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Management article
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Reference no. CMR143
Authors: Peter F Drucker
Published by: University of California, Berkeley
Published in: "California Management Review", 1999

Abstract

The most important contribution of management in the 20th century was to increase manual-worker productivity fifty-fold. The most important contribution of management in the 21st century will be to increase knowledge-worker productivity - hopefully by the same percentage. So far it is abysmally low and in many areas (hospital nurses, for instance, or design engineers in the automobile industry) actually lower than it was 70 years ago. So far, almost no one has addressed it. Yet we know how to increase - and rapidly - the productivity of knowledge workers. The methods, however, are totally different from those that increased the productivity of manual workers.

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Abstract

The most important contribution of management in the 20th century was to increase manual-worker productivity fifty-fold. The most important contribution of management in the 21st century will be to increase knowledge-worker productivity - hopefully by the same percentage. So far it is abysmally low and in many areas (hospital nurses, for instance, or design engineers in the automobile industry) actually lower than it was 70 years ago. So far, almost no one has addressed it. Yet we know how to increase - and rapidly - the productivity of knowledge workers. The methods, however, are totally different from those that increased the productivity of manual workers.

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