Peter Drucker's Legacy

With his most recent work scheduled to published next year, Peter Drucker, the 'father of modern management' died Nov. 12 at age 95 in his home in Claremont, California.

As the world's most influential management expert, his vision has shaped business management for over 50 years. His landmark book "The Concept of the Corporation" (1946) along with the "The Practice of Management" (1954) and "The Effective Executive" (1964) became standards in the world's leading business management schools.

In "The Concept of the Corporation", which Drucker wrote after a pioneering study of General Motors, he crafted the basis of his analysis of company management in which he emphasized that, rather than being a machine, the modern corporation was an organization of human beings whose management and interaction are crucial to the business's success. The book advocated then-radical concepts like management decentralization and motivating workers by making them feel they have a stake in the company.

While many referred to him as a "futurist" he preferred to call himself a "social ecologist" whose focus was the people in the corporate environment, not the business itself.

Drucker, born in Vienna, Austria in 1909, earned a doctorate in public and international law from Frankfurt University in Germany and later joined a local newspaper as a financial reporter. In 1933, he fled the rising Nazi fascism for London, where he worked for an insurance company and wrote his first book, "The End of Economic Man", a widely respected examination of the roots of fascism.

He spent his life teaching, writing and consulting. He was a professor at New York University's Graduate Business School from 1950 to 1971. He then moved to California, where he helped establish the Claremont Graduate University, the United States' first executive Masters of Business Administration program for working managers. In 1996, the Beijing Corporate Management Institute was established to study Drucker's ideas and he became its chief advisor in 1999. He also continued to teach at Claremont Graduate University until 2002. Concurrently in 2002, he published "Managing in the Next Society", and his "The Daily Drucker", a collection of his thinking, was on BusinessWeek's business best-seller list earlier this year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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