TITLE

Peters and Waterman Revisited: The Unended Quest for Excellence

AUTHOR(S)
Hitt, Michael A.; Ireland, R. Duane
PUB. DATE
May 1987
SOURCE
Academy of Management Executive (08963789);May1987, Vol. 1 Issue 2, p91
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
In Search of Excellence, by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, rather quickly has become one of the most quoted books in the popular management literature. Despite its popularity, however, concerns have been expressed regarding how Peters and Waterman conducted their research and developed the eight principles of excellence. Hitt and Ireland reexamined the performance and four excellence attributes of Peters and Waterman's excellent firms by comparing them with a general sample of Fortune 1,000 firms. They found that only three of the excellent firms performed better than the average of the Fortune 1,000 firms and several firms from the general sample outperformed all excellent firms. Further, the excellent firms did not exhibit the four excellence attributes to a greater degree than did the general sample of firms. Finally, only one excellence principle (innovation, autonomy, and entrepreneurship) exhibited a significant, positive relationship with firms and the importance of the excellence attributes. The authors conclude that the Peters and Waterman work may be based more on advocacy than science. They suggest, on the basis of study results, that managers view "quick fixes" to complex problems cautiously, and recommend ways to avoid the quick-fix mentality.
ACCESSION #
4275812

 

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