Neither the Japanese, nor Zeiss, nor IBM practice “permissive management.” Management in Japan is notoriously autocratic. No one has ever mistaken an order by a Japanese company president for a polite request. Abbé, according to all reports, was not permissive either. While a kind man by all accounts, he was very much the German “Herr Professor” and was used to unquestioned authority. Thomas Watson, Sr., was a tyrant. Abbé and Watson demanded excellence in performance and did not accept good intentions as a substitute.
- Peter Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, and Practices