Peter Ferdinand Drucker

1909- 2005 (1909-1119)

Peter Ferdinand Drucker


19 November 1909(1909-11-19) Kaasgraben, Vienna, Austria-Hungary 11 November 2005(2005-11-11) (aged 95) Claremont, California University of Frankfurt


Alma mater:


Writer, Professor, Management Consultant

Influenced by: Joseph Schumpeter


James C. Collins, Andrew Grove, Masatoshi Ito, A. G. Lafley, Shoichiro Toyoda, Jack Welch, Frances Hesselbein, Tadashi Yanai, Rick Warren


2002 Presidential Medal of Freedom

Drucker's books and scholarly and popular articles explored how humans are organized across the business, government and the nonprofit sectors of society. He is one of the best-known and most widely influential thinkers and writers on the subject of management theory and practice. His writings have predicted many of the major developments of the late twentieth century, including privatization and decentralization; the rise of Japan to economic world power; the decisive importance of marketing; and the emergence of the information society with its necessity of lifelong learning. In 1959, Drucker coined the term “knowledge worker" and later in his life considered knowledge worker productivity to be the next frontier of management. The annual Global Peter Drucker Forum in his hometown of Vienna Austria, honors his legacy.

Work and philosophy:
Early influences
Among Peter Drucker's early influences was the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter, a friend of his father’s, who impressed upon Drucker the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship. Drucker was also influenced, in a much different way, by John Maynard Keynes, whom he heard lecture in 1934 in Cambridge. “I suddenly realized that Keynes and all the brilliant economic students in the room were interested in the behavior of commodities,” Drucker wrote, “while I was interested in the behavior of people.” Over the next 70 years, Drucker’s writings would be marked by a focus on relationships among human beings, as opposed to the crunching of numbers. His books were filled with lessons on how organizations can bring out the best in people, and how workers can find a sense of community and dignity in a modern society organized around large institutions. As a business consultant, Drucker disliked the term “guru,” though it was often applied to him; “I have been saying for many years,” Drucker once remarked, “that we are using the word ‘guru’ only because ‘charlatan’ is too long to fit into a headline.” As a young writer, Drucker wrote two pieces — one on the conservative German philosopher Friedrich Julius Stahl and another called “The Jewish Question in Germany” — that were burned and banned by the Nazis.

The 'business thinker'
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 reexamine a host of long-standing policies on customer relations, dealer relations, employee relations and more. Inside the corporation, Drucker’s counsel was viewed as hypercritical. GM's revered chairman, Alfred Sloan, was so upset about the book that he “simply treated it as if it did not exist,” Drucker later recalled, “never mentioning it and never allowing it to be mentioned in his presence.” Drucker taught that management is “a liberal art,” 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. “The fact is,” Drucker wrote in his 1973 Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, “that 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.” 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. During his long consulting career, Drucker worked with many major corporations, including General Electric, Coca-Cola, Citicorp, IBM, and Intel. He consulted with notable business leaders such as GE’s Jack Welch; Procter & Gamble’s A.G. Lafley; Intel’s Andy Grove; Edward Jones’ John Bachmann; Shoichiro Toyoda, the honorary chairman of Toyota Motor Corp.; and Masatoshi Ito, the honorary chairman of the Ito-Yokado Group, the second largest retailing organization in the world. Although he helped many corporate executives succeed, he was appalled when the level of Fortune 500 CEO pay in America ballooned to hundreds of times that of the average worker. He argued in a 1984 essay that CEO compensation should be no more than 20 times what the rank and file make — especially at companies where thousands of employees are being laid off. “This is morally and socially unforgivable,” Drucker wrote, “and we will pay a heavy price for it.” Drucker served as a consultant for various government agencies in the United States, Canada and Japan. He worked with various nonprofit organizations to help them become successful, often consulting pro bono. Among the many social-sector groups he advised were the Salvation Army, the Girl Scouts of the USA, C.A.R.E., the American Red Cross, and the Navajo Indian Tribal Council.

Drucker's writings
Drucker's 39 books have been translated into more than thirty languages. Two are novels, one an autobiography. He is the coauthor 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. His work is especially popular in Japan, even more so after the publication of "What If the Female Manager of a High-School Baseball Team Read Drucker’s Management", a novel that features the main character using one of his books to great effect, which was also adapted into an anime and a live action film. His popularity in

Japan may be compared with that of his contemporary W. Edwards Deming. Drucker also wrote a book in 2001 called "The Essential Drucker". It is the first volume and combination of the past sixteen years of Peter Drucker's work on management. The information gather is a collection from his previous findings, The Practice of Management (1954) to Management Challenges for the 21st Century (1999), this book offers, in Drucker's words, "a coherent and fairly comprehensive introduction to management". He also answers frequently asked questions from up and coming entrepreneurs who wonder the questionable outcomes of management

Awards and honors
Peter Drucker was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President George W. Bush on July 9, 2002. He also received honors from the governments of Japan and Austria. He was the Honorary Chairman of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, now the Leader to Leader Institute, from 1990 through 2002. In 1969 he was awarded New York University’s highest honor, the NYU Presidential Citation. Harvard Business Review honored Drucker in the June 2004 with his seventh McKinsey Award for his article, "What Makes an Effective Executive", the most awarded to one person. Drucker was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1996. Additionally he holds 25 honorary doctorates from American, Belgian, Czech, English, Spanish and Swiss Universities. In Claremont, California, Eleventh Street between College Avenue and Dartmouth Avenue was renamed "Drucker Way" in October 2009 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Drucker's birth.

Main publications by Drucker
➢ 1939: The End of Economic Man ➢ 1942: The Future of Industrial Man ➢ 1946: Concept of the Corporation ➢ 1950: The New Society ➢ 1954: The Practice of Management ➢ 1957: America's Next Twenty Years ➢ 1959: Landmarks of Tomorrow ➢ 1964: Managing for Results

➢ 1967: The Effective Executive ➢ 1969: The Age of Discontinuity ➢ 1970: Technology, Management and Society ➢ 1971: Men, Ideas and Politics ➢ 1973: Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices ➢ 1976: The Unseen Revolution: How Pension Fund

Socialism Came to America
➢ 1977: People and Performance: The Best of Peter

Drucker on Management
➢ 1977: An Introductory View of Management ➢ 1979: Song of the Brush: Japanese Painting from Sanso


➢ 1979: Adventures of a Bystander ➢ 1980: Managing in Turbulent Times ➢ 1981: Toward the Next Economics and Other Essays ➢ 1982: The Changing World of Executive ➢ 1982: The Last of All Possible Worlds ➢ 1984: The Temptation to Do Good ➢ 1985: Innovation and Entrepreneurship ➢ 1986: The Frontiers of Management: Where Tomorrow's

Decisions are Being Shaped Today
➢ 1989: The New Realities: in Government and Politics, in

Economics and Business, in Society and World View
➢ 1990: Managing the Nonprofit Organization: Practices

and Principles
➢ 1992: Managing for the Future ➢ 1993: The Ecological Vision ➢ 1993: Post-Capitalist Society ➢ 1995: Managing in a Time of Great Change ➢ 1997: Drucker on Asia: A Dialogue between Peter

Drucker and Isao Nakauchi
➢ 1998: Peter Drucker on the Profession of Management ➢ 1999: Management Challenges for 21st Century ➢ 2001: The Essential Drucker ➢ 2002: Managing in the Next Society ➢ 2002: The Functioning Society

➢ 2004: The Daily Drucker ➢ 2006: The Effective Executive in Action ➢ Global Peter Drucker Forum ➢ Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of

➢ Management by objectives

Peter F. Drucker quotes…..
A manager is responsible for the application and performance of knowledge. Peter Drucker Accept the fact that we have to treat almost anybody as a volunteer. Peter Drucker Business, that's easily defined - it's other people's money. Peter Drucker Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information. Peter Drucker Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you've got. Peter Drucker Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. Peter Drucker Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things. Peter Drucker Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs. Peter Drucker Few companies that installed computers to reduce the employment of clerks have realized their expectations... They now need more, and more

expensive clerks even though they call them 'operators' or 'programmers.' Peter Drucker Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action. Peter Drucker People who don't take risks generally makes about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. Peter Drucker Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. Peter Drucker Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility. Peter Drucker So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work. Peter Drucker Suppliers and especially manufacturers have market power because they have information about a product or a service that the customer does not and cannot have, and does not need if he can trust the brand. This explains the profitability of brands. Peter Drucker Teaching is the only major occupation of man for which we have not yet developed tools that make an average person capable of competence and performance. In teaching we rely on the "naturals," the ones who somehow know how to teach. Peter Drucker The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. Peter Drucker The best way to predict the future is to create it. Peter Drucker

The computer is a moron. Peter Drucker The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity. Peter Drucker The most efficient way to produce anything is to bring together under one management as many as possible of the activities needed to turn out the product. Peter Drucker The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said. Peter Drucker The new information technology... Internet and e-mail... have practically eliminated the physical costs of communications. Peter Drucker The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different. Peter Drucker The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager. Peter Drucker The purpose of a business is to create a customer. Peter Drucker There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed. Peter Drucker Today knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement. Peter Drucker Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window. Peter Drucker

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes... but no plans.

Peter Drucker We can say with certainty - or 90% probability - that the new industries that are about to be born will have nothing to do with information. Peter Drucker We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn. Peter Drucker When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course. Peter Drucker

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