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Journal cover: Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Online from: 1986

Subject Area: Marketing

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Peter Drucker's ontology: understanding business relationships and networks

Document Information:
Title:Peter Drucker's ontology: understanding business relationships and networks
Author(s):Christopher J. Medlin, (Business School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia)
Citation:Christopher J. Medlin, (2012) "Peter Drucker's ontology: understanding business relationships and networks", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 27 Iss: 7, pp.513 - 520
Keywords:Business network, Evolutionary management, Network management, Organizational processes, Organizational structures, Philosophy, Time
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/08858621211257275 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The paper aims to consider the underlying premises of Peter Drucker's managerial writing and focuses on three main aspects: humans and relations, an evolutionary perspective and a pragmatic perspective. These ontological views are taken to a new level and applied to explore the world of networked firms.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper is a conceptual contribution based on a literature study by the author.

Findings – An examination of Drucker's ontology shows how his world perspective led him to an understanding of managers and organisations. The three elements of his ontology discussed are applied to research in business networks.

Research limitations/implications – The paper argues for research on human perspectives of business relationships and networks, particularly of issues such as time, timing, partner integration, relational and network embeddedness, network sensing, network horizons, and network identity.

Practical implications – Drucker's ontological view enabled him to make pronouncements that cut through to the truth of reality in our organisationally shaped world. Understanding Drucker's ontology provides managers with ways to deepen their understanding of an individual's role at every level within an organisation.

Originality/value – The linking of Drucker's ontology to research on new ways to organise and manage networked firms opens areas of future research.

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