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The Practical Drucker by William A. Cohen

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CHAPTER  |  THIRTY-FOUR

There Are Only Two Organizational Functions

It's been sixty years since Drucker first wrote, “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.”1

Was he being overly simplistic? Was he mistaken? Was he denying the wisdom of pundits who for years had been saying that a business exists to make a profit, that its duty or responsibility was to its stockholders, customers, employees, and/or society? Or, was he just trying to make a point? Moreover, what has this got to do with you if you are a professional or first-line supervisor in an organization?

In much of what ...

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