Eight Attributes of Management Excellence

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Searching for excellent organizations. Explanation of Eight Attributes of Management Excellence of Tom Peters and Bob Waterman.


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The Eight Attributes of Management Excellence of Tom Peters and Bob Waterman were described in their management book: "In Search of Excellence". The research and theorizing of the book was based on the McKinsey 7-S model.

Eight Attributes of Management Excellence

  1. A Bias for Action.
  2. Close to the Customer.
  3. Autonomy and Entrepreneurship.
  4. Productivity through People.
  5. Hands-on, Value-driven.
  6. Stick to the Knitting.
  7. Simple Form, Lean Staff.
  8. Simultaneous loose-tight Properties.

The last attribute (Simultaneous loose-tight Properties) is a summary of the other 7, according to Peters and Waterman. "Simultaneous loose-tight properties is in essence the coexistence of the central direction and maximum individual autonomy of a company... Organizations that live by the loose-tight principle are on the one hand rigidly controlled. Yet at the same time they allow (indeed, insist on): autonomy, entrepreneurship, and innovation from the rank and file".

Peters said in a 2001 interview that a ninth item should be added to the list:

  1. Capabilities concerning ideas, liberation, and speed.

Book: Tom Peters and Bob Waterman - In Search of Excellence -

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Compare with Eight Attributes of Management Excellence:  Fourteen Points of Management (Deming)  |  Five Disciplines  |  14 Principles of Management (Fayol)  |  POSDCORB  |  Ten Principles of Reinvention  |  Theory XYZ  |  Business Process Reengineering

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