MANAGING IN THE NEXT SOCIETY

Peter F. Drucker, Author . St. Martin's/Truman Talley $24.95 (320p) ISBN 0-312-28977-4

The great joy in this collection stems from Drucker's status as a long-term observer of business and management. The chapters are not arranged chronologically (Drucker wrote chapter one, "Beyond the Information Revolution," in 1999; chapter two is a 2001 interview from Red Herring; and chapter three, "From Computer Literacy to Information Literacy," was written in 1998). This format is somewhat confusing as events are referred to out of order, but does not detract from the entertainment of reading the organizational management guru's prophecies. He writes, "I did once believe in a New Economy. The year was 1929 and I was a trainee in the European headquarters of a major Wall Street firm." It isn't a surprise, then, that Drucker knew all along that the dot-com bubble would burst, that he realized stock options aren't an effective way to hold onto employees and that he remains an unabashed advocate of capitalism. "I am for the free market. Even though it doesn't work too well, nothing else works at all." It's surprising to learn what Drucker worries about: what the declining number of young workers in emerging countries means to the future health of corporations, and what the long-term effects are of the decline in manufacturing as a job provider. These social changes "may be more important for the success or failure of an organization and its executives than economic events." If Drucker is worrying about these things, senior managers should be, too. What his book lacks in presentation, it makes up for in content. (July 17)

Forecast:St. Martin's is touting this as Drucker's last book; his devoted audience will buy it, but as a compilation, its sales probably won't soar.

Reviewed on: 04/29/2002
Release date: 07/01/2002
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