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In Search of Excellence


Lessons from Americas Best Run Companies

In 1982 Tom Peters and Robert Waterman wrote book entitled “In Search of Excellence – lessons from America’s Best-run Companies”. This ground breaking book has influenced a generation of management thinking and has championed the way organisations are run around the world today.

Peters and Waterman studied more than 43 successful American companies. The companies specialized in a number of areas: consumer goods, high technology, and services. What they discovered was that regardless of how different each company was, they shared eight basic principles of management that anyone can use on their way to success. Here they are, amply illustrated with anecdotes and examples from the experiences of the best-run companies in the world.

In search of excellence there are eight themes which are as relevant today as they were in 1982:

  • A bias for action
  • Close to the customer
  • Autonomy and entrepreneurship
  • Productivity through people
  • Hands-on, value driven
  • Stick to the knitting
  • Simple Form, lean staff
  • Simultaneous loose – tight properties