Systems Management journal. He serves on dozens of editorial boards of international journals. He has written many books; in English for example Multiple Criteria Decision Making, Human Systems Management, Linear Multiobjective Programming, Autopoiesis: A Theory of Living Organization; in Czech: ČSFR Through the Eyes of an Exiled Economist, There’s Still Time, Roads to Success, In search of One´s Own Way, Don’t Learn from Your Own Mistakes, Everything Will Be Different, What a Strange World It Was, and many others.

„The wealth production must not be the subjected to politics and ideology; 
only wealth redistribution belongs to the sphere of politics.“

His professional credo has remained unacceptable under the conditions of the Czech Republic.


Prof. Milan Zeleny was born on 22 January 1942 in Klucké Chvalovice no. 67 near the town of Čáslav. He comes from a literary family of Vácslav and Vladivoj Zelený. His father Josef Zelený, an organisational advisor in Prague (ZET-organizace), came from this Zelený family. His mother Marie, born Barvínková, came from a family of Bohemian Brothers from the Orlické Mountains. After 1948, Milan’s father was sent to work in coal mines in Kladno and his uncle Jaroslav in uranium mines of Jáchymov. Thanks to this “miner’s” background Milan could study at the Sladkovského high school in Prague-Žižkov and then political economy, finances and quantitative methods at the Prague School of Economics (1959-1964). 
He was the best student of his graduating class. After the graduation he was offered a position with Prof. Ota Šik in the Economic and mathematical laboratory of the Institute of Economics of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.
In 1965 he won an open competition for a stipend at the University of Rochester and thanks to Šik´s intervention and resolving the Komárek-Kazan affair, left to study in the United States in August 1967. Before that he completed his military service in 1964-1965, serving as a second lieutenant in the Department of automation, computers, cybernetes and management at the Ministry of National Defence in Prague-Bráník, Dejvice barracks.
In 1969 he was expelled from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, deprived of his position and called upon to return immediately. He decided to finish his studies and later accepted American citizenship. In 1989-2000 he was considered a foreigner in Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic, as a consequence of which he had to report regularly to the immigration police, could not hold land, and had to have a national overseer to run his company ZET-organizace. However, after 2000 his Czech citizenship was restored, which allowed him to lecture at Czech universities and work in business and management sectors. Further, his articles, books, and media contributions could gradually return to the Czech scene.  


Before 1967, he initiated and worked on critical path analysis. In 1972 he initiated the research on multi-criteria decision-making. Later he devoted himself to the field of knowledge management, and in 1987 released the first publication in this field. Other areas of his research include the Bata system of management, financial portfolio analysis, risk analysis, measurement of consumer attitudes, human intuition, creativity and judgment, simulation models of biological organization, autopoiesis, artificial life, osmosis and synthetic biology, spontaneous social organizations and their simulation through programming languages of GPSS, APL, Fortran, and BASIC. The areas addressed in the present include economics and trade, the systems science, evolutionary economics and socio-biological autopoiesis. He is also consulting and coaching. 

Formal education

Quantitative methods, political economy, finance 
Prague School of Economics (1964 - Ing.)
Systems Management
University of Rochester (1970 - M. S.)
Business Economics
University of Rochester (1972 - Ph. D.) 

Academic positions

Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Economic Institute in Prague 
Econometric laboratory; research worker (1964-1967)
University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.
College of Business Administration; Assistant Professor of Statistics and Management Science (1971-1972)
Columbia University, New York, Graduate School of Business 
Associate Professor of Business Administration (1972-1979)
Copenhagen School of Economics, Copenhagen, Denmark
Professor of Economics (1979-1980)
European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM), Brussels, Belgium 
Professor of Management Science (1980-1981)
Fordham University at Lincoln Center, New York, Graduate School of Business Administration 
Professor of Management Systems (1982 - present)
The Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Faculty of Management and Economics (FaME)
Professor of Economics and Management (1998 - present)


AAAS The American Association for the Advancement of Science
TIMS The Institute of Management Science
ORSA Operations Research Society of America 
HSM Human Systems Management
SGSR Society for General Systems Research
SASE Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics
Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society
Omega Rho International Honor Society for Operations Research and Management Science
Club of Rome Global Think Tank

Editorial boards

Previously: Operations and Quantitative Management, International Strategic Management, Operations Research, Computers and Operations Research, Future Generations Computer Systems, Fuzzy Sets and Systems, General Systems Yearbook and Prestige Journal of Management and Research.
Currently serving: Human Systems Management; International Journal of Information Technology and Decision Making, International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organization, International Journal of Innovation and Learning, International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education, International Journal of Multicriteria Decision Making, Entrepreneurial Knowledge - and others. 


Milan Zeleny is an expert on multiple criteria decision making, productivity of work and management systems; consultant to numerous companies, institutions, governments (U.S.A., Japan, Belgium, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Portugal, etc.). In his scientific work he focuses on optimization and optimal systems, with applications to production processes.

Scientist, Bata system promoter, foreign businesses and governments consultant

Further, he specialises in simulation models, and philosophy of atopoiesis (self-production) in biological and social systems, artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial life (AL).
Milan Zeleny is a politically uncommitted, non-party person and advocate of ethically functional free market, knowledge economics, internal and national-economy democracy, employee autonomy, and Bata-type employees-management co-ownership. He is a skeptical regarding the socialist, state and public ownership of the means of production, despite his frequent stays in the Czech Republic where he is an advocate of a new national capitalism. In his ideas and philosophy, related to the corporate management, he is the closest to the Bata Management System.


Milan Zeleny was awarded a number of tributes and awards for his scientific activities. Since 1992 he also regularly appears in the prestigious Who's Who in Science and Engineering and Who's Who in America. In 2007 he was honored by the international scientific community celebratory volume (Festschrift) "Knowledge and Wisdom" - a special tribute to this Czech economist and scientists in exile. 

Awards and Tributes

1977 - Norbert Wiener Award of Kybernetes
1979 - Rockefeller Foundation, Resident Scholar, Villa Serbelloni, Lake Como
1980 - Alexander von Humboldt Award for Senior U.S. Scientists
1990 - A. Bernstein Memorial Fellowship, Tel-Aviv
1990 - USIA Fulbright Professor Award, Prague
1992 - Erskine Fellowship
1992 - The Georg CantorAward of MCDM Society
Who´s Who in America - from 47th the issue is regularly placed in the prestigious list
Who´s Who in Science and Engineering - regularly placed in the list since 1992

Festschrift in honor of Prof. Zeleny 

Advances in Multiple Criteria Decision Making and Human Systems Management: Knowledge and Wisdom
Celebratory 400 page volume (Festschrift), published in 2007 by the international scientific community, reflects the fundamental work and thinking of Milan Zeleny: human and social systems and processes are organically and fundamentally multidimensional; their technocratic reduction into a single or aggregate macro-functions or criteria is scientifically inadmissible and counterproductive in terms of practice.
Professor Zeleny has devoted his professional life to the formation and development of the non-aggregate and non-averaged micro-approaches to the study of evolutionary economics, decision-making, organization and management of human and social systems. He is the initiator and founder of separate disciplines of Multiple Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) and Human Systems Management (HSM).