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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2012

Madeline Toubiana and Gad Yair

The purpose of this paper is to illuminate Peter Drucker's management theory by exploring German theological concerns which constituted his unique approach in management theory.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illuminate Peter Drucker's management theory by exploring German theological concerns which constituted his unique approach in management theory.

Design/methodology/approach

To uncover the secularized German theological roots in Drucker's work, the paper juxtaposes his writings from his 60‐year‐long career with prior cultural interpretations of German scholarship.

Findings

The analysis shows that German secularized theological concerns surrounding the fall of modernity influenced Drucker's oeuvre, leading him to advocate “the meaningful organization” as a pragmatic solution to the ills of modern society. While Drucker's ideas evolved over the years, the paper shows that his agenda to promote meaningful organizations in an otherwise totalitarian‐prone, alienated, rationalized and meaningless era remained consistent. This interpretation suggests that Drucker believed that management had moral duties in a Nietzschean godless world. The paper shows that these themes continued structuring Drucker's corpus in three domains: the information revolution, corporate social responsibility, and the role of organizations in the third sector.

Research limitations/implications

The paper reveals that Drucker was driven by deep cultural codes that proscribed many of his observations and suggested remedies. Hence, it calls for similar unearthing of the historical roots of management theory and practice.

Originality/value

In this paper a novel interpretation of Drucker's work is introduced. Extending work highlighting Drucker's spiritual roots, the paper demonstrates that the German secularized theological conception of the downfall of modernity was a constant lens through which Drucker saw the world, and that this historical backdrop was the motivating spur in his attempt to save it from another catastrophe. Given the entrenchment of Drucker's ideas in today's management practices and theories, it is imperative to understand these German moral and theological predispositions.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 May 2012

Cynthia K. Robinson

The purpose of this article is to discuss Peter Drucker's theory of marketing in the context of strategic planning and change (innovation) in libraries. With the need for…

2989

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to discuss Peter Drucker's theory of marketing in the context of strategic planning and change (innovation) in libraries. With the need for change and innovation accelerating within all types of libraries, it is increasingly important for libraries to adopt a marketing orientation, integrating a marketing plan into the overall strategic planning process.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper employs case study methodology to demonstrate one library's attempt to integrate a marketing plan into the library's overall strategic planning activity, using this process to move the library towards a marketing orientation. The paper also provides a viewpoint based on the author's experience and the teachings of Peter Drucker.

Findings

Libraries must adopt a marketing orientation in order to remain viable into the future. As Drucker stated, “it is the customer who determines what a business is”. It is imperative libraries understand what their customer values and needs in order to develop services and provide resources to meet these needs.

Originality/value

This paper examines Peter Drucker's theory of business and marketing as it applies to libraries and highlights the systems framework called the Drucker Management System, described by Joseph Maciariello in his article “Marketing and innovation in the Drucker Management System”.

Article
Publication date: 25 September 2009

Marcia Kurzynski

Current headlines depicting the billion dollar government bailouts of some of the world's largest business corporations suggest that a new paradigm of management is…

3481

Abstract

Purpose

Current headlines depicting the billion dollar government bailouts of some of the world's largest business corporations suggest that a new paradigm of management is needed. This paper seeks to propose that the management theory of Peter F. Drucker and certain Aristotelian concepts, expressed in the Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, are applicable to the business community today.

Design/methodology/approach

Drucker's management philosophy is synthesized with the moral philosophy of Aristotle to suggest a practical management framework for contemporary business practitioners. In providing a virtue‐based moral framework for management grounded in a concern for character, communal wellbeing, and ultimate purpose, Drucker's Aristotelian‐style of business management provides a viable, virtue‐based management theory that contemporary managers should be able to embrace.

Findings

Drucker has been regarded as one of the most influential management thinkers of the twentieth century. It is suggested that, given the current level of morality shown in the behaviour of business people today – business leaders in particular, what is needed is a change in managerial perspective. A change from the prevailing concern with one's own wellbeing – how much one has, or can get for oneself – to include a concern for the wellbeing of others. It is proposed that Drucker's management philosophy, which reflects Aristotelian matters of character, community and telos, though formulated many years ago, provides a framework for improving managerial behaviour today.

Research limitations/implications

Drucker's pragmatic business commentary and advice reveal a deep understanding of the complexity of the business world and the realities of business from the perspective of the business person, and yet do not reject the overriding moral principles of integrity, community and achievement that serve as the foundation for society.

Originality/value

The paper offers a business‐relevant, virtue‐based perspective that, in the author's opinion, is more than adequate for a renewed vision of management in the twenty‐first century.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 January 2012

Marcia Kurzynski

Current headlines depicting the billion dollar government bailouts of some of the world's largest business corporations suggest that a new paradigm of management is…

2842

Abstract

Purpose

Current headlines depicting the billion dollar government bailouts of some of the world's largest business corporations suggest that a new paradigm of management is needed. This paper seeks to propose that the management theory of Peter F. Drucker and certain Aristotelian concepts, expressed in the Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, are applicable to the business community today.

Design/methodology/approach

Drucker's management philosophy is synthesized with the moral philosophy of Aristotle to suggest a practical management framework for contemporary business practitioners. In providing a virtue‐based moral framework for management grounded in a concern for character, communal well‐being, and ultimate purpose, the paper argues that Drucker's Aristotelian style of business management provides a viable, virtue‐based management theory that contemporary managers should be able to embrace.

Findings

Drucker has been regarded as one of the most influential management thinkers of the twentieth century. The author suggests that, given the current level of morality shown in the behaviour of business people today – business leaders in particular – what is needed is a change in managerial perspective. A change from the prevailing concern with one's own well‐being – how much one has, or can get for one's self – to include a concern for the well‐being of others. The author proposes that Drucker's management philosophy, which reflects Aristotelian matters of character, community and telos, though formulated many years ago, provides a framework for improving managerial behaviour today.

Research limitations/implications

Drucker's pragmatic business commentary and advice reveal a deep understanding of the complexity of the business world and the realities of business from the perspective of the business person, and yet does not reject the over‐riding moral principles of integrity, community and achievement that serve as the foundation for society.

Originality/value

The paper offers a business relevant virtue‐based perspective that, in this author's opinion, is more than adequate for a renewed vision of management in the twenty‐first century.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 September 2013

Peter Starbuck

Few readers of this journal will not be familiar with the life and ideas of Peter Drucker. He has been compared to, amongst others, Bagehot, Bastiat, Darwin, Hayek

968

Abstract

Findings

Few readers of this journal will not be familiar with the life and ideas of Peter Drucker. He has been compared to, amongst others, Bagehot, Bastiat, Darwin, Hayek, Mendel, Mises, Newton, Schumpeter, Shaw and Tocqueville. Of many other distinctions, his first book, The End of Economic Man (May 1939), which was a political analysis centered on Hitlerism, was reviewed by Churchill.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 29 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 January 2010

David Finlay Robinson

This paper aims to focus the attention of management educators and trainers internationally on the need for cooperation and coordination in developing management skills at…

892

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus the attention of management educators and trainers internationally on the need for cooperation and coordination in developing management skills at the supervisory level. Such action is perceived not only as being highly beneficial in advancing effective management in any type, or size, of organisation, but also as a socially responsible action to offer those in less developed circumstances a positive counter to the perverted appeal of increasingly violent negative elements.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a combination of extensive reading and many years of first‐hand management experience across numerous national and cultural borders.

Findings

There is a perceivable and positive benefit in offering opportunities for enhancement in lower level management training to organisations, the social values of communities, but above all to individuals.

Practical implications

The practical implications are to highlight the urgent need to promote improved coordination of training in management skills internationally, based on improved analysis of training needs in relation to development aims in deprived societies.

Originality/value

The paper is seen as offering an empirically based outline for management educators and trainers to develop widely accepted core principles for the rapid development of lower level management skills, in the context of increasing social need.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1999

Bristol Voss

Given that Peter Drucker's career has already spanned 60 years, that he's an extremely prolific writer, and that he's the most frequently cited author in the management…

Abstract

Given that Peter Drucker's career has already spanned 60 years, that he's an extremely prolific writer, and that he's the most frequently cited author in the management field, it's safe to say that the final word on the man, his ideas, and his influence has yet to be written, even by the subject himself.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Article
Publication date: 9 September 2014

Dick Martin

Business strategists can easily become slaves to their inbox or to the passing enthusiasm of the times, their supervisors or outside influencers, ranging from social…

1079

Abstract

Purpose

Business strategists can easily become slaves to their inbox or to the passing enthusiasm of the times, their supervisors or outside influencers, ranging from social activists to securities analysts and investment bankers. This article seeks to put their work in historical context and to encourage them to engage in meta-cognition – a deep consideration of their role in helping to shape their business’s response to its current environment and challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

The article reviews the history of modern business strategy and divides it into three major phases, centered on the theories and practices of three strategists: Frederick Taylor, Peter Drucker and Michael Porter. The author suggests that each of these strategists was addressing the key business questions of their time and influenced the thinking of others who built on – and in many cases improved on – their theories and models. He suggests that a business strategist’s thinking should build on the work of those who came before in responding to contemporary questions of importance to their firm.

Findings

Business strategy is fundamentally an exercise in understanding and improving business performance and growth. It requires a depth of sophisticated thought that can be sharpened and focused through meta-cognition – thinking about thinking, i.e. a thoughtful consideration of what dominates our thinking and why.

Practical implications

This article invites practicing strategists to find their own place on that arc.

Originality/value

The article presents the history of business strategy as an arc of inquiry that has forward direction, moving inexorably outward, from time–motion studies on the shop floor, to the human beings who occupied it, and to the larger society in which they and the firm live. It invites practicing strategists to find their own place on that arc.

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1996

William B. Wolf

Presents anecdotes in the development of aspects of the field of management, relating to Lawrence J. Henderson, Chester I. Barnard, Peter Drucker, Kurt Lewin and J.B…

5857

Abstract

Presents anecdotes in the development of aspects of the field of management, relating to Lawrence J. Henderson, Chester I. Barnard, Peter Drucker, Kurt Lewin and J.B. Rhine. These suggest that history needs to be viewed in a hermeneutical philosophy where it is seen as presenting the Zeitgeist of its period rather than describing facts or causal relations.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

Kenneth L. Nichols

Older workers are increasingly prized in the workplace, though they still represent an undertapped resource. What can be done to meet the needs of employees over the age…

Abstract

Older workers are increasingly prized in the workplace, though they still represent an undertapped resource. What can be done to meet the needs of employees over the age of fifty so that they can enjoy a sense of self accomplishment, job satisfaction, personal growth and self respect—all while optimizing their contributions to the organization? This article uses the situations of six diverse “silver collar” employees to consider meaningful actions employers can take.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 4 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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