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Home > Books & Journals > Book Review Last Updated: 14:22 03/09/2007
Book Review #49: February 6, 2003

"Managing in the Next Society" by Peter F. Drucker

Reviewed by Hiroko Kawai

Title: Managing in the Next Society
Author: Peter F. Drucker
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Date/Time: 2002
Pages: English text 321 pages (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0-312-28977-4


"Managing the Next Society" is an enlightening and thought-provoking management book. In this compilation of essays culled from published magazine articles and interviews during the period of 1996 to 2002, Drucker has anticipated expertly our ever-changing business society and ever-expanding management roles. As all chapters were written three years earlier, readers can judge whether Drucker's forecasts have come true.

So what should executives and leaders understand currently? It is as Drucker emphasizes, not the "New Economy" but the reality of the "Next Society" which has been shaped by three major trends Drucker identifies: the decline of the young population, the decline of manufacturing, and the transformation of the workforce (together with the social impact of the Information Revolution).

Drucker also asserts that e-commerce and e-learning are to the Information Revolution what the railroad was to the Industrial Revolution, and thus an information society is developing.

At the end of this book Drucker attaches importance to the social sector (i.e., non-governmental and non-profit organizations), because NPOs can create what we now need: communities for citizens and especially for highly-educated knowledge workers who increasingly dominate developed societies.

The following is the list of contents:


1. Beyond the Information Revolution
2. The Exploding World of the Internet
3. From Computer Literacy to Information Literacy
4. E-Commerce: The Central Challenge
5. The New Economy Isn't Here Yet
6. The CEO in the New Millennium

7. Entrepreneurs and Innovation
8. They're Not Employees, They're People
9. Financial Service: Innovate or Die
10. Moving Beyond Capitalism?

11. The Rise of the Great Institutions
12. The Global Economy and the Nation-State
13. It's the Society, Stupid
14. On Civilizing the City

15. The Next Society

  • The New Demographics
  • The New Workforce
  • The Manufacturing Paradox
  • Will the Corporation Survive?
  • The Future of Top Management
  • The Way Ahead



Any reader will emerge from this collection feeling stimulated as it is a rich and intriguing read. If you are in a hurry to find out what is in store, you might visit the last chapter directly. I recommend this book to all readers responsible for shaping the future of their organizations.

About the Author
Peter F. Drucker is a writer, teacher, and consultant specializing in strategy and policy for businesses and social sector organizations in all for-profit and non-profit guises. The author's thirty-one books have been translated into more than twenty languages world-wide. Drucker has been Clarke Professor of Social Sciences at Claremont Graduate University since 1971, as well as an editorial columnist for the Wall Street Journal and a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review and other periodicals. Earlier Drucker was an economist for an international bank in London, and taught at Bennington College and at the Graduate Business School of New York University. He also is Honorary Chairman of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management.

Leader to Leader Institute website where the list of articles by Drucker is available is at:

The publisher's website is at:
The Japanese translation of this book "Nekusuto-sosaetei" is published by Diamond, May, 2002.

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