Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another Economist a Management Guru: E.F. Schumacher

This week the Economist has a new feature on E.F. Schumacher, another of the magazine's management gurus. And like Herbert Simon, featured a week ago, Schumacher is also an economist.

Schumacher is best known for one book. Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered was first published in 1973, and made a passionate case for allowing individuals to express their entrepreneurial spirits and creative ideas, regardless of whether they are "entrepreneurs" who have started their own businesses, etc. Schumacher believed any organization -- big or small -- could benefit by giving its people the opportunity to be creative in an environment designed to encourage and reward their creativity. For Schumacher, every firm--even the biggest ones--can benefit from seeing themselves as collections of smaller entities, all functioning together for the benefit of the whole.

Schumacher is yet another economist profiled in the new The Economist Guide to Management Ideas and Gurus by Tim Hindle. The book profiles more than 50 of the leading thinkers in management science. Besides economists, the book also covers some household names in the field like Peter Drucker and Michael Porter. It includes over 100 pathbreaking ideas.

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