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Fast Track recording for Peter F. Drucker’s book, The New Realities. Bill Corsair introduces Peter F. Drucker and provides information on the book before discussing its premise. Corsair then welcomes the narrator, who proceeds to summarize Drucker’s book. The narrator begins by discussing the most important of the new realities--the evolution of the knowledge worker and shift to organization emphasis on the knowledge worker, which represents a sharp break with the past. Despite capitalism and business thriving in the post-World War II world, it is the knowledge worker who now has the power in corporate society. Knowledge workers are specialists, and operate in fields that can be quite narrow. However, they often know more than the boss, and are more like colleagues than subordinates in most organizations. Workers with transferable skills now know, in the modern era, that they are not dependent on one employer to sustain themselves. What matters most to knowledge workers is that the companies’ equipment is state-of-the-art, and the work assignment is challenging. Business values appear to interfere with the performance of knowledge workers. As knowledge becomes the premier wealth-producing resource, the demands for educational performance grow. The surge in education has also triggered a surge in entrepreneurship, which will increasingly result in technological and social innovations. The rise of the information-based organization is a result of the increase in knowledge workers. Information is raw data endowed with relevance and purpose, and converting such data into information requires knowledge. The switch to information-based production marks the end of the union era of corporate and social advancement, as advancement now requires knowledge. The abundance of knowledge work requires that non-knowledge jobs become as productive and self-respecting as possible. Through advancements in technology, the capital investment decision is now a business decision based on the probability of alternative strategic assumptions. In the area of research, a synchronization of activities is taking place, and information-based companies are increasingly requiring an emphasis on individual responsibility. The information-based company requires common objectives that can be translated by each individual worker into specific actions. The requirement is for executives and professionals to think through what information for them is, and what it is not. Another requirement is for organizations to be genuinely committed to the information-based concept. The management problems that will likely arise include the development of rewards and career opportunities for specialists; the establishment of a unified vision in a company filled with specialists; and the means to ensure a good supply in top management, which will require a decentralization of organizations into autonomous units. Management, as it is known today, could not exist without the knowledge base. Corsair then reappears following the narrator’s summary, and begins interviewing Drucker on questions concerning how to manage the knowledge worker, innovation and organized abandonment, and, specifically, social vs. material innovation.
Drucker, Peter F. (Peter Ferdinand), 1909-2005 New York University New York University. Graduate School of Business Administration Knowledge workers Capitalism Business Postwar economic studies Postwar world Organizations Education Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurs Innovation Information organization Labor unions Executives Management by objectives Management by objectives - Programmed instruction Management science Management - Employee participation Information Information literacy Decentralization in management Material innovation Corsair, Bill Top-level management Social innovation
Original recording, April 1989; Drucker Archives; Box 68