Peter Ferdinand Drucker (November 19, 1909–November 11, 2005) was a writer, management consultant and university professor. His writing focused on management-related literature. Peter Drucker made famous the term knowledge worker and is thought to have unknowingly ushered in the knowledge economy, which effectively challenges Karl Marx's world-view of the political economy.George Orwell credits Peter Drucker as one of the only writers to predict the German-Soviet Pact of 1939.
Several ideas run through most of Drucker's writings:
-A profound skepticism about macroeconomic theory. Drucker contended that economists of all schools fail to explain significant aspects of modern economies.
-A desire to make everything as simple as possible. According to Drucker, corporations tend to produce too many products, hire employees they don't need (when a better solution would be contracting out), and expand into economic sectors that they should stay out of.
-A belief in what he called "the sickness of government." Drucker made ostensibly non-ideological claims that government is unable or unwilling to provide new services that people need or want - though he seemed to believe that this condition is not inherent to democracy.
-The need for "planned abandonment." Corporations as well as governments have a natural human tendency to cling to "yesterday's successes" rather than seeing when they are no longer useful.
-The lasting contribution of the "father of scientific management", Frederick Winslow Taylor. Although Drucker had little experience with the analysis of blue-collar work (he spent his career analyzing managerial work), he credited Taylor with originating the seminally important idea that work can be broken down, analyzed, and improved.
-The need for community. Early in his career, Drucker predicted the "end of economic man" and advocated the creation of a "plant community" where individuals' social needs could be met. He later admitted that the plant community never materialized, and by the 1980s, suggested that volunteering in the non-profit sector might be the key to community.
-He wrote extensively about Management by objectives.
-A company's primary responsibility is to serve its customers, to provide the goods or services which the company exists to produce. Profit is not the primary goal, but rather an essential condition for the company's continued existence. Other responsibilities, e.g., to employees and society, exist to support the company's continued ability to carry out its primary purpose.
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