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Management Challenges for the 21st Century Paperback – June 26, 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

No single person has influenced the course of business in the 20th century as much as Peter Drucker. He practically invented management as a discipline in the 1950s, elevating it from an ignored, even despised, profession into a necessary institution that "reflects the basic spirit of the modern age." Now, in Management Challenges for the 21st Century, Drucker looks at the profound social and economic changes occurring today and considers how management--not government or free markets--should orient itself to address these new realities.

Drucker sees the period we're living in as one of "PROFOUND TRANSITION--and the changes are more radical perhaps than even those that ushered in the 'Second Industrial Revolution' of the middle of the 19th century, or the structural changes triggered by the Great Depression and the Second World War." In the midst of all this change, he contends, there are five social and political certainties that will shape business strategy in the not-too-distant future: the collapsing birthrate in the developed world; shifts in distribution of disposable income; a redefinition of corporate performance; global competitiveness; and the growing incongruence between economic and political reality. Drucker then looks at requirements for leadership ("One cannot manage change. One can only be ahead of it"), the characteristics of the "new information revolution" (one should focus on the meaning of information, not the technology that collects it), productivity of the knowledge worker (unlike manual workers, knowledge workers must be seen as capital assets, not costs), and finally the responsibilities that knowledge workers must assume in managing themselves and their careers.

Drucker's writing career spans eight decades and the years have only served to sharpen his insight and perspective in a way that makes most other management texts seem derivative. While Management Challenges for the 21st Century is no quick airplane read, it is a wise and thought-provoking book that will both challenge and inspire the diligent reader. This book is for people who care about their businesses and careers in the information age--CEOs, managers, and knowledge workers. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

In his 31st work, esteemed sociologist Drucker follows his last major management work, Post-Capitalist Society (LJ 2/15/93), with his ideas on how the concept of management is changing, focusing on the major critical issues, problems, practices, and strategies management faces in the new century. Instead of offering a futurist set of predictions, Drucker discusses major challenges facing management that are already manifest in todays rapidly changing world. In a sweeping macro-level analysis of social, economic, and demographic changes at work across the globe, Drucker outlines the changing role of management, the new realities of strategy, how to lead in times of great change, how to develop new information sources for effective decision-making, and how individual workers must assume responsibility for managing their own careers. With his trademark keen insight and his ability to see connections among disparate forces, this visionary thinker has again produced an essential book for all libraries, especially academic collections.Dale F. Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1 edition (June 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887309992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887309991
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
MANAGEMENT CHALLEGES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY is a breakthrough work, even for Peter Drucker. Through 6 impressive essays, Professor Drucker sets the agenda for the next several decades, for every organization and individual. He begins by pointing out that the way most people think about management is all wrong, and immediately needs to be changed. He outlines the needed changes. He then picks the key strategy issues that will strongly affect all organizations for the next 50 years. Next, he points out that we live in turbulent times and that one must lead the changes that one's organization must make so they occur faster than for the competition. There is no choice for any organization, except to fail to survive. From there, he points out that we have information TECHNOLOGY, but very little information worth looking at on the devices the technology brings us. He goes on to define what must be done to create the right information. In a remarkable section, he then tells how to create knowledge worker productivity (something he has said in the past that no one knows how to do). Finally, he provides a remarkable essay on how to get the most out of yourself, for yourself. These essays were previewed in leading publications, and substantially improved from the originals. There is no repetition of his work and thinking from earlier books. This is like finding a whole new Peter Drucker. I especially loved the new examples that he included, as well as his historical references that only Peter Drucker can make. YOU ARE MAKING A BIG MISTAKE IF YOU FAIL TO BUY, READ, AND APPLY THE IMPORTANT LESSONS OF THIS BOOK. If you read only one book by Peter Drucker, read this one!Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Peter F. Drucker writes in the Introduction, "...this is not a book of 'predictions,' not a book about the 'future.' The challenges and issues discussed in it are already with us in every one of the developed countries and in most of the emerging ones (e.g., Korea or Turkey). They can already be identified, discussed, analyzed and prescribed for. Some people, someplace, are already working on them. But so far very few organizations do, and very few executives. Those who do work on these challenges today, and thus prepare themselves and their institutions for the new challenges, will be the leaders and dominate tomorrow. Those who wait until these challenges have indeed become 'hot' issues are likely to fall behind, perhaps never to recover. This book is thus a Call for Action."
In this context, in Chapter 5 of this invaluable book, Drucker focuses on knowledge worker. He says that "the most important, and indeed the truly unique, contribution of management in the 20th century was the fifty-fold increase in the productivity of the 'manual worker' in manufacturing. The most important contribution management needs to make in the 21st century is similarly to increase the productivity of 'knowledge work' and the 'knowledge worker.' 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."
Thus, he defines six major factors determine knowledge worker productivity as follows:
1. Knowledge worker productivity demands that we ask the question: "What is the task?"
2. It demands that we impose the responsibility for their productivity on the individual knowledge workers themselves.
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By Ken Toler on November 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I've recently purchased some management books at Amazon, and this one is one of the best. Mr. Drucker has precise and plain spoken knowledge he imparts to us about the challenges that management face (motivation, competition, e.g.). His years of experience are easily shared in this book.
Other superb books I recommend that I have recently read are Ponder's "The Leader's Guide: 15 Essential Skills," and any Ken Blanchard or Warren Bennis book.
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Format: Hardcover
First published in Forbes magazine, California Management Review and Harvard Business Review, the six chapters in this book contain nothing that is an excerpt from Peter Drucker's earlier management books. Indeed, this book supplements Drucker's many earlier management books by looking ahead to the future of management thinking and practice.
At 90, Peter Drucker is, by all accounts, the most enduring management thinker of our time. Born in Vienna, educated in Austria and England, he has worked since 1937 in the United States, first as an economist for a group of British banks and insurance companies, and later as a management consultant to several leading companies. Drucker has since had a distinguished career as a teacher, including more than twenty years as Professor of Management at the Graduate Business School of New York University. With a long-term business perspective second to none, Drucker's books span sixty years of modern history beginning with The End of Economic Man (1939) and Managing in a Time of Great Change; Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; The Effective Executive; Managing for Results and The Practice of Management.
This book looks afresh at the future of management thinking and practice and defines new ways of delivering success. It deals exclusively with tomorrow's hot management issues-the crucial, central, life-and-death issues that are certain to be the major challenges of tomorrow. The biggest challenge will be knowledge worker productivity-what is it; how can it work; how do we manage knowledge workers and ourselves?
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