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In Search of the Drucker Legacy

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In Search of the Drucker Legacy
Lawrence A. Crosby

AMA Marketing News

There was a point in my career when, as an international marketing consultant, I had the opportunity to travel extensively around the world. Now as a business school dean, I’m a bit more U.S.-bound. Yet as I write this column, I find myself on the road again to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Beijing. It’s fascinating to once more observe the marketing environment and mindset in these three vibrant urban centers.

Unlike in North America, with its management fads and flavor of the month, Asian managers and executives reveal a preference for time-tested truths, and a reverence for management gurus, such as the late Peter Drucker. (They also read books and not just news feeds.) From Tokyo to Hong Kong to Beijing, executives recite Drucker’s admonition that the “purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” They ask themselves Drucker’s fundamental questions: Who is our customer? What does the customer value?

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