Richard Szuman

Richard Szuman

Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker has discussed this matter in the context of ethics. He points out that nobody can continue indefinitely in a pattern of behaviour which he cannot ultimately justify to himself. "Justification, however, almost inevitably implies some larger reference outside the immediate welfare of the individual concerned: this larger reference is 'ethics' "

He goes on to say that cybernetic theory demands that the manager have some idea of "good performance" against which he can measure his "actual performance." "What is regarded as a good performance, however, depends on the whole impact of social communications on the formation of the role. What Drucker calls social communications we have referred to as the stimuli from spontaneous field control. The problem of defining the ideal role of the manager is a difficult one,

Drucker points out. There are two reasons for this. First, as we have seen, the stimuli which constitute spontaneous field control are nebulous and hard to organize into a coherent picture of reality. Second, because society is never stationary, the manager role is always in the process of being altered.

The question of why a manager chooses to be socially responsible, which was discussed earlier in connection with Johnson's interpretation of social responsibility as utility maximization, can also be raised here. If the manager is socially responsible in order to avoid deprivations and win rewards, this indeed is a form of utility maximization. But this is a short-run view. In the long run each of us is socialized to want what we get. "We start by finding a wall between us and our desires; we end by bringing our desires to our own side of the wall. We start by trying to get what we want; we end by wanting what we get. We are controlled at first by external constraints, such as the fear of punishment, and we end controlled by conscience well within the walls of our prison.

This suggests that managers are socially responsible because they want to be, quite apart from any monetary or other tangible rewards that are involved. Over the long run, society "manufactures" the kinds of people needed to fill important statuses. The roundabout method of control induces changes in the personalities of those occupying the status of manager; the managers react to the stimuli of spontaneous field control with the desired responses.


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