Discover the story of Peter Drucker, one of the greatest scholars in the fields of administration and marketing – WAU
Peter Drucker was a professor, consultant and writer of Austrian origin, recognized mainly for his unique vision of Management, in which people are the focus of management and marketing practices in companies. Learn more about this great thinker.
Peter Drucker was one of the authors who contributed most to current theories and practices in the areas of Marketing and Business Management.
He is one of the most recognized thinkers in the Administration, although his teachings did not gain popularity until the end of the 20th century, when the world witnessed an enormous growth of the market and of the competition.
Drucker’s works have already influenced people like Henry Ford (founder of the Ford Motor company), Andrew Grove (former president of Intel), Jack Welch (president of General Electric for 20 years), Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft) and several other personalities renowned.
Its great differential is the delicate observation it makes of human beings and their communication. The author himself described himself as a “social ecologist” and defined Modern Administration as a science in charge of studying people within organizations.
Stay with us to understand a little more about the life and ideas of this great author who continues to impact professionals and companies today. Good reading!
Who was Peter Drucker?
Peter Drucker’s strong interest in management started early. As a child, in the early 20th century, his parents often met with important people from the economic and political context of the time. The conversations and discussions between these personalities would be the first stimulus for his glorious career to come.
In his adult life, he graduated and obtained his doctorate at the University of Frankfurt, Germany. After completing his studies, he moved to England and worked for several years in London as an economist and journalist.
The great leap in his career, however, came when he moved to the United States in 1937. At first, he served as a correspondent for the Financial Times, but five years later, after publishing his first book, Drucker joined Bennington College in Vermont.
Several works by the author have been written and published since, however, their popularity only began to grow a few decades later.
The numerous consultancies he provided did not prevent him from persisting in his academic life. In 1971, he moved to California to serve as a professor at Claremont Graduate University, where he remained in the same position for 30 years.
What are Drucker’s contributions to the administration?
It is possible to perceive “traces” of Drucker in the works of several authors in this area, for example Philip Kotler, one of the scholars who contributed most to the current aspects of modern Marketing, including Digital Marketing, and continued his management approach focused on customer satisfaction and product benefits.
Considered by several authors as one of the most influential specialists in business management, Peter Drucker elaborated several theories that mainly affect the disciplines of Administration.
Altogether, there are 39 titles written over almost 70 years of career and, among the several concepts created by him, the “(re) privatizations”, “management by objectives” and “corporate decentralization” stood out.
One of his most widespread guidelines was related to the privatization of public services, a process that he described as “(re) privatization”. Drucker believed that privatization was an efficient solution to reduce the typical bureaucracy of Public Administration.
Management by objectives
According to the author, the company’s strategic planning should be used as a guide, but its definitions must be constantly revised and updated. The objectives, in turn, must be elaborated within three levels:
- Strategic: long-term goals;
- Tactics: medium-term objectives;
- Operational: short-term goals.
Strategic Marketing, a modern approach to Marketing practice adopted by many companies today, is inspired by this definition.
Decentralization of companies
The vision of the authoritarian leader dictating all the company’s tasks has lost space for decentralized management, in which employees receive more attention and space in decision making, and the different sectors of the organization enjoy greater autonomy.
The focus, however, is on people and their relationships within the workplace. According to the author, if the product development area is excellent in the service it does, but the people management team does not deliver good results, this company will have problems.
For Drucker, the company that manages to sell the product or service to the right customer, with the appropriate distribution, at a fair price and at the ideal time, has its efforts to sale reduced to almost zero, as the sale becomes practically automatic in response to the demand properly addressed.
You may be interested in these other content on management and productivity!
Project Prioritization: know the 6 best methods
SWOT Analysis or FOFA Matrix: what it is, how to make and free model!
Porter’s 5 forces: understand what they are and how to apply them
SMART goals: How to use them in your marketing department
What are your main works?
Peter Drucker began his legacy in business literature in 1939, when he was teaching at Sarah Lawrence College. His first work, “The End of Economic Man: The Origins of Totalitarianism”, received praise even from the then British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, but was not as popular as his subsequent works.
Below you can see some of Drucker’s most remarkable works.
Corporation Concept (Concept of Corporation, 1946)
In the year 1942, Drucker moved to Vermont to enter Bennington College. There, he would deepen his studies on General Motors at the request of the corporation’s president at the time, executive Alfred Sloan.
18 months of research and observation culminated in his prestigious work “Concept of Corporation” from 1946, in which the author emphasizes that the most important thing in any company is the people who are part of it.
The lessons in the book were initially rejected by General Motors, but strongly influenced the Japanese auto industry that stood out worldwide in the 1970s.
The Effective Manager (The Effective Executive, 1966)
Launched in 1966, Drucker’s work focused on the behavior and management of top executives, “The Effective Executive”, analyzes three essential principles for the formation of an effective manager: the organization of time, self-development and the correct decision making.
Managing in Times of Great Change (Managing in a Time of Great Change, 1995)
“Managing in a Time of Great Change” emerges as a very pertinent work in its launching year, 1995. The author asks several questions about administration, economics and politics, analyzing the transformations in technology and in governments around the planet.
Management Challenges for the 21st Century (1999)
In the book “Management Challenges for the 21st Century”, released in 1999, Peter Drucker adopts a more reflective discussion proposing a new look at modern management and illustrating the difficulties faced by companies to adapt to the fast changes in the market.
According to him, the center of the community and the modern economy is not the technology or productivity so widespread, but the institution managed as a living organ within a large organism, which is society.
Management in the Next Society (Management in the Next Society, 2002)
In one of his latest works, Drucker predicts that social mobility will increase in direct response to access to formal education.
In addition, his work “Management in the Next Society” also brings other important predictions, such as the existence of two large workforces: those with less and those over 50 years of age; and the concept of “(re) privatization, the privatization of public services in order to reduce bureaucracy.
What are your most famous quotes?
In addition to the books, Drucker’s ideas have also gained worldwide popularity through his quotes. His “advice”, as he referred to his sentences, summed up his theories and provocations in a few words. We could not finish this article without commenting on some of them. Check out!
“The only source of profit is the customer.”
Although companies today generally agree that efforts in product development and communication should aim at customer satisfaction, in the mid-20th century, when Drucker published several works with this perspective, few companies were concerned with studying their audience and identifying demands.
It was only after the expansion of the market and increased competition in the following years that the consumer increased his bargaining power. As people had more freedom to choose between different suppliers and service providers, managers began to make decisions based on the opinions of customers.
“A decision becomes effective only when commitments to action are included in the decision from the beginning.”
Drucker commented that a leader who promises and engages a lot, but does not personally commit to his ideas, tends to frustrate his collaborators and leave a lot of mess behind.
An effective manager must focus on his area of greatest aptitude and invest as much energy in meeting his goals.
“Long-term planning does not deal with future decisions, but with a future of present decisions.”
Focused on strategic management, Drucker stresses the importance of promptly adopting practices that contribute to the company’s long-term goals. An organization that is dedicated only to tactical and operational activities is condemned to remain the same over the years and is in danger of becoming obsolete in the face of the intense transformations that are plaguing the world.
“Culture swallows up strategy for breakfast.”
In one of his most provocative phrases, his intention was to highlight the importance of culture, that is, people’s habits and behaviors, in the results they deliver, to the detriment of the plastered obligations commonly adopted by the companies of their time. Concepts such as Organizational Culture were developed from this view.
“When you see a successful business, it’s because somebody made a brave decision someday,”
Drucker had the opportunity to observe many of his ideas becoming current after he quoted them many years before. Meantime, in addition to being a celebrated management theorist, he was also a great provocateur of entrepreneurial culture.
Peter Drucker, without a doubt, is one of the leading thinkers who addressed the effects of globalization on the world economy and organizations. For decades it has educated managers, employees and consumers, and its legacy lives on in universities and thousands of companies worldwide.
This article ends here, but we still have a lot of content to share! Now that you know Peter Drucker’s ideas, check out the three Es of management and the differences between them!