The Definitive Drucker: The Final Word from the Father of Modern Management / Edition 1

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“We need a new theory of management. The assumptions built into business today are not accurate.”-Peter Drucker

For sixteen months before his death, Elizabeth Haas Edersheim was given unprecedented access to Peter Drucker, widely regarded as the father of modern management. At Drucker's request, Edersheim, a respected management thinker in her own right, spoke with him about the development of modern business throughout his life-and how it continues to grow and change at an ever-increasing rate.

The Definitive Drucker captures his visionary management concepts, applies them to the key business risks and opportunities of the coming decades, and imparts Drucker's views on current business practices, economic changes, and trends-many of which he first predicted decades ago. It also sheds light onto issues such as why so many leaders fail, the fragility of our economic systems, and the new role of the CEO. Drucker's insights are divided into five main themes that the modern organization needs to, as Drucker would say, “create tomorrow” by

  • Connecting with customers
  • Innovating without abandoning what works
  • Developing lasting partnerships
  • Creating and retaining knowledge workers
  • Establishing disciplined decision making

Drucker's penetrating questions, posed to those seeking his advice, helped business, corporate, and political leaders throughout the 20th century to see their work in a new perspective, and create phenomenal innovation. Edersheim's extensive interviews with some of these luminaries, including Warren Bennis, Ram Charan, Bill Gates, George Gallup, Jr. and A.G. Lafley offer compelling commentary on Drucker's vast influence.

Delivering keen analysis and revealing insights into business, The Definitive Drucker is a celebration of this extraordinary man and his life's work, as well as a unique opportunity to learn from Drucker's final business lessons how to strategize, compete, and triumph in any market.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
For 16 months, Elizabeth Edersheim lived every business manager's dream: She worked directly with management icon Peter Drucker, writing about his lifework and his latest insights. During that period, she also interviewed world-class executives, including Jack Welch, A. G. Lafley, John Bachmann, and Bill Donaldson about Drucker's influence on them. The resultant book, rightly titled The Definitive Drucker, elucidates the master's most influential concepts, explaining how they shape organizational strategies and business trends today. Edersheim draws heavily on interviews with Drucker himself, supplemented by her own commentary and insights from industry moguls about these timeless principles. A surefire business classic from Day One.
The Wall Street Journal
"Illuminating... Ms. Edersheim allows a bright light to shine out, even now, from the mind of Peter Drucker."
The Wall Street Journal

"Illuminating... Ms. Edersheim allows a bright light to shine out, even now, from the mind of Peter Drucker."

Publishers Weekly
In a concise introduction to the philosophy of the 20th century's most distinguished business theoretician, Edersheim explores the insights that have shaped management thinking from the 1940s through the 1990s. Drucker himself chose Edersheim to interview him, based on her previous book (McKinsey's Marvin Bower, about the man who built the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company), but he had in mind a biography of his ideas, not a traditional bio. Edersheim blends brief summaries of Drucker's thinking on various management topics (innovation, customers, leadership, decision making) with examples of how his ideas have been practiced at specific organizations and comments from contemporary business leaders. She doesn't try to trace the development of Drucker's ideas over time; instead, she focuses on the challenges managers face today and tries to cull useful advice for tackling them from Drucker's writings. Those seeking a broad intellectual and social context for Drucker's work might prefer Jack Beatty's 1998 The World According to Peter Drucker, while aspiring managers should turn instead to one of Drucker's own books, whose intellectual rigor and lively prose make them immensely readable to this day. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Often called the father of modern management, Peter F. Drucker (1909-2005) is a name that carries weight in the business world. Strategic consultant Edersheim here applies Drucker's body of work, clarified by extensive interviews with the man himself and many of the top executives whom he influenced (e.g., Jack Welch), to 21st-century business. She takes "Druckerian" questions and quotations and conducts her own analysis, often pulling current examples from her own client base. Despite extensive citations, sorting out the authorial voice can be a bit difficult, particularly when Edersheim uses her interviews with Drucker as validation of her own insights. But her questions are logical, and her conclusions are sound. The end result is a clear and readable update to Drucker's business philosophies. Recommended for most libraries.-Brian Walton, Rolling Meadows Lib., IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071472333
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/14/2006
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,207,341
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Haas Edersheim is a strategic consultant who works both with Fortune 500 companies and private equity investors. Prior to founding her own firm, New York Consulting Partners, Edersheim was one of the first female partners at McKinsey & Company. Her previous book, McKinsey's Marvin Bower, illustrates the business life and ideals of the founder of McKinsey, her mentor, who was also a close friend and peer of Dr. Drucker. Aside from her numerous publications, Dr. Haas Edersheim has provided expert testimony to the U. S. Congress on Industrial Networking and Industrial Manufacturing policy.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2007

    Condensed wisdom from Peter Drucker

    Peter Drucker is called the 'father of modern management' for good reason, according to this accessible volume of his business lessons by management consultant Elizabeth Haas Edersheim. She demonstrates that Drucker's theories were the perfect combination of calculated common sense, and genuine concern for the human side of consumers and employees. His teachings struck the right balance between big-picture dreaming and detail-oriented drudgery. This study strikes a similar balance. Edersheim offers details of Drucker's personal life that make his sweeping rules of management all the more compelling. She deftly applies Drucker's business lessons to today's ever-shifting landscape of globalization and fragmentation. We recommend her book to marketers and managers who want to learn from the best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007


    Although corporate business has never interested me, I cannot put this book down. The writing is captivating.Her clear examples show precisely where businesses soared and faltered because specific questions were addressed or not addressed. I'm haunted by Drucker's questions. Am asking myself some of these questions -specifically, what do the people I serve need and want? This pushes me to look at my personal relationships as well. This book has awakened me and I'm eager to read the next 100 pages. The world was waiting for this book to be written and I'm grateful it jumped off the shelf & found me.

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    Posted March 28, 2010

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    Posted April 28, 2009

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