This book follows directly from End of Industrial Man. He began researching it in 1943, just after completing the former book. General Motors gave him access to the company and the records for 18 months, roughly until the end of 1944. During this time, the company was working as a large supplier for the war and was starting to think about how it would operate in the post-war economy. So we have Drucker thinking about the free operation of business with a company that was not operating in a fully free economy nor had it done so since the start of the New Deal.
At this point, businessmen were quite concerned about the kind of economy that would emerge at the end of the war. So is the book an analysis of a freely operating company, as Drucker’s question suggests, or is it Drucker positing the kind of business world that he hopes will emerge?