The Future of Knowledge Workers


It was in 1959 when Peter F. Drucker, the “man who invented management”, coined the term “knowledge worker” in his groundbreaking publication Landmarks of Tomorrow. OEB is delighted to be a partner of the Peter Drucker Society of Austria and proud to announce that on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Drucker’s birth, a high-class international panel made up of the world’s leading management thinkers, practitioners and executives will convene in Vienna to review Drucker’s ideas. Several OEB stakeholders, such as the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and Emerald Group Publishing Limited, will help this landmark event to become a catalyst for innovative approaches to learning, training and management ethics.


Peter Ferdinand Drucker (* 19 Nov 1909, † 11 Nov 2005) is known as the father of modern management. Born in Vienna, Austria, he moved to the United States in 1937. Drucker taught at New York University as Professor of Management from 1950 to 1971 and from 1971 to 2002 at Claremont University. The university’s School of Management was named after him in 1987. A prolific writer, business consultant and lecturer, he introduced many management concepts that have been embraced by corporations around the world. He published around 30 books, and from 1975 to 1995 he was an editorial columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He consulted for businesses and non-profit organisations. Drucker was awarded the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.


“Productive work in today’s society and economy is work that applies vision, knowledge and concepts,” Peter F. Drucker said, indicating that effective knowledge management is the main challenge for today’s economy. A strong advocate and role model for lifelong learning, self-development and workforce enhancement, Drucker has inspired leaders and scholars all around the world. “How can leaders make learning matter?” can be seen as a question explored by Drucker throughout his life. It was him who wrote about the contribution of knowledge workers long before anyone knew or understood how knowledge would trump raw material and manual work as the capital of our modern economy. Even today, his foresight about creating effective learning environments in corporations sounds fresh – and, of course, is highly applicable applicable to the e-learning community.


On November 19th, 2009, it will be 100 years since this sharp-witted man with in-depth knowledge of history and philosophy was born in Vienna. On this occasion, a conference organised by the Peter Drucker Society of Austria, in partnership with the EFMD and other institutions, will bring leading management experts together in Vienna, not only to remember the famous thinker but also to consider his ideas in a new light and to learn from his perspectives on management and society.


Speakers from all corners of the world will pay tribute to Peter Drucker, among them Prof C.K. Prahalad, Prof Charles Handy,Prof Fredmund Malik and Prof Philip Kotler. Doris Drucker, entrepreneur, inventor and widow of Peter Drucker, will be the guest of honour. The programme of the 1st Global Peter Drucker Forum will include key themes such as:

  • Management as a vital component of society
  • Knowledge work and knowledge worker productivity
  • Learning from the non-profit world
  • Senior Executive dialogue on today’s malaise in management
  • Corporate Social Responsibility in light of Peter Drucker’s work


The entire preliminary programme for the event is now online:


International executives and managers from the business and non-profit sector, as well as scholars and lecturers from business schools and business consultants, are invited to join this group of experts and actively to contribute to the panels, discussion forums and workshops.


The conference, which will take from November 19th – 20th, 2009 in Vienna, Haus der Industriellenvereinigung Österreichs, Schwarzenbergplatz 4, 1031Vienna, Austria is jointly organised by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), the Industriellenvereinigung Österreich (IV), Emerald Group Publishing Limited and the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien.


For registration see:


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