Characteristics of High Performance Organisations

A.A. de Waal


The recent economic downturn has caused tremendous upheaval in the business world. It has spurred many companies to self-analysis and further organisational improvement. As a result, there is an increasing interest into the factors that determine sustainable organisational success. Managers all over the world are trying out various improvement concepts, seeing mixed results. One likely reason for this is the lack of consensus on the organisational characteristics that lead to high performance. Another reason may be that research into high performance is predominantly conducted in US companies, making it seem less relevant to management practice outside the North American continent. The research study described in this article aims at identifying the factors which have a positive relation with organisational performance. Through review of 290 research studies into high performance and subsequent testing in 1470 organisations worldwide, 35 characteristics – grouped into five factors – were identified which have a correlation with high performance and seem to be generic. The research results provide managers with a framework that adds focus to their continuous improvement efforts.

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Journal of Management Research ISSN 1941-899X


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