Simultaneous Loose Tight Properties

586 Words3 Pages
An organizational culture can have an incredible influence on an organization. The culture can play a crucial role in whether an organization promotes innovation and creativity or if it stifles new ideas. Thus it is important to identify organizational cultures that are the best at promoting innovation and discipline while not letting one consume the other. In Search of Excellence: Simultaneous Loose-Tight Properties written by Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman offers us a great insight into the factors that have made many organizations successful. Peters and Waterman begin by discussing loose-tight properties which describe organizations that are rigidly controlled, yet at the same time allow and insist on autonomy, innovation, and entrepreneurship. They claim that organizations are able to balance these two radically different ideas through their faith in value systems and their high attention to detail. Peter and Waterman go on to discuss the founding values of great organizations. These values included the belief in the customer, open doors, quality, autonomy, and discipline. The authors remark that, “A remarkably tight culturally driven/controlled set of properties marks the excellent companies; most have rigidly shared values.” Thus, a set of shared values and rules about discipline, details, and execution can provide the framework in which autonomy can take place. The authors also provide us with seven examples of contradictions and trade-offs that are believed to exist in organizations but do not seem to apply to organizations who utilize the loose-tight culture. An important one of these contradictions can be seen in efficiency versus effectiveness. One would assume that effectiveness is best achieved by craftsman and smaller organizations, while efficiency usually is best achieved by larger organizations and facilities. The authors conclude that in
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