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December 15, 2023

Excellence in Action: Unveiling the Drucker Institute’s Top 250

Drucker Institute Wall Street Journal Top 250

Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker Institute released its annual list of the top 250 companies that exemplify Peter Drucker’s philosophy that “management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

The Management Top 250 ranking, reported in mid-December by the Wall Street Journal, measures corporate effectiveness by examining performance in five areas: customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development, innovation, social responsibility, and financial strength.

Technology and healthcare companies continue to maintain the top spots in the rankings, while the biggest gainers excelled in satisfying their customers and engaging and developing their employees. In the customer satisfaction category, a more diverse set of industries rose to the top spots. Peter Drucker believed that the valid purpose of business is to create a customer, and those that do it well have figured out who their customer is and what they value.

For the fourth year in a row, Microsoft was first in the overall rankings, though a lower score in customer satisfaction kept it from claiming All-Star status. (To be an All-Star, a company must score at least 60, on a 0-100 scale, in every category.) Microsoft and the other top companies that have sustained themselves at the top of the rankings look to have developed a virtuous cycle that continuously reinforces their successes in Peter Drucker’s mantra—doing the right things well—which is what the rankings have always looked to categorize and highlight. This allows these companies to secure the resources and capital needed to innovate and secure talent and, in turn, allow them to achieve greater and greater successes.

The Drucker Archive, later named the Drucker Institute, was established by Peter Drucker to carry forward his ideas and ideals. Since 2007, the Institute’s team has worked with thousands of leaders from major corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies to help them become more effective.

The Management Top 250 ranking is based on a holistic measure of corporate effectiveness that was developed by the Drucker Institute, a part of Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. Effectiveness is defined as “doing the right things well.”

The ranking includes U.S. companies whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Market, and that meet criteria, described below, related to their value and prominence.

The measure seeks to assess how well a company follows a core set of principles advanced by the late Peter Drucker, a professor, consultant, author and longtime Wall Street Journal columnist. Drucker died in 2005.

These principles serve as touchstones for five dimensions of corporate performance: customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development, innovation, social responsibility and financial strength.

“The annual rankings highlight corporations that are not only doing the right things well but that are generating benefits to society,” commented David Sprott, Henry Y. Hwang Dean of the Drucker School of Management.

“Without such private sector institutions, society would have fewer resources to function. The contribution of these companies to society in a community is enormous ranging from well-paying jobs to civic leadership.“