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Management Theory of Robert Waterman

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks

Glean from their team effort in theory results of Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman

Robert Waterman’s management theories began with Thomas Peters as they sought to integrate theory and practice.

Many management theorists believed that adding parts of an organization would equal a whole organization, but Waterman and Peters knew a workplace needed interaction and synthesis to be successful – not mere addition. Since management theories have a huge impact on how managers manage, Waterman and Peters sought to integrate management theories and practice with human beings and organizations.

Peters and Waterman knew that common management theories played an important role in how anxious or afraid people were in their workplace. Therefore, they developed a self-analysis tool for corporations to assess their standing, which often decreased fear and anxiety because corporations were in much better shape than originally thought. Discover the impact this team of theorists had on the working population, and consider using the theory today, with the following information:

1. Understand organizational culture when studying common management theories.

2. The McKinsey 7S Model encompasses the management theory of Robert Waterman and Thomas Peters.

3. Peters and Waterman’s theory observations developed foundational points for successful organizations.

Understand organizational culture to connect Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman’s management theories

Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman noted that strong organizational cultures yield strong companies. Organizational culture develops from shared assumptions, beliefs and values exhibited explicitly and implicitly. For a strong culture to emerge, there must be alignment with the organization’s strategic context and the ability to adapt to environmental changes.

Examine the results of the Peters and Waterman theory

As consultants for McKinsey’s New York corporate headquarters, Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman began studying structure and people, which led to the discovery of similar outlines for excellent Fortune 500 companies. With this information, they developed the McKinsey 7S Model to link strategy and organizational effectiveness; they effectively connected people, customers, and action as factors to study and develop.

Learn lessons from successful organizations observed by Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman

Theorist Robert Waterman worked with Thomas Peters in the study and observation of successful organizations, and during their observations they compiled a list of eight attributes thought to propel organizations forward. The eight attributes included the importance of: purposeful action, partnerships, autonomy, productivity, values, skills, administrative structures and creativity. When integrated, these attributes have the power to lead organizations to success.

  • Know that theorists develop common management theories according to the era, and theories evolve and reflect current circumstances.
  • Remember, flexibility is the key to success, so, just as Peters and Waterman theory suggests, pay attention to changing circumstances and adjust accordingly
Image Credit: Africa Studio / Shutterstock
Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
Staff Writer
Chad Brooks is a writer and editor with more than 20 years of media of experience. He has been with Business News Daily and for the past decade, having written and edited content focused specifically on small businesses and entrepreneurship. Chad spearheads coverage of small business communication services, including business phone systems, video conferencing services and conference call solutions. His work has appeared on The Huffington Post,,, Live Science, IT Tech News Daily, Tech News Daily, Security News Daily and Laptop Mag. Chad's first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014.