Engineering vs. Financial Engineering

In 1981, Peter Drucker famously asked Jack Welch, who had just been named General Electric’s CEO, a couple of simple questions: “If you weren’t already in this business, would you enter it today? And, if the answer is no, what are you going to do about it?” This led Welch to a key strategy: If […]

Guns and Gadgets

A conflict is erupting over “conflict minerals.” Large retailers such as Best Buy, Costco, Wal-Mart and Target are reportedly seeking to limit a requirement within this year’s Dodd-Frank financial law that may require them to report whether their store-brand products contain conflict minerals from Central Africa. The provision in the law is part of an effort to […]

The Profit Motive

The Commerce Department’s announcement last week that corporate profits hit an all-time high in the third quarter—coming in at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion—would likely have left Peter Drucker wondering one thing: When will all of this dough accrue to the greater good? Drucker was never shy about stressing that businesses need to make money—and […]

Above All, Do No Harm

Peter Drucker always had mixed feelings about corporate whistle-blowing, likening the practice to “informing” and maintaining that its encouragement can break down fundamental bonds between supervisor and employee. “Whistle-blowing,” he asserted, “is ethically quite ambiguous.” Still, there is little doubt that Drucker would have had few qualms about the actions taken by former GlaxoSmithKline quality-assurance […]

New from the Institute: Conflict Minerals and Silicon Valley

The Drucker Institute joins Jewish World Watch and the Enough Project to draw attention to the atrocities plaguing the mining industry in Congo. [Video updated June 2010.]