Management is tasks. Management is a discipline. Peter Drucker's classic text on the subject reminds us that management is also people. Every achievement of management is the achievement of a manager. Every failure is a failure of a manager. People manage, not "forces" or "facts." The vision, dedication, and integrity of managers determine whether there is management or mismanagement. Management is work, and as such it has its own skills, its own tools, its own techniques. For management is the life-giving, acting, dynamic organ of the institution it manages. Without the institution, e.g., the business enterprise, there would be no management. But without management there would also be only a mob rather than an institution. The institution, in turn, is itself an organ of society and exists only to contribute a needed result to society, the economy, and the individual. What every manager needs to know has been included in Drucker's book. That which not every manager needs to know, however important or interesting, has been excluded, or at least given only cursory treatment. A good deal of space has been devoted to top management and to the relationships between structure and strategy - topics that are not commonly considered in a book on management. While management is a discipline - that is, an organized body of knowledge and as such applicable everywhere - it is also "culture." It is not value-free science, management is a social function and embedded in a culture - a society - a tradition of values, customs, and beliefs, and in governmental and political systems. Management is - and should be - culture conditioned; but, in turn, management and managers shape culture and society.
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Peter F. Drucker (1909-2005) is known by many as the father of modern management. He was Clarke Professor of Social Science and Management at Claremont Graduate School in California and was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is the author of over thirty-five books, including The Ecological Vision, The Concept of the Corporation, and A Functioning Society.
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