Peter Ferdinand Drucker
(November 19, 1909 – November 11, 2005)
Peter F. Drucker was born in 1909 in Vienna, Austria. He was educated in Austria and England and earned a doctorate in public and international law at Frankfurt University in Germany.
A social ecologist, writer, consultant, and retired professor, he has published 41 books. His books on economics, politics, society, and management have been translated into 37 languages. His 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 writing 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 work productivity to be the next frontier of management.
Coordinated with his writings, he developed a series of professional training programs including, most recently, a series of on-line courses on management and business strategies.
Dr. Drucker wrote a regular column in the Wall Street Journal for 20 years. He has published articles in professional journals and publications including The Economist, Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic Monthly, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Fortune, Inc., and Harpers.
As a consultant, Dr. Drucker specialized in strategy and policy for governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. His special focus was on the organization and work of top management.
He worked with some of the world’s largest businesses and with small and entrepreneurial companies. In recent years he worked extensively with nonprofit organizations, including universities, hospitals, and churches. He served as a consultant to a number of agencies of the U.S. government, with the governments of Canada and Japan, and with other nations throughout the world.
Dr. Drucker was professor of philosophy and politics at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont from 1942 through 1949. He was professor of management at the Graduate School of Management at New York University from 1949 to 1971. In 1969, he received its highest honor, the NYU Presidential Citation.
From 1971 to 2002, Dr. Drucker was the Clarke Professor of Social Science and Management at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. In 1987, CGU named its Graduate School of Management after him. It is now known as the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. He continues to give special presentations and lectures at the school. In 1993, he established the Peter F. Drucker Research Library and Archive at CGU (www.druckerarchives.cgu.edu).
Dr. Drucker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the U.S.’s highest civilian honor, and orders from the governments of Japan and Austria. He holds 25 honorary doctorates from American, Belgian, Czech, English, Spanish, and Swiss universities. He served as the president of the Society for the History of Technology from 1955 to 1960.
In his early career Dr. Drucker was economist for an international bank in London, American economist for a group of British and European banks, and American correspondent for a group of British newspapers. He and his wife, Doris, have four children and six grandchildren.
Some of the works of Peter Drucker “The End of Economic Man: A Study of the New Totalitarianism” 1939, “The Future of Industrial Man: A Conservative Approach” 1942, “The Practice of Management” 1954, “The Effective Executive” 1967, “Post-Capitalist Society” 1993, memoir “Adventures of a Bystander” 1979
- “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.”
- “Leadership is not magnetic personality–that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’–that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”
- “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”
- “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.”
- “Management means, in the last analysis, the substitution of thought for brawn and muscle, of knowledge for folkways and superstition, and of cooperation for force. It means the substitution of responsibility for obedience to rank, and of authority of performance for the authority of rank. Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”