A leading Oswestry academic has received international acclaim for his latest work, which has lessons for businesses amid the global recession caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Professor Peter Starbuck’s 52-page study – The Concept of Leadership – is aimed at executives and managers and has found a global readership, going down particularly well in China.
His thesis draws from the writings of Peter F Drucker (1909-2005), the Austrian-born American management consultant and author, whose writings contributed to the foundations of the modern business corporation.
Oswestry-based Dr Starbuck is an acknowledged authority on Drucker, whose educational works are widely studied in business, particularly in the Far East.
Now, The Concept of Leadership, written during lockdown, has received the major recognition of being published by The Drucker Society Europe.
“I’m delighted to be published by such an august body,” said 84-year-old Peter, a founding professor at University Centre Shrewsbury.
“I am pleased to have any opportunity to promote the writings of Peter Drucker, which have so much to tell us today as the world faces an economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 Pandemic.”
He has read all of Drucker’s books and papers and his extensive research into the man has resulted in six books of his own.
“What I discovered in all organisations – public, private and voluntary sector – was that if they applied Drucker’s ideas, they succeed while in contrast if they did not, then, at the very least, they struggled or, at worst, failed.”
Concept of Leadership deals with issues such as managing all corporations and being an effective executive.
Dr Starbuck is, himself, a successful businessman, having built up the Shropshire-based construction training and house-building business WSJ. Launched in the 1960s, WSJ undertook a wide range of construction projects, including schools, hospitals and 5,000 homes, for which it received national awards. As its social contribution, the company trained managers and 1,000 apprentices who then found employment, as part of the Government’s Manpower Service Commission Scheme.
After WSJ was sold to a public property company, Peter was able to widen his business and charitable interests as well as travel extensively with his wife Heather as they developed their knowledge of the natural world and environment.
He has been an adviser to 10 Downing Street on Affordable Homes, was Director of Wrekin Housing Trust and held executive appointments with North Shropshire College, Shropshire Area Health Authority and the Commissioner of Taxes amongst several public roles. In March 2014, he was appointed as Visiting Professor to the University of Chester, where he is also an Advisory Board Member of the Business Research Institute and the China Centre.
His 750-book Drucker-related research library is housed within University Centre Shrewsbury and there are plans to incorporate Dr Starbuck’s work into the syllabi.
In 2015, Peter became only the third honorary member of the Global Drucker Forum, held every autumn in Drucker’s birthplace of Vienna.
He joined American, Professor Joseph Maciarello, who worked with Drucker for 26 years at Claremont, California, and world-renowned Irish management philosopher Charles Handy CBE. Handy described Peter Starbuck’s work on Drucker as “indefatigable”.
Professor Peter Starbuck