Albert S. Humphrey

Albert S. Humphrey (2 June 1926 – 31 October 2005) was an American business and management consultant who specialized in organizational management and cultural change. Initially earning degrees in chemical engineering in Illinois, he eventually moved to London.

Humphrey developed the SWOT analysis technique while working for the Stanford Research Institute, now known as SRI International.[2] . SWOT is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses/Limitations, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. The origin of the term SWOT remains obscure.


Albert Humphrey was educated at the University of Illinois, where he graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering. After this he gained a master’s degree in chemical engineering at M.I.T. and an MBA at Harvard University.[1]


His work at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) produced a team method for planning which created SOFT analysis and this was developed into SWOT analysis.

One client was W.H. Smith (1970–1987), which aligned its annual budget to long-range planning. This programme was the first to use the concept of employee involvement in business planning and can be seen as sowing the seeds for the Investors in People scheme.

While continuing work at Stanford, Humphrey was involved with the team that came up with the Stakeholder Concept, which has often been referenced by business leaders, economists and politicians. This programme became known as TAM (Team Action Management).[3]

During his working life Humphrey acted as consultant to over 100 companies globally. In 2005 he was listed in:[1]

In 2004 he was listed in the Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, 7th Edition (2003–2004).


Albert had four children with his first wife Virginia P. Humphrey. After several years they divorced, Albert moved to London and a decade passed before he met and married Myriam, with whom he had one daughter(Stephanie). They lived together until his death in 2005.


Albert S. Humphrey died on 31 October 2005 at the age of 79.