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Peters and Waterman's Eight Excellence Attributes

Eight Excellence Attributes is the ‘superior company model’ proposed by Peters and Waterman (1982), the consultants at the management consulting company McKinsey & Company, Inc., who finished conducting their studies on U.S. firms and authored the book In Search of Excellence, which became a bestseller in the United States.

Peters and Waterman selected 43 companies from among U.S. firms that continuously exhibited high-level performance and innovation in the 20 years from 1960 to 1980 (and from among the 43, they focused particularly on 21 companies) and extracted common factors that supported each company’s excellence. Eight factors were found in common for their performance: (1) importance of action; (2) closeness with customers; (3) an independent and entrepreneurial spirit; (4) productivity enhanced through people; (5) value- based practices; (6) strict following of standards; (7) simple organisation and a small head office; and (8) showing both aggression and patience simultaneously.

Using Peters and Waterman’s Eight Excellence Attributes, research related to superior companies started around the beginning of the 1990s. A series of management theories centred on management resources and organisational ability, such as core competency management, visionary companies and resource-based view (RBV) management, inherited the spirit of the Eight Excellence Attributes.

References to the book In Search of Excellence moved from one, in 1984, to a peak of three, in 1985, and it was clear that only 12 total references were compiled in the database. From this, we can say that the Eight Excellence Attributes did not have much influence on libraries (Fig. 3.8).

 
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