Practical wisdom is central to the tremendous success of Peter
Drucker as a management thinker. The paper aims to argue that the
attractiveness of his writings is mainly due to the underlying
Christian value system, which is the basis for the coherence of his
thinking, and the reference system for his normative statements and
The paper discerns the moral foundations of Peter Drucker's work by highlighting explicit value statements in his early writings, some even before he turned to management. Against this background, examples are provided of how he translates his values in practical wisdom into dealing with management challenges.
A major driving force of Drucker's entire work is seen as the secularization of his religious beliefs. His practical suggestions for modern corporations are deeply influenced by Christian faith. Up to now this has been largely unknown or ignored.
The paper rests on limited text analysis which should be extended in future research. If Drucker's success may be at least partially attributed to his moral tone, any effort to redeem management and to anchor it as a liberal art can deploy his work.
Dissecting the moral background of the most influential management thinker in the last century the paper reveals that Drucker's practical wisdom is the result of a deep connection between Christian values and knowledge. It clearly points to an integrated research perspective, and above all it calls for a rigorous inquiry into moral assumptions underlying any writing on management.
Christianity, Management activities, Social values
|kind of paper||journal article|
|date of appearance||18-8-2010|
|journal||Journal of Management Development|
|publisher||Emerald (Bradford UK)|
|volume of journal||29|
|number of issue||7/8|
|citation||Meynhardt, T. (2010). The practical wisdom of Peter Drucker: roots in the Christian tradition. Journal of Management Development, 29(7/8), 616-625, DOI:10.1108/02621711011059040.|