Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Peters And Waterman's Excellent Companies

A second view of the type of culture is based on interviews and background research by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman culminated in the book entitled In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's BestRun Companies. Companies studied include the most successful and bestrun U.S. firm (e.g., Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, Delta Airlines, Texas Instrument).

Eight distinctive aspects of culture were identified in these companies:

Bias for action
they action was a strong emphasis upon experimentation; people were encouraged to try out new ideas and approaches.
Closeness to the customer
they are dependent on their customers for their continued success.
Autonomy and entrepreneurship
they value and foster innovation and taking risks.
Productivity through people
they view employees as the key sources of ideas for improvements in quality and productivity.
Strong value systems
top managers tended to see their role as that of managing the values of their organizations.
Stick to the knitting
they stayed close to what the knew and could do well.
Simple organization structure
they keep corporate staffs small and do not use complex matrix structure.
Decentralization authority
a high degree of autonomy and great deal of emphasis in individual initiative.