Management is sometimes seen as a tool or resource in which organizations use to stay intact and has been viewed that way for decades. Management consultant Peter Drucker began to write on how management is not a tool for organizations and leaders; but a force and an entire ecosystem that organizations fit and thrive in.
Drucker wrote on the practice of management as well as the thought process behind effective management to change the mis-conception that management was just a “resource”. Joseph Maciarello and Karen Linkletter’s book Drucker’s Lost Art of Management goes over in great detail the philosophy of management and the liberal arts related to Drucker’s work and how management can be seen as a liberal art.
The book begins with a present day view of the world affairs in the post-2008 recessionary period that engulfed the United States and the world. Government, businesses and executives in the financial markets strayed the course of ethical behavior which resulted in the crash of the economy as organizations began to falter. The need for personal gain outweighed the need for social responsibility for society and the environment. Many lost their jobs, homes and their entire lives were reset back to zero, with business and management being looked at with a narrow lens as part of the cause.
The beginning chapters of the book relate to this harsh period and the radical change needed in order for it to never happen again. Chapters such as Management as Liberal Arts Traditions, Contributions of Management as a Liberal Art and Human Dimension and Management as a Liberal Art review Peter Drucker’s sources of knowledge and ideal growing up and actionable pieces on how organizations can ensure their success as well as general well-being moving forward in the future. In conclusion, the social ecology of Drucker’s work summarizes the needs for change for a prosperous future.
There are concrete links throughout the book between academics studying management and executives implementing management. Nods to the past and case studies such as “Abraham Lincoln: A Case Study in Leadership” link Drucker’s leadership philosophies to historical figures. Every chapter in the book has connecting points to academics, philosophers, researches, priests of the past and present and how their ideas linked to how Drucker thought of organizational management and how all the pieces fit together. Nothing is off the table as religion, current events, country leaders and strong executives are reviewed in great detail and outline the direct or indirect contribution they had to Drucker’s work.
The impact that Drucker’s Lost Art of Management provides is ways to close the gap between the “ivory tower” of academics and the “real world” of executives and managers practicing management. There is no and/or situation and divide between the thoughts and application of management, but an un-tapped harmony that can viewed as a liberal art. In order to ensure our society moves forward in a positive and ethical way, future generations of management contributors and leaders need to see management as an aura and liberal art and the constant impact it has on society and themselves in the future.