What Peter Drucker Would Be Reading

Peter Drucker

Recent selections from around the web that, we think, would have caught Peter Drucker’s eye:

1.  Are You Considering a Job with Two Managers?:  Peter Drucker generally considered reporting to multiple managers to be an untenable structure. But, as Priscilla Claman points out at the HBR Blog, having more than one manager is the norm in the world of “matrix management.” What that means is that if you’re a job seeker, be careful to evaluate the relationship between your two bosses and make sure everyone is in alignment. And make sure you like them both. Claman writes: “If you get along great with one manager in the interview, but find the other hard to relate to, that may be a problem that will persist.”

2.  Keynes and Keynesianism: Are we all Keynesians or are we not? Bruce Bartlett takes on this question in the New York Times and suggests that there’s a time to be a John Maynard Keynes acolyte and there’s a time to be other things. Right now, asserts Bartlett, Keynesian stimulus is necessary. “At other times we may need to be monetarists, institutionalists or whatever,” Bartlett recommends. “We should avoid dogmatic attachment to any particular school of economic thought and use proper analysis to figure out the nature of our economic problem at that particular moment and the proper policy to deal with it.”

3.  How Did Progressive Journalists Get Pigford So Wrong?: The Pigford scandal, which involved several billion dollars of fraudulent reparations paid out by the USDA to people who falsely claimed to be victims of discrimination, was a complicated affair that conservatives yelled about and liberals missed—at least until the New York Times reported it. So why did it take people so long to wake up to the problem?  Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic looks at some possible reasons and expresses his hope for a liberal who “takes a hard look at the excesses of Pigford and its successor cases and addresses how, in the future, government policies and agencies can more effectively help the ordinary people who need or deserve it without squandering money enriching people who don’t.”

4.  Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when we asked whether there might be merit in imitating Henry Ford in 1913 and unilaterally offering workers huge pay raises to reduce turnover and boost the economy, reader mitchell benjamin suggested that, on the contrary, many big organizations need to increase turnover, not prevent it:

Management becomes immune to the marketplace when it is the primary reason for the growth of unnecessary personnel. … While an increase in income is important, there is the law of diminishing returns. We reached that years ago in government and in many large corporations. … Lower pay and higher turnover would be almost welcome.