THE FRONTIERS OF MANAGEMENT
Where Tomorrow's Decisions Are Being Shaped Today (drucker Library)
Peter F. Drucker
Another 37 pieces of Drucker's lively mind. The wide-ranging collection covers the period from 1982 through mid-1986 in four main sections: Economics; People; Management; and The Organization. Among other accomplishments, Drucker contrives to give a fresh spin to some comparatively banal themes, e.g., that change affords opportunity and the global economy represents a primary engine of domestic growth. To illustrate, he warns against beggar-thy-neighbor policies; in assessing America's deficit-ridden trade account, though, he points out that Washington could effectively expropriate reluctant importers like Japan simply by devaluing the dollar. Expressing little faith in government's capacity to experiment, Drucker looks to business management for needed social innovation; enterprising executives, he observes, can take credit for the research lab, farm agents, the Eurodollar, commercial paper, and other breakthroughs. In the meantime, well-educated and ambitious baby boomers have created a sort of gridlock in labor markets. The situation augurs well for entrepreneurship in the US, Drucker concludes. But, he cautions, companies that wish to retain the best and brightest young employees will have to satisfy their generally great expectations in creative ways. The author also casts a cold eye on hostile takeovers, the breakup of Ma Bell, US antitrust policy, and the future of trade unions. Throughout, Drucker displays a refreshingly deft touch. At the outset of an essay evaluating the effect of managerial nest-feathering, for example, he notes: "Executive compensation played Banquo's ghost in the 1984 labor negotiations." An agreeable blend of ad-rem commentary and prescriptive counsel, with durable appeal for a broad readership.