IELTS READING S55AT2
Father of modern management
A. It’s been said that Peter Drucker invented the discipline of management Before he wrote his first book on the topic, he knew of only two companies in the world with management development programs. Ten years after the book’s publication, 3,000 companies were teaching the subject. Q14 Widely considered as the father of “modem management,” he wrote 39 books and countless scholarly and popular articles exploring how humans are organized in all sectors of society—business, government and the nonprofit world. His writings have predicted many of the major developments of the late twentieth century, including privatization and decentralization; the rise of Japan to a world economic power; the decisive importance of marketing; and the emergence of the information society with its necessity of lifelong learning.
B. Q15 Drucker has said that writing is die foundation of everything he does. In 1937, he published his first book, which was written in Europe. The End of Economic Man: A Study of the New Totalitarianism examined the spiritual and social origins of fascism. In 1940, before the United States entered World War n, he wrote The Future of Industrial Man, in which he presented his social vision for the postwar world. In 1943, General Motors asked Drucker to study its management practices. Drucker accepted and spent 18 months researching and writing the 1945 book. Concept of the Corporation.
C. The concepts Drucker introduced in the 1940s and 1950s have endured. In 1954, Drucker wrote his first book that taught people how to manage. Tided The Practice of Management, Q16 it introduced the concept of “management by objectives”. Management by objectives require managers to establish goals for theft subordinates and devise means of measuring results. Workers are then left alone to perform as they will and measure theft performance. Drucker wrote, “It is not possible to be effective unless one first decides what one wants to accomplish. He went on to explain that every worker must be given the tools “to appraise himself, rather than be appraised and controlled from the outside. Q24 Management by objectives has become an accepted business concept and is probably Drucker’s most important contribution. Drucker issued challenges to junior, middle, and senior management: ‘Q21 The very term “middle management” is becoming meaningless [as some] will have to learn how to work with people over whom they have no direct line control, to work transnationally, and to create, maintain, and run systems-none of which are traditionally middle management tasks. “It is top management that faces the challenge of setting directions for the enterprise, of managing the fundamentals.
D. Drucker interviewed executives and workers, visited plants, and attended board meetings. While the book focused on General Motors, Drucker went on to discuss the industrial corporation as a social institution and economic policy in the postwar era. He introduced previously unknown concepts such as cooperation between labor and management, decentralization of management, and viewing workers as resources rather than costs. Q25 Drucker saw people as a resource, and considered that they would be more able to satisfy customers if they had more involvement in then jobs and gained some satisfaction from doing them. Drucker claimed that an industrial society allows people to realize their dreams of personal achievement and equal opportunity-the need to manage business by balancing a variety of needs and goals, rather than subordinating an institution to a single value. This concept of management by objectives forms the keynote of his 1954 landmark The Practice of Management. He referred to decentralization as ‘a system of local self government, in which central management tells division managers what to do, but not how to do it. The young executives are given the freedom to make decisions — and mistakes — and learn from the experience. Top leaders at General Motors disliked the book and discouraged their executives from reading it. Many other American executives criticized Concept for its challenge to management authority.
E. Q18 Drucker wasn’t immune to criticism. The Wall Street Journal researched several of his lectures in 1987 and reported that he was sometimes loose with facts. Q27 Drucker was off the mark, for example, when he told an audience that English was the official language for all employees at Japan’s Mitsui trading company. And he was known for his prescience. Given the recent involvement of the US government with financial companies, he was probably correct in his forecast when he anticipated, for instance, that the nation’s financial center would shift from New York to Washington, others maintain that one of Drucker’s core concepts—”management by objectives”—is flawed and has never really been proven to work effectively. Specifically, critics say that the system is difficult to implement, and that companies often wind up overemphasizing control, as opposed to fostering creativity, to meet their goals. Drucker didn’t shy away from controversy, either.
F. Q26 Throughout his career, Drucker expanded his position that management was “a liberal art ” and he infused his management advice with interdisciplinary lessons including history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, culture and religion. Q19 He also strongly believed that all institutions, including those in the private sector, had a responsibility for the whole society. “The fact is,” Drucker wrote in 1973, “that in modem society there is no other leadership group but managers. If the managers of our major institutions, especially in business, do not take responsibility for the common good, no one else can or will.” In his books, lectures and interviews, the emergence of knowledge workers is only one of the demographic changes Drucker warns businesses to prepare for. Others include a decreasing birth rate in developed countries, a shift in population from rural to urban centers, shifts in distribution of disposable income and global competitiveness. Q22 Drucker believes these changes will have a tremendous impact on business. Drucker held a profound skepticism of macroeconomic theory and contended that economists of all schools fail to explain significant aspects of modem economies. Business “gums” have come and gone during the last 50 years, but Drucker’s message continues to inspire managers. During the 1990s, Drucker wrote about social, political and economic changes of the” post capitalist” era, which he says are as profound as those of the industrial revolution. In Managing for the Future: The 1990s and Beyond (1992), Drucker discussed the emergence of the “knowledge worker” — whose resources include specialized learning or competency rather than land, labor or other forms of capital.