The Ecological Vision

Overview

Periods of great social change reveal a tension between the need for continuity and the need for innovation. The twentieth century has witnessed both radical alteration and tenacious durability in social organization, politics, economics, and art. To comprehend these changes as history and as guideposts to the future, Peter F. Drucker has, over a lifetime, pursued a discipline that he terms social ecology. The writings brought together in The Ecological Vision define the discipline as a sustained inquiry into the...

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Overview

Periods of great social change reveal a tension between the need for continuity and the need for innovation. The twentieth century has witnessed both radical alteration and tenacious durability in social organization, politics, economics, and art. To comprehend these changes as history and as guideposts to the future, Peter F. Drucker has, over a lifetime, pursued a discipline that he terms social ecology. The writings brought together in The Ecological Vision define the discipline as a sustained inquiry into the man-made environment and an active effort at maintaining equilibrium between change and conservation.

The chapters in this volume range over a wide array of disciplines and subject matter. They are linked by a common concern with the interaction of the individual and society, and a common perspective that views economics, technology, politics, and art as dimensions of social experience and expressions of social value. Included here are profiles of such figures as Henry Ford, John C. Calhoun, Soren Kierkegaard, and Thomas Watson; analyses of the economics of Keynes and Schumpeter;and explorations of the social functions of business, management, information, and technology. Drucker's chapters on Japan examine the dynamics of cultural and economic change and afford striking comparisons with similar processes in the West.

In the concluding chapter, "Reflections of a Social Ecologist," Drucker traces the development of his discipline through such intellectual antecedents as Alexis de Tocqueville, Walter Bagehot, and Wilhelm von Humboldt. He illustrates the ecological vision, an active, practical, and moral approach to social questions. Peter Drucker summarizes a lifetime of work and exemplifies the communicative clarity that are requisites of all intellectual enterprises. His book will be of interest to economists, business people, foreign affairs specialists, and intellectual historians.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The thirty pieces (all previously published) range over many topics (with truly admirable coherence), are well-written (beautifully concise), very provocative (usually iconoclastic) and deeply (albeit randomly) seasoned with doses of sharp realism.” —Colin A.M. Duncan, Labour/Le Travail “This book is a reflection of Drucker’s synopic view of American society and social change—the tension between the need for continuity and the need for innovation. The author considers the study of this phenomenon “social ecology,” and hence, the book’s title. Drucker ranges across both subject matter and academic disciplines. . . . Drucker views economics, technology, politics, and art as dimensions of social experience and expressions of social value. Whether the reader fully accepts Drucker’s analysis or not, this inclusive perspective is valuable and unique. This collection of his essays and his reflection on them does illuminate the streams of thought that have contributed to Drucker’s influential work over nearly sixty years. All persons interested in public and business affairs, American society, leadership, and organizations will find this book both informative and stimulating.” —Richard L. Chapman, Perspectives "[T]he book is broad and clear enough to appeal to a wide audience of readers. There are some chapters which would serve admirably as readings for introductory courses in economics, politics, philosophy or business management." Enviromental Politics
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765807250
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/1/2000
  • Pages: 476
  • Sales rank: 1,455,320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter F. Drucker (1909-2005) is known by many as the father of modern management. He was Clarke Professor of Social Science and Management at Claremont Graduate School in California and was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is the author of over thirty-five books, including The Ecological Vision, The Concept of the Corporation, and A Functioning Society.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Pt. 1 American Experiences
Introduction to Part One 3
1 The American Genius Is Political 5
2 Calhoun's Pluralism 15
3 Henry Ford: The Last Populist 33
4 IBM's Watson: Vision for Tomorrow 47
5 The Myth of American Uniformity 59
Pt. 2 Economics as a Social Dimension
Introduction to Part Two 75
6 The Economic Basis of American Politics 79
7 The Poverty of Economic Theory 95
8 The Delusion of Profits 101
9 Schumpeter and Keynes 107
10 Keynes: Economics as a Magical System 119
Pt. 3 The Social Function of Management
Introduction to Part Three 135
11 Management's Role 137
12 Management: The Problems of Success 153
13 Social Innovation: Management's New Dimension 177
Pt. 4 Business as a Social Institution
Introduction to Part Four 193
14 Can There Be "Business Ethics"? 195
15 The New Productivity Challenge 215
16 The Emerging Theory of Manufacturing 233
17 The Hostile Takeover and Its Discontents 249
Pt. 5 Work, Tools, and Society
Introduction to Part Five 275
18 Work and Tools 277
19 Technology, Science, and Culture 287
20 India and Appropriate Technology 299
21 The First Technological Revolution and Its Lessions 305
Pt. 6 The Information-Based Society
Introduction to Part Six 317
22 Information, Communications, and Understanding 319
23 Information and the Future of the City 339
24 The Information-Based Organization 345
Pt. 7 Japan as Society and Civilization
Introduction to Part Seven 361
25 A View of Japan through Japanese Art 363
26 Japan: The Problems of Success 381
27 Behind Japan's Success 397
28 Misinterpreting Japan and the Japanese 411
29 How Westernized Are the Japanese? 417
Pt. 8 Why Society Is Not Enough
Introduction to Part Eight 425
30 The Unfashionable Kierkegaard 427
Afterword: Reflections of a Social Ecologist 441
Index 459
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