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Managing in Turbulent Times tackles the key issues facing managers in the 1990s: how to manage in rapidly changing environments. This seminal and prophetic book laid the foundation for a generation of writers on change management. This book concerns the immediate future of business, society and the economy. The one certainty about the times ahead, says Drucker, is that they will be turbulent times. In turbulent times the first task of management is to make sure of the organizations capacity for survival, to make sure of its structural strength and soundness, its capacity to survive a blow, to adapt to sudden change and to avail itself of new opportunities. The author is concerned with action rather than understanding, with decisions rather than analysis. It aims at being a practical book for the decision maker, whether in the private or the public sector.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780750617031
ISBN-10: 0750617039
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 13mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 22-Apr-1994
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Reviews

US Kirkus Review » Some directives for business and institutional managers, some global-think for the Executive Board. As of 1980, Drucker sees 25 years of predictable economic growth at an end, and new strategies called for. "Managing in turbulent times must begin with the adjustment of the enterprise's figures to inflation"; financial strength must be put before earnings; the decline of productivities (capital, time, knowledge, physical resources) must be reversed. The costs of staying in business are real costs, Drucker reasonably concludes, regardless of "record profits." Looking ahead (with some retrospective pats on the back), he broadens his scope. "Major technological changes" will allow businesses to be larger or smaller - and, properly, either leaders in a large market or specialists "preempting a small ecological niche" (for the untenability of an in-between position, witness Chrysler). But the great "sea-change" that Drucker anticipates is the result of population dynamics - a prospective labor shortage in the developed world coupled with an incipient labor surplus in the developing world. His answer is universal "production sharing": concentrating labor-intensive stages of production in the developing world. The objections to this trend - which range from the shrinkage of entry-level blue-collar jobs in the U.S. (see Levison, in the 3/1 issue) to the upping of underemployment in developing nations (see Hewlett, below) - have no place in Drucker's business-oriented picture. (He can't, for instance, see that Youngstown, Ohio's, redundant steel-workers have a problem: three years after the closing of their big mill, most of them were working - even if not for as much money, "and a good many part time.") But for his constituency, he's a reliable guide also to other trends - notably, growing economic intergration vis-a-vis growing political fragmentation and the smart business response (world-oriented management, a low profile, little local investment). And anyone puzzled by last year's Nobel prizes in economics will learn that Pittsburgh's Herbert Simon won his for showing that managers try to find minimum acceptable solutions - solutions that neither optimize nor maximize results, but "satisfice." So much, too, for Drucker's latest go at managing the world from a swivel chair: it satisfices. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Peter Ferdinand Drucker

Born in Vienna in 1909, Peter F. Drucker was educated in Austria and England. From 1929 he was a newspaper correspondent abroad and an economist for an international bank in London. Since 1937 he has been 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 of the country's largest companies, as well as leading companies abroad. Drucker has since had a distinguished career as a teacher, first as Professor of Politics and Philosophy at Bennington College, then for more than twenty years as Professor of Management at the Graduate Business School of New York University. Since 1971 he has been Clarke Professor of Social Science at Claremont Graduate School in California. In addition to his management books, Peter Drucker is also renowned for his prophetic books analysing politics, economics and society. These books span fifty years of modern history beginning with The End of Economic Man (1939) and including The Practice of Management; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Managing in the Next Society; Management Challenges in the 21st Century; The Effective Executive and The Essential Drucker.