A history of Bain’s Management Tools & Trends survey


Starting in 1993, Bain & Company has surveyed executives around the world about the management tools they use and how effectively those tools have performed. The objective: to provide managers with information they need to identify and integrate tools that will improve bottom-line results, and to understand how global executives view their strategic challenges and priorities.

We focus on 25 tools, honing the list each year. To be included in our survey, the tools need to be relevant to senior management, topical and measurable. By tracking the tools companies are using, under what circumstances and how satisfied managers are with the results, we’ve been able to help them make better choices in selecting, implementing and integrating the tools to improve their performance.

With this, our 15th survey, we now have a database of more than 13,000 respondents from more than 70 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, and we can systematically trace the effectiveness of management tools over the years. As part of our survey, we also ask executives for their opinions on a range of important business issues. As a result, we are able to track and report on changing management priorities.

For a full definition of the 25 tools, along with a bibliographical guide to resources on each one, please see the Bain & Company booklet Management Tools 2015: An Executive’s Guide.

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