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Peter Drucker: Quotes, Books, Management, Biography, Economist, Innovation (1998)
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Peter Ferdinand Drucker (1909-2005) was an Austrian-American management consultant, educator, and author, who contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation. About the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/068483801X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=068483801X&linkCode=as2&tag=doc06-20&linkId=1f6110fce7cd75fc4f66877c3ebb4d36
He was also a leader in the development of management education, he invented the concept known as management by objectives, and he has been described as "the founder of modern management".
Drucker's career as a business thinker took off in 1942, when his initial writings on politics and society won him access to the internal workings of General Motors (GM), one of the largest companies in the world at that time. His experiences in Europe had left him fascinated with the problem of authority. He shared his fascination with Donaldson Brown, the mastermind behind the administrative controls at GM. In 1943 Brown invited him in to conduct what might be called a "political audit": a two-year social-scientific analysis of the corporation. Drucker attended every board meeting, interviewed employees, and analyzed production and decision-making processes.
The resulting book, Concept of the Corporation, popularized GM's multidivisional structure and led to numerous articles, consulting engagements, and additional books. GM, however, was hardly thrilled with the final product. Drucker had suggested that the auto giant might want to re-examine a host of long-standing policies on customer relations, dealer relations, employee relations and more. Inside the corporation, Druckerâs counsel was viewed as hypercritical. GM's revered chairman, Alfred Sloan, was so upset about the book that he âsimply treated it as if it did not exist,â Drucker later recalled, ânever mentioning it and never allowing it to be mentioned in his presence.â
Drucker taught that management is âa liberal art,â and he infused his management advice with interdisciplinary lessons from history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, culture and religion. He also believed strongly that all institutions, including those in the private sector, have a responsibility to the whole of society. âThe fact is,â Drucker wrote in his 1973 Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, âthat in modern society there is no other leadership group but managers. If the managers of our major institutions, and especially of business, do not take responsibility for the common good, no one else can or will.â
Drucker was interested in the growing effect of people who worked with their minds rather than their hands. He was intrigued by employees who knew more about certain subjects than their bosses or colleagues and yet had to cooperate with others in a large organization. Rather than simply glorify the phenomenon as the epitome of human progress, Drucker analyzed it and explained how it challenged the common thinking about how organizations should be run.
His approach worked well in the increasingly mature business world of the second half of the twentieth century. By that time, large corporations had developed the basic manufacturing efficiencies and managerial hierarchies of mass production. Executives thought they knew how to run companies, and Drucker took it upon himself to poke holes in their beliefs, lest organizations become stale. But he did so in a sympathetic way. He assumed that his readers were intelligent, rational, hardworking people of good will. If their organizations struggled, he believed it was usually because of outdated ideas, a narrow conception of problems, or internal misunderstandings.
Drucker developed an extensive consulting business built around his personal relationship with top management. He became legendary among many of post-war Japanâs new business leaders trying to rebuild their war-torn homeland. He advised the heads of General Motors, Sears, General Electric, W.R. Grace and IBM, among many others. Over time he offered his management advice to non-profits like the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. His advice was eagerly sought by the senior executives of the Adela Investment Company, a private initiative of the worldâs multinational corporations to promote investment in the developing countries of Latin America.
Drucker's 39 books have been translated into more than thirty-six languages. Two are novels, one an autobiography. He is the co-author of a book on Japanese painting, and made eight series of educational films on management topics. He also penned a regular column in the Wall Street Journal for 10 years and contributed frequently to the Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Economist.
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