Remember Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great? It was one of the all time favourite management books of the last decade, selling millions of copies worldwide in many languages. The book identified 11 companies that had gone from being good to great and identified five management principles that explained their success. Like Tom Peters’ In Search of Excellence before it, Good to Great claimed to have found the magic elixir of management success.
Well, maybe not.
Two recent studies by economists suggests that the companies that went from being good to great have continued their evolution to become, just mediocre. The first by Resnick & Smoot found that none of the 11 companies identified in Good to Great delivered superior market performance over subsequent periods using modern market performance measures. The second by Niendorf & Beck found that the 11 companies in fact performed no better than an average S&P 500 company.
Another popular management book bites the dust. Who can you believe these days? Not management gurus, that’s for sure!
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Tip of the hat to Peter Klein at the Organisations & Markets blog.
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Jim Collins, Good to Great
Tom Peters, In Search of Excellence
Peter Klein, Good to Great: Neither Good nor Great