chapter  5
What Is a Business?
Pages 13

The first conclusion to be drawn from the Sears story is that a business enterprise is created and managed by people. It is not managed by ‘forces’. Economic forces set limits to what management can do. They create opportunities for management’s action. But they, by themselves, do not determine what a business is or what it does. Nothing could be sillier than the oft-repeated assertion that ‘management only adapts the business to the forces of the market’. Management not only finds these ‘forces’; management creates them by its own action. Just as it took a Julius Rosenwald fifty years ago to make Sears into a business enterprise, and a General Wood twenty-five years ago to change its basic nature and thus ensure its growth and success during the depression and World War II, it will take somebody – and probably quite a few people – to make the decisions that will determine whether Sears is going to continue to prosper or will decline, whether it will survive or will eventually perish. And that is true of every business.