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Drucker-Inspired Schoolgirl’s Story Becomes Japan Top Seller

A novel about a high-school girl who takes inspiration from the teachings of Peter Drucker, the Austrian-born management consultant who died in 2005, is set to become Japan’s biggest seller this year.

“What If the Female Assistant of a High-School Baseball Team Read Drucker’s ‘Management’,” written by Natsumi Iwasaki, sold 1.21 million copies in the year ended Nov. 21, beating out Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84” and a dieting guide, database provider Oricon Inc. said today on its website.

Iwasaki’s story is about a teenager named Minami who is trying to help her high school’s baseball team get into Japan’s national tournament at Koshien stadium. After mistakenly picking up Drucker’s “Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices” in a store, she decides to read through the 1973 book and apply his methods in her dealings with both players and coaches.

“Japanese loved the book because they want advice for living in an uncertain world,” Eiji Hiruma, a spokesman for Diamond Inc., the book’s publisher, said today by telephone. “Drucker sticks to basic principles, so what he said can be applied to almost anyone.”

Drucker, who was born in Vienna and studied at Frankfurt University before moving to the U.S. in 1937, taught at several colleges before joining the faculty of the Claremont Graduate School in California. His work has been cited by business leaders including former General Electric Co. CEO Jack Welch and Intel Corp.’s Andrew Grove.

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