The Practice of Management

By Peter F. Drucker | Go to book overview

PREFACE

We have available today the knowledge and experience needed for the successful practice of management. But there is probably no field of human endeavor where the always tremendous gap between the knowledge and performance of the leaders and the knowledge and performance of the average is wider or more intractable. This book does not exclude from its aims the advancement of the frontier of knowledge; it hopes, indeed, to make some contribution to it. But its first aim is to narrow the gap between what can be done and what is being done, between the leaders in management and the average.

Though not concerned with techniques this is a practical book. It is written out of many years of experience in working with managements--managements of small companies as well as managements of large and very large companies. And it aims at being a guide for men in major management positions, enabling them to examine their own work and performance, to diagnose their weaknesses and to improve their own effectiveness as well as the results of the enterprise they are responsible for. For younger men in management-- and for men who plan to make management their career--this book should provide both a vision of what management is and concrete guidance in the knowledge, performance and discipline that are needed to qualify for a major management position.

But this book is written fully as much for the citizen without direct management experience. He, perhaps more than anyone else, needs to know what management is, what it does and what he can rightfully expect from it. For the ignorance of the function of management, of its work, of its standards and of its responsibilities is one of the most serious weaknesses of an industrial society--and it is almost universal.

-vii-

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