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Management Challenges for the 21st Century [Paperback]

Peter F. Drucker
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Mar 2011

Peter F. Drucker discusses how the new paradigms of management have changed and will continue to change our basic assumptions about the practices and principles of management. Forward-looking and forward-thinking, Management Challenges for the 21st Century combines the broad knowledge, wide practical experience, profound insight, sharp analysis, and enlightened common sense that are the essence of Drucker's writings and "landmarks of the managerial profession." --Harvard Business Review

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (20 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887309992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887309991
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,039,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

No single person has influenced the course of business in the 20th century as much as Peter Drucker. He practically invented management as a discipline in the 1950s, elevating it from an ignored, even despised, profession into a necessary institution that "reflects the basic spirit of the modern age." Now, in Management Challenges for the 21st Century, Drucker looks at the profound social and economic changes occurring today and considers how management--not government or free markets--should orientate itself to address these new realities.

Drucker sees the period we're living in as one of "PROFOUND TRANSITION--and the changes are more radical perhaps than even those that ushered in the 'Second Industrial Revolution' of the middle of the 19th century, or the structural changes triggered by the Great Depression and the Second World War". In the midst of all this change, he contends, there are five social and political certainties that will shape business strategy in the not-too-distant future: the collapsing birthrate in the developed world; shifts in distribution of disposable income; a redefinition of corporate performance; global competitiveness; and the growing incongruence between economic and political reality. Drucker then looks at requirements for leadership ("One cannot manage change. One can only be ahead of it"), the characteristics of the "new information revolution" (one should focus on the meaning of information, not the technology that collects it), productivity of the knowledge worker (unlike manual workers, knowledge workers must be seen as capital assets, not costs), and finally the responsibilities that knowledge workers must assume in managing themselves and their careers.

Drucker's writing career spans eight decades and the years have only served to sharpen his insight and perspective in a way that makes most other management texts seem derivative. While Management Challenges for the 21st Century is no quick aeroplane read, it is a wise and thought-provoking book that will both challenge and inspire the diligent reader. This book is for people who care about their businesses and careers in the information age- -CEOs, managers, and knowledge workers. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"His breadth of vision, his internationalism and his sober realism combine to make analysis of the present and prediction about the future gripping" - The Economist

"The most enduring management thinker of our time" - Business Week --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
BASIC ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT REALITY are the PARADIGMS of a social science, such as management. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT BOOK ON THE FUTURE OF SOCIETY 12 Jan 2000
First published in Forbes magazine, California Management Review and Harvard Business Review, the six chapters in this book contain nothing that is an excerpt from Peter Drucker's earlier management books. Indeed, this book supplements Drucker's many earlier management books by looking ahead to the future of management thinking and practice.
At 90, Peter Drucker is, by all accounts, the most enduring management thinker of our time. Born in Vienna, educated in Austria and England, he has worked since 1937 in the United States, first as an economist for a group of British banks and insurance companies, and later as a management consultant to several leading companies. Drucker has since had a distinguished career as a teacher, including more than twenty years as Professor of Management at the Graduate Business School of New York University. Since 1971 he has been Marie Rankin Clarke Professor of Social Science and Management at the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University in California, where he still teaches in the fields of management and business policy.
With a long-term business perspective second to none, Drucker's books span sixty years of modern history beginning with The End of Economic Man (1939) and Managing in a Time of Great Change; Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; The Effective Executive; Managing for Results and The Practice of Management.
This book looks afresh at the future of management thinking and practice and defines new ways of delivering success. It deals exclusively with tomorrow's hot management issues-the crucial, central, life-and-death issues that are certain to be the major challenges of tomorrow.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This is the invitation made by Peter F. Drucker in his book: Management challenges for the 21st century. The author writes: "Reading this book will upset and disturb a good many people, as writing it disturbed me" and "It is a very different book from the one I originally envisaged". These two sentences explain that the pressure of the future is so already with us that ideas coming to the author had difficulties to organize on the paper. But this stressing environment gives one of the best book of Peter F. Drucker with issues not to be ignored by knowledge-workers and executives who will have to work on them to make sure to be among the leaders of tomorrow.
In the 2 first chapters, we are sharing ideas from the Management's assumptions, which are no more valid in the "New Economy" to The New Certainties on which very few organizations and very few executives are working on and are invited to a call for action in front of a period of a profound transition.
In Chapter 3, Peter F. Drucker is describing, the Change leader, which mission will not be to manage change, because it is not possible to manage change, but to be ahead of it. Different recommendations are given, but the more important one is piloting the change to permanently test reality. If making the future is highly risky, it is less risky than not trying to make it in a period of upheavals, such as the one we are living in.
In chapter 4, the author convinces us that IT Information Technology has to move from the T to the I. That means that Technology as such is not the concern of executives when Information is. It is true that executives did not get always, with the Information Technologies Revolution, the Information they need for acting.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be ready to be shocked and enlightened 21 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Every professional will wish to be able to write a book of such high quality at age 90. There is nothing to be found that is "old hat". He makes some "shocking" predictions about the future. The retirement age will rise to 79, which incredibly but true, is the same age as sixty-five was in 1936 considering the increase in life expectancy. Another remarkable insight is that we are experiencing an information revolution not because of computers but because of printing. There are two leading print companies Bertelsmann and Rupert Murdoch that have grown at least as fast as Microsoft. Publishers of speciality mass magazines have grown even faster. To more than three thousand in the USA! This despite the prediction that TV would kill off books and magazines. There are some very useful points on the information managers require to strategise and manage. Intelligible information about what is happening outside the company is becoming more important than information about what happens inside. On governance he asks what does "Capitalism" means when Knowledge governs rather than Money? One consequence is that management must both satisfy the legal owners, such as shareholders and satisfy the owners of the human capital that gives the organisation its wealth- producing power, that is the knowledge-workers.
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By A Customer
MANAGEMENT CHALLEGES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY is a breakthrough work. Through 6 astonishing essays, Professor Drucker sets the agenda for the next 50 years, for every organization and individual on the planet. He begins by pointing out that the way most people think about management is all wrong, and immediately needs to be changed. He outlines the needed changes. He then picks the key strategy issues that will strongly affect all organizations for the next 50 years. Next, he points out that we live in turbulent times and that one must lead the changes that one's organization must make faster than the competition. There is no choice, except to fail to survive. From there, he points out that we have information TECHNOLOGY, but very little information worth looking at on the devices the technology brings us. He goes on to define what must be done to create the right information. In a remarkable section, he then tells how to create knowledge worker productivity (something he has said in the past that no one knows how to do). Finally, he provides a remarkable essay on how to get the most out of yourself, for yourself. These essays were previewed in leading publications, and substantially improved from the originals. There is no repetition of his work and thinking from earlier books. This is like finding a whole new Peter Drucker. I especially loved the new examples that he included, as well as his historical references that only Peter Drucker can make. YOU ARE MAKING A BIG MISTAKE IF YOU FAIL TO BUY, READ, AND APPLY THE IMPORTANT LESSONS OF THIS BOOK. If you read only one book by Peter Drucker, read this one!!! Read more ›
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