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Culture

Management guru Drucker dead at 95

Showed keen eye for observing management, business trends, predicting, in '50s, coming importance of computers.

Peter Drucker, one of the world's foremost management theorists, died on Friday morning of natural causes at his home in Claremont, Calif., a Claremont Graduate University representative said. He was 95.

An Austrian-born journalist and intellectual, Drucker is considered the inventor of management as a field of study.

His career spanned nearly 75 years, during which time he authored 39 books, from 1939's "The End of the Economic Man" to his last book, "The Effective Executive in Action." That volume, co-authored with Joseph Maciariello, will be published in early 2006.

Management, he once said, "deals with people, their values, their growth and development, social structure, the community and even with spiritual concerns."

A central component of his philosophy was the view that people were an organization's most valuable resource, a revolutionary idea when he first began proposing it in the 1950s. He foresaw the onset of what he called the "age of the knowledge worker," according to the university.

He also demonstrated a keen eye for observing management and business trends, in the 1950s predicting the coming importance of computers, in the 1960s predicting the competitive advantage of the Far East, and in the 1990s predicting a backlash against high executive paychecks.

"What distinguished Peter Drucker from many other thought leaders in my mind is that he cared not just about how business manages its resources, but also how public and private organizations operate morally and ethically within society," said Cornelis de Kluyver, dean of the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont.

Drucker had been a professor of social sciences and management at Claremont in southern California from 1971 to 2003. He had not actively taught classes since 2003, but remained a consultant to the school until his death.

Drucker is survived by his wife, Doris, their four children, and six grandchildren, the university said.

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