Cornelis Kees A de Kluyver
In my capacity as Dean of the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, I have delivered countless speeches about our school and the things that differentiate our faculty, programs and students from other graduate schools of business/management around the world. I begin such talks with our branding as a “Different School of Thought”. This reflects our unique approach to management education rooted in the values, ideas and philosophy of Peter Drucker, who is often described as the “father of modern management."
Peter called management a “Liberal Art,” by which he meant that management is all about people. He encouraged students to study accounting, finance, marketing, etc., but he constantly reminded them that in the end, these are just tools. And even though Peter rarely used the term “leadership” (he preferred to speak of “management”), the idea that success critically depends on a leader’s ability to articulate a compelling vision, communicate that vision effectively and inspire others to follow, was core to many of his arguments.
This also explains why we call ourselves a Graduate School of Management, and not a Graduate School of Business. As Peter reminded us often, the fundamental ideas of management are equally applicable to the private sector, the government and the social sector. What is more, he felt all three sectors could learn much by studying the practices of the others. This idea was important to him because another major tenet of his philosophy was that society could not function effectively unless it nurtured a vibrant non-profit sector to fill the voids left by a healthy private and efficient government sector.
Peter’s respect for the values of education, personal responsibility and business’ accountability to society are well known and deeply embedded in the school’s philosophy. Peter often described management as a moral endeavor. If anything, this message - to focus on what is right, and not just on what works - is even more important today than in the past.
Although Peter is best known as the founder of modern management, his contributions to society extend well beyond business. Also a political scientist, Asian art expert, teacher, mentor and philanthropist, he cared not just about how business manages its resources, but also how public and private organizations interacted within our society. He worried about the growing divide between the haves and have-nots - those within our own society as well as between nations. And he wrote about our propensity to waste natural resources and the implications this would have for our future.
He truly was a social ecologist.