Customer Reviews


48 Reviews
5 star:
 (32)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest management handbooks
The late Peter F. Drucker is the most influential management thinker of the 20th Century. This book was first published in 1955 and consists of five parts plus a proper introduction and conclusion. Drucker, in the Preface, explains that the first aim of this book "is to narrow the gap between what can be done and what is being done, between the leaders in management and...
Published on July 21, 2006 by Gerard Kroese

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Relevant but Dated
This book was written in the 1950's. At the time, the concepts of management espoused by Peter Drucker were revolutionary - the result of study and observation post WW-II and his first hand observation of the failure of pure command and control management.

If you are new to the topic, Drucker's work is an important foundation for modern management techniques...
Published on October 3, 2010 by Edward J. Barton


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest management handbooks, July 21, 2006
By 
Gerard Kroese (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The late Peter F. Drucker is the most influential management thinker of the 20th Century. This book was first published in 1955 and consists of five parts plus a proper introduction and conclusion. Drucker, in the Preface, explains that the first aim of this book "is to narrow the gap between what can be done and what is being done, between the leaders in management and the average".

The Introduction - The Nature of Management - consists of three chapters. Within the first chapter Drucker explains that "the manager is the dynamic, life-giving element in every business" and that management "is the organ of society specifically charged with making resources productive, that is, with the responsibility for organized economic advance." In the second chapter Drucker explains that "management is the least known and the least understood of our institutions" and discusses the three functions of management: managing a business, managing managers, and to manage workers and work. The third chapter states that management faces its first test of its competence and its hardest task in the then imminent industrial revolution called `automation'. Drucker does explain that automation is not `technical', but primarily a system of concepts, a concept of the organization of work.

The first of six chapters within Part I - Managing a Business - uses the Sears, Roebuck & Company as an illustration of what business is and what managing it means. Based upon this illustration, Drucker concludes in Chapter 5 that "there is only one valid definition of business: to create a customer. ... It is the customer who determines what a business is." Chapter 6 introduces Drucker's most famous question: "What is our business - and what should it be?" This does look relatively simple, but it is not simple to answer and the author provides guidance. In the next chapter the objectives of a business are discussed: "Objectives are needed in every area where performance and results directly and vitally affect the survival and prosperity of the business." Chapter 8 discusses the tools that management needs to take make decisions today for the result of tomorrow. But no matter how sound the business economics, how careful the analysis, how good the tools, managing a business always comes back to the human element. This is the subject of Chapter 9, which deals with the principles of production.

The first of the six chapters within Part II - Managing Managers - uses automobile company Ford to explain that the "fundamental problem or order, structure, motivation and leadership in the business enterprise have to be solved in the managing of managers." But he also warns that managers are its scarcest resource. Drucker also introduces the major requirements of managing managers, which are detailed in the next five chapters.

The first of the three chapters within Part III - The Structure of Management - discusses the issue of organization structure. The next chapter is concerned with building the structure. Chapter 18 deals with the small, the large and the growing business, which Drucker breaks down into four stages of business size (small, fair-sized, large, very large business). He discusses the problems and potential solutions for each.

The six chapters within Part IV - The Management of Worker and Work - discuss the human elements of business. Drucker uses IBM as an example to show basic problems in managing worker and work, and some of the principles for their solution. He also emphasizes that the management of worker and work is a complex subject. Within Chapter 20 he discusses the worker as a resource, the demands of the enterprise on the worker, the worker's demands on the enterprise, and the economic dimension. The next chapter explains that although personnel management is not bankrupt ("but certainly insolvent") the relationship between a man and the kind of work he does is known due to the Human-Relations school. Chapter 22 details human organization for peak performance or in Drucker's words "the engineering of the individual job for maximum efficiency." The fourth chapter in this section discusses the economic relationship between enterprise and worker. This is followed by chapters on the first-line supervisor and on the professional employee (who is neither management nor labor).

The title of the final part - What It Means to be a Manager - gives away the subject for the three chapters. Drucker believes that a manager has two specific tasks: "The manager has the task of creating a true whole that is larger than the sum of its parts, a productive entity that turns out more than the sum of the resources put into it. ...This task requires the manager to bring out and make effective whatever strength there is in his resources - and above all in the human resources - and neutralize whatever there is of weakness." This requires the manager to balance and harmonize the three major functions of the business enterprise: managing a business, managing managers, and managing worker and work. Chapter 28 deals with decision making. The five phases in decision-making are discussed. The final chapter discusses the manager of tomorrow. Based upon the new demands required, the manager of tomorrow has to acquit himself of seven new tasks.

The book is concluded with a proper conclusion on the responsibilities of management. "... the business enterprise must be so managed as to make the public good become the private good of the enterprise. ...To make certain that this assertion does not remain lip service but becomes hard fact is the most important, the ultimate responsibility of management: to itself, to the enterprise, to our heritage, to our society and to our way of life."

What can one say about a masterpiece like this? Books by Peter Drucker always deserve five stars since they are eye-openers to most of us, but this one is exceptional and possibly the best I have read by him. Highly recommended to anybody involved with management or working within business enterprise, it provides great insights for employees through to chief executive.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book and still relevant, December 2, 2004
What can I say about Peter Drucker that hasn't already been said.

Written in 1954 it is as relevant to today's world (perhaps even more so) as it was back then. Fundamentally what strikes me about the Practice of Management is that it advocates a profoundly ethical view of management and the responsibilities of management.

If you walk away with a just a few of the ideas he presents, you will be a better manager:

1) Management by objectives

2) The imporance of having the right "spirit" in an organisation.

3) The need for managers to feel empowered and have all the authority they need to carry out their job.

4) Appropriate rewards for strong performance and the need for censure when performance is weak.

5) Creating an open culture where mistakes are expected and form a basis for future knowledge.

I could go on.

As a final note, Peter Drucker foresaw one of the most remarkable changes in industry - a change that allowed the movement from vertically integrated industries to a distributed supply chain model - and that strong managers would be needed to deal with it.

I would rate this as one of the best buys I have made this year.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The PRACTICE, not THEORY, of Managment, October 24, 1998
By A Customer
Peter Drucker wrote this book at the height of the mis-application of statistics and "science" in areas such as management and economics. Drucker, who had the benefit of experience, saw the flaws decades before the rest of us. I suspect that the reason Drucker was so ahead of his time is that he was able to tap the experience of the great industrialists who probably were unwilling to share the trade secrets of their management knowledge with the general public. It wasn't until the 1980s when the masses began to learn these things.
The book is a classic and is just as valid today as it was in the mid 20th century (why wouldn't it be?).
Drucker explains within the book the reason for the word "practice" rather than "theory" of managment.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most original work on management ever written, June 1, 1999
Peter Drucker needs no introduction. His works have shaped the management thought and philosophy for the last half a century. What he discusses in this volume, other management thinkers will find only 40 years later. A must read for understanding- What management and business is all about.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly ACTUAL, August 23, 1998
By A Customer
I feel quite stupid when I read the book written in 1954! and noticed that most of the things that today are explained and developed in management books, have already been stated 30 years ago. Not only the author gives the clues to understand the present management techniques but he shows how should be used and why. DO not expend more money in new management books until you haven't read that first
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The origin of most of today's best sellers, June 29, 2001
It's really susprising how a book dated 54 can be so modern. Throughout its pages you can see paragraphs that simply are the source of many later killing books. Mac Gregor's theory, Hertzberg's ergonomic factor, the vision of Ted Levitt about marketing myopia, the search for simplicity, the moder concept of ethical behavior of companies and so many others. Really amazing how Drucker already peeked on these points many years ago. what new have all those new gurus been speaking about?.
Nevertheless, the most striking issue it's his lookout for human vertues in managers. Integrity anf character are the main tools of the right manager. We are still on the search for them!!!.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Relevant but Dated, October 3, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Practice of Management (Paperback)
This book was written in the 1950's. At the time, the concepts of management espoused by Peter Drucker were revolutionary - the result of study and observation post WW-II and his first hand observation of the failure of pure command and control management.

If you are new to the topic, Drucker's work is an important foundation for modern management techniques. His observations and insights are as relevant to the human psychology, the practice of management and the theory of business today as they were 60 years ago.

Having said that, the book is merely foundational and background now. The modern manager has largely been trained, thanks to Drucker, in his management paradigm. As a result, the trained manager will find some useful nuggets, some interesting observations, and about 400 pages of what is now "common sense management". The revolution of the 1950's is largely in the past today. The book is less useful or revolutionary today for a manager than it was 60, or even 20 years ago. And for that, Drucker should be commended. However, it makes it tougher to recommend the book for more than a reader who is more interested in the background/foundation it espouses than someone looking for new ideas or fresh thinking.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!!, May 14, 1999
By A Customer
Forget the fact that the book was written in the 1950s. It is just as relevant today as it was back then. The analysis of decision making and organizational design is pretty good. It's a seminal book worth reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are a manager you should know something about management through time. Read this book., December 3, 2010
By 
Jackal (New Hampshire) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Practice of Management (Paperback)
There is a lot of self-centered managers thinking they are very good, but in reality they are below average human beings both intellectually and ethically. There are also many managers that are good people and try to do their best. I think all managers belonging to the latter category should read this 60 year old book. Drucker wanted managers to contribute to humanity by being good managers. I would say that it is inspirational to read Drucker's words knowing that they were written such a long time ago. The book is written in a very engaging manner and is not what you would expect for such an old book. Managers today struggle with pretty much the same issues as identified in this book. This is not to say that this book contains everything, but by reading it, you realise how much useless or fluffy stuff is written in many current management books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simple & deep, May 2, 2005
although schools of management change, the basic principles of sounds management stay the same. using powerful theory of management in combination with convincing real-life examples of good and bad management in certain companies, peter drucker gives the reader a powerful state of mind and direction to follow, to become a successful manager.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Practice of Management
The Practice of Management by Peter F. Drucker (Paperback - October 3, 2006)
$16.99 $13.39
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.