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In a concise introduction to the philosophy of the 20th century's most distinguished business theoretician, Edersheim explores the insights that have shaped management thinking from the 1940s through the 1990s. Drucker himself chose Edersheim to interview him, based on her previous book (McKinsey's Marvin Bower, about the man who built the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company), but he had in mind a biography of his ideas, not a traditional bio. Edersheim blends brief summaries of Drucker's thinking on various management topics (innovation, customers, leadership, decision making) with examples of how his ideas have been practiced at specific organizations and comments from contemporary business leaders. She doesn't try to trace the development of Drucker's ideas over time; instead, she focuses on the challenges managers face today and tries to cull useful advice for tackling them from Drucker's writings. Those seeking a broad intellectual and social context for Drucker's work might prefer Jack Beatty's 1998 The World According to Peter Drucker, while aspiring managers should turn instead to one of Drucker's own books, whose intellectual rigor and lively prose make them immensely readable to this day. (Feb.)
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Austrian-born Peter Drucker (1909-2005) was regarded as the founding father of modern business management. He wrote a total of 39 books on management, economics, and politics, and counseled the heads of GM, Ford, and GE as well as numerous political leaders including Margaret Thatcher and Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. This may be considered his final collaborative work, as it contains information Edersheim obtained through interviews during the last six months of his life. Rather than producing an exhaustive biography, Edersheim chose to focus on the man's thoughts and ideas--reflections on his methods and views on the challenges of today's business management. Some of these are classic Drucker, such as viewing your business from the customer's prospective, the importance of collaboration and of taking care of the people in your organization. Other thoughts are very forward thinking, as Drucker muses on the influence of technology and the Internet. With the addition of numerous quotations, both by and about Drucker, Edersheim has captured the essence of the man and his works. David Siegfried
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