21st Century Management Challenge

Peter Drucker

“The single greatest challenge facing managers in the developed countries of the world is to raise the productivity of knowledge and service workers. This challenge, which will dominate the management agenda for the next several decades, will ultimately determine the competitive performance of companies. Even more important, it will determine the very fabric of society and the quality of life in every industrialized nation.”

“The most important, and indeed the truly unique, contribution of management in the 20th century was the fifty-fold increase in the productivity of the manual worker in manufacturing. The most important contribution management needs to make in the 21st century is similarly to increase the productivity of knowledge work and knowledge workers.

The most valuable assets of a 20th-century company was its production equipment. The most valuable asset of a 21st-century institution (whether business or nonbusiness) will be its knowledge workers and their productivity.

Peter F. Drucker