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In Search of Excellence

Knowledge about organisational behaviour has become very important to a manager’s performance and success. Therefore, it is not surprising that writers often claim to have the information that managers need if they are to excel in their jobs. In Search of Excellence is one of the most well known books of this type. In the book, Peters-and Waterman outlined seven principles that they claimed to be excellent management tactics and a 7-S Framework. In Search of Excellence is a book dealing with many different principles of economics and what makes big business’ excellent.

The first idea that the author discusses is his chart of the 7-S Framework. The graph is very simple but the ideas are fairly complex. In their research, they found that their concepts were too hard to explain and easily forgettable. They made this framework to deal with strategy, structure, style, systems, staff, skills, and shared values. This has 7 S’s and a graphical representation to visualize. This shows the businessman that problems can be managed. For example, anyone assuming that a new manager of a Macdonald s will perform exactly as the old manager did is ridiculous. The workers must adjust and adapt to the new manager’s way of business.

The first principle is a bias for action. This is basically saying “Stop talking and do something about it.” When Macdonald s has a rush of customers and their supplies for making food are low, they (usually) don’t say “You know what, I have no more cheese” or “Could

someone get me some more cheese?” They take action and get the cheese, make it if necessary, and get the problem solved as quickly as possible.

The second Principle they deal with is to be close to the customer. This means good service and listening to what the customer has to say. If the producer, Macdonald s, is not in touch with what the customer wants to eat, then the business will most likely fail. Although it also refers to customer satisfaction; quality food made right and good service, “Have a nice day and enjoy your meal!”

The third basic principle is productivity through people. This deals with the individual as the best means for efficiency improvement rather than capital investment. If Macdonald s could put everyone in the area of work they most enjoyed (drive-thru, washer,…) then they could produce more food and maximize their business.

The forth basic principle is hands on, value driven. This is the standard setting and enforcing values in a company. This is keeping the boss in touch with the assembly line worker and projecting the company’s original ideas, instead of an image of some suited businessman who confines himself in an office.

The fifth and often obvious principle is to stick to the knitting. The basically says that if a company is in the food business, it should not branch off into the computer business unless they have no where else to expand in the industry they are already in.

The sixth basic principle is a simple form, lean staff. This means leaving few people up top to manage a company and keep the form of management simple.

The seventh and final basic principle is simultaneous loose-tight properties. This is another value-based principle. This could be described as the ability for a worker of Macdonald s to do his/her job in his/her own way as they incorporate the company’s values and concepts into their work. These values demonstrate that they don’t just work because they work, but rather because they just make sense.

In search of excellence shows that the excellent companies had been based on the basics. The companies had to try to keep things simple. Sometimes, to a big business, it might seem logical that business should be run more complex the larger it is. From research, this is usually not true. Ignoring the seven principles above would be foolish in the business world.


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