A Tribute to Peter Drucker


Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Special Issue to preserve Peter Drucker's legacy by creating conversations around his ideas. Deadline 1 Feb 2007

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Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 13:18:20 -0800
From: "Jenny Darroch" <Jenny.Darroch@cgu.edu>



A Tribute to Peter Drucker

Guest Co-Editors:

    * George Day, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
    * Stan Slater, College of Business, Colorado State University
    * Jenny Darroch, The Drucker School of Management, Claremont Graduate University

Peter Drucker passed away on November 11, 2005 at the age of 95. Often described as the greatest management thinker of the 21st century and the first philosopher of management, Drucker coined terms and provided insights that still frame much of our understanding of management and marketing practice today. The Academy of Marketing Science will publish a special issue of the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science as a tribute to Peter Drucker. The primary purpose of the special issue is to preserve Peter Drucker’s legacy by creating conversations around many of his ideas related to marketing. Accordingly, papers will be judged both on the depth of conversation contained within the paper and the ability of the paper to generate future dialogue.

Possible papers may include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  • Marketing or selling? Drucker believed that marketing is merely rhetoric in many organizations and suggested that too many organizations still emphasize selling (which Drucker labeled the antithesis of marketing) (Drucker, 1973).  Done well, marketing should make selling superfluous. Rather than examine what marketing is, a paper in the special issue might examine how many businesses truly embrace marketing. What are the consequences of emphasizing marketing over selling?
  • The primary goal of business is to satisfy customer needs. Drucker (2001) added that businesses should start out by identifying the needs, realities and values of customers. Those products and processes that do not add value should be eliminated. What are the implications of eliminating products and processes that do not add value? What is the impact of emphasizing customer satisfaction as the primary goal of a business?  How does Drucker’s perspective interface with our current understanding of a market orientation?
  • Managers must systematically monitor changes occurring within and external to the business in order to identify innovative opportunities (Drucker, 1985).  What methods do managers use to identify changes?  Alternatively, a new conceptual model could be developed that embraces terms currently used in the marketing literature: (1) creating vs. serving customers; (2) reactively vs. proactively responding to market changes; (3) identifying expressed vs. latent customer needs; and (4) being market driven vs. driving the market.
  • The role of profit in business. If the purpose of a business is to create a customer then what is the role of profit? Drucker considered profit maximization irrelevant to the function and purpose of a business. He went so far as to label profit maximization a meaningless, harmful and misunderstood concept because of the perceived contradiction between the role of profit and the ability of a business to make a social contribution (Drucker, 2001). Therefore, how do managers balance the need for profit maximization, a goal frequently rewarded by the financial markets, and processes that result in innovation and customer creation?  How has profit and profit maximization been treated in the marketing literature? Can businesses pursue dual goals of profit maximization and customer creation? How do processes, capabilities and performance outcomes differ between profit maximizing and customer creating businesses?
  • Marketing and the knowledge economy. Drucker was among the first to recognize the profound impact of advances in communication and information technology on management practice (Drucker 1995); in fact Drucker first talked of the emergence of knowledge work and of the knowledge worker following the passage of the Bill of Rights just after World War II. How has the development of a knowledge economy enabled innovative organization structures and permitted the coordination of extended networks of partners? Have marketing information systems responded by providing metrics upon which to base future actions, rather than simply providing an historical record? Has the development of a knowledge economy accelerated the convergence of previously distinct industries?
  • Opportunity recognition. The theory of the business is built on assumptions about the environment and the core competences of an organization. This, in turn, dictates the strategic choices of markets to serve, how to compete in those markets and what constitutes meaningful results. Drucker (1994) argued that businesses fail when these assumptions are no longer valid. How can marketing keep an organization alert to market changes, and capable of changing itself? What are the early warning signals of threats as well as missed opportunities? What strategic choices are most durable?
  • Consumerism, which has taken on different meanings over time – e.g., the overuse of advertising and selling to create customers, over consumption for happiness and pleasure and the protection of consumer rights. What is consumerism? What impact has consumerism had on society?  How does consumerism fit with “Primum non nocere” (i.e., “Above all, not knowingly to do harm”). According to Drucker (2001), Primum non nocere is the first responsibility of a professional, and the basic rule of professional ethics, as spelt out in the Hippocratic Oath.

Both conceptual and empirical papers will be considered. This Special Issue will contain competitive submissions and a small number of invited papers.  In the spirit of creating conversations around Drucker’s work, invited papers will be followed by two invited commentaries. Papers not selected for the Special Issue may be considered for publication in a regular issue of JAMS. Potential authors are invited to contact Jenny Darroch for further clarification on any aspect of this Special Issue. 

Manuscript submission guidelines for the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (http://www.j-ams.org) must be followed. However, manuscripts are limited to 25 pages double spaced. Please e-mail Jenny Darroch an electronic copy of your manuscript in a Word or PDF file. Manuscripts are due by 1 February 2007. The anticipated publication date of the special issue is 2008.

Jenny Darroch

George Day

Stan Slater


Drucker, Peter. F. (1973). Management Tasks Responsibilities and Practices. London: Butterworth Heinemann.

Drucker, Peter F. (1985). Innovation and Entrepreneurship. NY: Harper Collins.

Drucker, Peter F. (1994). The Theory of the Business. Harvard Business Review, (September-October), 95-104.

Drucker, Peter F. (1994). The Information Executives Truly Need. Harvard Business Review, (January-February), 54-63.

Drucker, Peter. F. (2001). The Essential Drucker. NY: Harper Business.