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HR's impact on the Drucker Top Managed Company Rankings

Peter Drucker once said, “What’s measured improves.”

The Drucker Institute, part of the Claremont Graduate University in California, recently published a ranking of the top managed 250 publicly traded companies. It is interesting to read about what companies are on the list and perhaps what industries have disproportionate representation. Apple occupies the top spot and there are seven technology firms in the top ten!

Let’s go deeper than who is on the list by examining the underlying measurements that generated the rankings. What are today’s disciples of Peter Drucker measuring about organizations that they believe make a company successful? And, which of these aspects of an organization are most influenced by HR?

Five broad areas were considered – Customer Satisfaction, Employee Engagement and Development, Innovation, Social Responsibility, and Financial Strength. Peter Drucker spoke about each of these areas as vital to an organization’s success.

Drucker noted that satisfying “the customer is the mission and purpose of every business.”

With respect to a firm’s employees, Drucker said an enterprise “must be able to satisfy their desire for a meaningful contribution to their community and society.”

He noted that organizations must both exploit its successes and prepare for the future through innovation. True to Drucker’s thinking, an organization is successful when all of these areas are performing well.

The five areas were assessed using 37 different indicators. For example, an indicator for Customer Satisfaction was the degree to which customers were willing to recommend the company or the brand to a friend. One indicator of Employee Engagement and Development came from kununu using data it collected on employee satisfaction with company culture, work-life balance, gender equality, salary, and support from management. Innovation included an indicator on the number of a company’s “cutting edge” job postings. CSRHUB’s indicators of Social Responsibility of twelve different social responsibility measures. CSRHUB provides benchmarks to help organizations examine and evaluate their sustainability performance.

As HR professionals, we touch each of these areas to varying degrees. Employee Engagement and Development is the area most directly impacted by HR professionals. Therefore, consider looking at the various areas explored by kununu and think about how your organization is doing on them. What can you do in HR to push for improvements?

Here in the Villanova Graduate Programs in Human Resource Development, we take pride in the breadth and strategic focus of our program. I believe Peter Drucker would endorse our well-rounded vision statement – “Developing global thought-leaders in Human Resources who drive high performing inclusive organizations and create meaningful work experiences.”

If you want to read more about the top managed companies, check out the Drucker Institute report.


Gerry Brandon, PhD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is the Director of the Graduate Programs in Human Resource Development at Villanova and an Associate Professor. Learn more about him here!

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