|Peter Ferdinand Drucker
MANAGEMENT EXPERT, AUTHOR AND TEACHER
(1909 - 2005)
Peter Drucker’s career as a writer, consultant and teacher spanned more than six decades. His groundbreaking work turned modern management theory into a serious discipline, and he influenced or created nearly every facet of its application, including decentralization, privatization, and empowerment, and has coined such terms as the “knowledge worker.”
Dr. Drucker cared not just about how business manages its resources, but also how public and private organizations operate morally and ethically within society. He respected the values of education, personal responsibility and businesses’ accountability to society. Dr. Drucker’s true legacy is his insistence on this value system, and its effect on business, society and individual lives.
Born November 19, 1909, in Vienna, Drucker was educated in Austria and England and earned a doctorate from Frankfurt University in 1931. He became a financial reporter for Frankfurter General Anzeiger in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1929, which allowed him to immerse himself in the study of international law, history and finance.
Drucker moved to London in 1933 to escape Hitler's Germany and took a job as a securities analyst for an insurance firm. Four years later he married Doris Schmitz and the couple departed for the United States.
In 1939, Drucker landed a part-time teaching position at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. He joined the faculty of Bennington College in Vermont in 1942 and the next year put his academic career on hold to spend two years studying the management structure of General Motors. This experience let to his book "Concept of the Corporation," an immediate bestseller in the United States and Japan, which validated the notion that great companies could stand among humankind's noblest inventions.
From 1950 to 1971, Drucker was a professor of management at the Graduate Business School of New York University. He was awarded the Presidential Citation, the university's highest honor.
The California Years & Claremont Graduate University
Drucker came to California in 1971, where he was instrumental in the development of one of the country's first executive MBA programs for working professionals at Claremont Graduate University (then known as Claremont Graduate School). The university's management school was named the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management in his honor in 1987. He taught his last class at the school in the spring of 2002. His courses consistently attracted the largest number of students of any class offered by the university.
Masatoshi Ito and the Drucker School
Drucker had long wished to have the name of a benefactor attached to the school that bore his name. His wish was fulfilled in January of 2004, when the name of his friend, Japanese businessman Masatoshi Ito, was added to the school. Henceforth it would be known as the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management.
MASATOSHI ITO Owner, founder, and honorary chairman of Ito-Yokado retailing group
The school adheres to Drucker's philosophy that management is a liberal art—one that takes into account not only economics, but also history, social theory, law, and the sciences. As Drucker said, "it deals with people, their values, their growth and development, social structure, the community and even with spiritual concerns . . . the nature of humankind, good and evil."
SEVEN AND I HOLDINGS LTD. Includes Ito-Yokado Retailing Group
Drucker's work had a major influence on modern organizations and their management over the past 60 years. Valued for keen insight and the ability to convey his ideas in popular language, Drucker often set the agenda in management thinking.
Central to his philosophy is the view that people are an organization's most valuable resource, and that a manager's job is to prepare and free people to perform.
A Prolific Writer
Drucker's ideas have been disseminated in his 39 books, which have been translated into more than 30 languages. His works range from 1939's "The End of the Economic Man" to "Managing in the Next Society" and "A Functioning Society," both published in 2002 and "The Daily Drucker," released in 2004. His last book coauthored with Joseph A. Maciariello, "The Effective Executive in Action" was published by Harper Collins in January of 2006.
Drucker created eight series of educational movies based on his management books and 10 online courses on management and business strategy. He was a frequent contributor to magazines and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal from 1975 to 1995.
A highly sought-after consultant, Drucker specialized in strategy and policy for both businesses and no-for-profit organizations. He worked with many of the world's largest corporations, with small and entrepreneurial companies, with nonprofits and with agencies of the United States government, as well as the governments of Canada and Japan.
Drucker focused much of his time working with nonprofit organizations, often pro bono. The Salvation Army, C.A.R.E., the American Red Cross, the Navajo Indian Tribal Council and the American Heart Association, and his local Episcopal church in La Verne, California, all benefited from his counsel.
Drucker was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in July 2002 by President George W. Bush in recognition for his work in the field of management. He received honorary doctorates from universities in the United States, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Great Britain, Japan, Spain and Switzerland.
Dr. Drucker died in November 2005, at the age of 95, at his home in Claremont, California.
For more information about Peter Drucker, visit The Drucker Institute, an independent organization within Claremont Graduate University, which affords scholars access to the writings of Peter Drucker, offers assistance with respect to Professor Drucker’s research and writings, and perpetuates his legacy as a teacher and scholar.