Published on:

What does this blog author mean by “management?”

Not a seven-syllable word, “law department management” is two-thirds clear, but perplexing with that term “management.” Peter Drucker, according to Nan Stone in the American Scholar, Spring 2006 at127, saw management as “the application of thought to work.” That covers about everything law department managers should do.

Management’s purpose is productivity: “to enable people to accomplish things together that they could not achieve on their own.” Drucker viewed management’s primary responsibility to be to “identify the results and set the performance standards that will constitute success.”

We glibly think of “leaders” as setting goals, and “managers” as overseeing the achievement of those goals. Drucker does not make that distinction. Another difference to him is that management requires innovation as much as systematic abandonment of outdated practices (id. at 128).