Cerebral Shangrila

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Peter Drucker - An Obituary

The World called him the greatest business guru , though he hated that term. He preferred to call himself a "social ecologist". Truly , that is what he was. That employees are the most valuable assets of an organization looks a very simplified theory today (in the knowledge economy) but not when he propounded it. Business Week magazine hailed him as "The most enduring management thinker of our time".Drucker died at his home in California on Friday.

His greatest strength was the simplicity with which he advocated his principles. I have read his seminal work " The practice of management" where he defined "the purpose of a business is to create a customer" . Born in Austria , Drucker rubbed shoulders with the likes of Sigmund Freud,Von Mises,Joseph Schumpeter & Hayek in Vienna during his youth. He fled Austria when Hitler came to power and later went to the US where he became a citizen.

He was a believer in people. A fierce critic of liberal capitalism, he spent the better part of his life helping small businesses and non-profit groups. I was surprised when I entered the business school that I heard very little of Drucker inside the classrooms. No wonder critics contend that there is something seriously wrong with the business school curriculum. Drucker's fans range from leaders as diverse as Jack Welch to Bill Gates to Winston Churchill. Whatever he had to say he has said through his 30+ books, articles and teaching stints at NYU,Claremeont. May his soul RIP.

Here is an obituary from FT.


  • what you think will be his legacy?

    By Blogger Newsandseduction, at 10:47 AM  

  • a true visionary, his contribution to management thought will never go out of date. good point about his works not being part of curriculum, though. i cant remember it being even part of suggested readings...

    By Blogger Abhishek Chatterjee, at 3:43 PM  

  • As a management student myself, who has been exposed to his genious, it is
    indeed a great loss to the management community and society.

    By Blogger Neodawn, at 11:05 PM  

  • It is a great loss indeed.

    By Blogger Venky Krishnamoorthy, at 12:29 PM  

  • news -- BWeek has a nice piece on his legacy : http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_48/b3961001.htm

    abhi -- yeah exactly.shocking.

    arun , venky -- yepp

    By Blogger Cogito, at 5:54 PM  

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