He asked questions that today seem fundamental to modern business practice, yet had never been asked before. Questions like What business are we in, and who are our customers forced businesses to think about issues that had never been formalised till then. Yet precisely because he asked such basic questions and had the ability of providing simple answers, he was not rated very high in academic circles. The reason according to Tom Peters, was that Drucker effectively by-passed the intellectual establishment. So its not surprising they hated his guts.
Druckers biggest asset was his ability to think ahead. He predicted the rise of the knowledge worker at a time when the knowledge society as we know it today was nowhere on the horizon. Best of all, he realised the need for better management extended to private enterprise and beyond to the public sector and to politics as well. His prescience in recognising the new pluralism in society that we dont understand is remarkable. As is his advice that we have to make work.