Quotes

  • Doris Drucker
  • “Peter taught management not as an end in iteself but as a means to create organizations for building and supporting a civil society.” Doris Drucker October 27, 2006
  • Peter Drucker
  • "We know now that the source of wealth is something specifically human: knowledge. If we apply knowledge to tasks we already know how to do, we call it 'productivity'. If we apply knowledge to tasks that are new and different we call it 'innovation'." Only knowledge allows us to achieve these two goals. Source: See Further References -- Drucker 1992 p23
  • “The organizations of the society of organizations are special-purpose organs. Each is good at only one task; and this specialization alone gives them their capacity to perform.”
  • “Organizations can only do damage to themselves and to society if they tackle tasks that are beyond their specialized competence, their specialized values, their specialized functions. The American hospital did a good deal of harm to itself and little good to the community when it attempted to take on the inner city’s social ills by founding “inner-city clinics.” The American school has failed miserably to produce racial integration. In both cases, the causes are undoubtedly good; they cry out for action. But the action needed or at least the action chosen by these various organizations was beyond such organizations’ focus and function, and totally beyond their competence.”
  • And yet who else is there to take care of society, its problems and its ills? These organizations collectively are society…Power must always be balanced by responsibility; otherwise it becomes tyranny. And organizations do have power.” Source: Peter F. Drucker,Post Capitalist Society (New York, NY: HarperCollins books,1993), p 101
  • “Leaders in every single institution and in every single sector … have two responsibilities. They are responsible and accountable for the performance of their institutions, and that requires them and their institutions to be concentrated, focused, limited. They are responsible also, however, for the community as a whole.” Source: Leader to Leader Relevance: The community is the responsibility of every institutional leader. How that translates into actions and decisions is what social responsibility is all about.
  • “Kierkegaard’s question, how is human existence possible?, has a simple answer: human existence is possible only in tension between man’s simultaneous life as an individual in the spirit and as a citizen in society.” Source: Peter F. Drucker, Men, ideas and politics. New York; Harper & Row, 1971., Relevance: Much of social responsibility is recognizing and managing with this tension.
  • “Primum non nocere – first, do no harm – is the first responsibility of a professional, as spelled out in the Hippocratic oath. “As the physicians found out long ago, this apparently modest requirement is far from easy. It requires a far-reaching understanding of the impact of our actions on another person or on a society, and a willingness to think through our effect on others.” Source: Peter F. Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, New York, Harper & Row, 1974
  • “The first responsibility of business is to make enough profit to cover the costs for the future. If this social responsibility is not met, no other social responsibility can be met.” Peter F. Drucker, The Practice of Management
  • “In most discussions of the social responsibility of business it is assumed that making a profit is fundamentally incompatible with social responsibility or is at least irrelevant to it.”
  • “Only if business learns how to convert the major social challenges facing developed societies today into novel and profitable business opportunities can we hope to surmount these challenges in the future.”
  • “The propoer social responsibility of business is to tame the dragon–that is, to turn a social problem into economic opportunity and economic benefit, into productive capacity, into human competence, into ell-paid jobs, and into wealth.” Source: Peter F. Drucker, Frontiers of Management. New York; Truman Talley Books, 1968., p 323
  • It is the increasingly important responsibility (of management) to create the capital that alone can finance tomorrow’s jobs. In a modern economy the main source of capital formation is business profits. Source: Peter F. Drucker, Frontiers of Management. New York; Truman Talley Books, 1968.,
  • “Social responsibility objectives need to be built into the strategy of a business, rather than merely be statements of good intentions.” Source: Peter F. Drucker, Frontiers of Management. New York; Truman Talley Books, 1968.,
  • “In the United States . . . the class of employees that has been growing most rapidly in numbers and proportion is that of skilled and trained people.” Source: The Practice of Management - 1954
  • “Productive work in today's society and economy is work that applies vision, knowledge and concepts -- work that is based on the mind rather than the hand.” Source: Landmarks of Tomorrow - 1959
  • “Even the small business today consists increasingly of people who apply knowledge rather than manual skill and muscle to work.” Source: Managing for Results - 1964
  • “Every knowledge worker in modern organization is an "executive" if, by virtue of his position or knowledge, he is responsible for a contribution that materially affects the capacity of the organization to perform and to obtain results.” Source: The Effective Executive - 1966
  • “Finally, these new industries differ from the traditional 'modern' industry in that they will employ predominantly knowledge workers rather than manual workers.” Source: The Age of Discontinuity - 1969
  • “. . . the center of gravity of the work force is shifting from the manual worker to the knowledge worker.” Source: Management - 1973
  • “. . . the center of gravity among 'employees' has sharply shifted to the educated, employed, middle class, that is, to people who see themselves as 'technical' and increasingly as 'professional'.” Source: Managing in Turbulent Times - 1980
  • “To make knowledge work fully productive requires many things [Frederick Winslow] Taylor did not concern himself with. It requires objectives and goals. It requires priorities and measurements. It requires systematic abandonment of the tasks that no longer produce and of the services that are no longer needed. It also requires organization, largely along the lines of the 'matrix organization' which Taylor reached for in his 'functional foremanship.' But making knowledge work productive also requires 'task study' and 'task management.' It requires the analysis of the work itself. It requires understanding of the steps needed, their sequence and their integration into an organized process. It requires systematic provision of the information needed and of the tool needed. All of these are concepts of 'scientific management.' It does not require 'creativity.' It requires the hard, systematic, analytical and synthesizing work which Taylor developed to deal with shoveling sand, lifting pig iron, running paper machines, or laying brick.” Source: Toward the Next Economics and Other Essays - 1981
  • “In all developed countries, knowledge workers have already become the center of gravity of the labor force, even in numbers.” Source: The Frontiers of Management - 1986
  • “The more knowledge-based an institution becomes, the more it depends on the willingness of individuals to take responsibility for contribution to the whole, for understanding the objectives, the values, the performance of the whole, and for making themselves understood by the other professionals, the other knowledge people in the organization.” Source: The New Realities - 1989
  • “The productivity of the newly dominant groups in the work force, knowledge workers and service workers, will be the biggest and toughest challenge facing managers in the developed countries for decades to come. And serious work on this daunting task has only begun.” Source: Managing for the Future - 1992
  • “Instead of capitalists and proletarians, the classes of the post-capitalist society are knowledge workers and service workers.” Source: Post-Capitalist Society - 1993
  • “This society in which knowledge workers dominate is in danger of a new 'class conflict'; the conflict between the large minority of knowledge workers and the majority of people who will make their living through traditional ways, either by manual work, whether skilled or unskilled, or by services work, whether skilled or unskilled.” Source: Managing in A Time of Great Change - 1995
  • “The most valuable assets of a 20th-century company were its production equipment. The most valuable asset of a 21st-century institution, whether business or nonbusiness, will be its knowledge workers and their productivity.” Source: Management Challenges for the 21st Century - 1999

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