Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Tallon, William J.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Operations Management and Information Systems


In Search of Excellence, written by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr. studies the excellent practices of a variety of major corporations. These are successful American companies that possess specific qualities and management styles which set them apart from others in their industry. The book covers the time period from 1961 to 1980. This thesis has its inspiration founded in the book's principles. The purpose of this thesis is to study 13 corporations researched in In Search of Excellence - four from high technology, five from manufacturing, and four from services - in an effort to discover the new trends of the '90s. The companies were researched through three principle methods. First, each company was given extensive library research. Articles mainly from the late '80s to present were obtained from a variety of technical business magazines. Respected newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and Crain's Chicago Business were used to supplement research. In addition, the company history was researched in order to help clarify the trends of the '90s. Second, the company's annual report was studied to discover the direction the company was heading in the '90s. Essentially, the only information obtained from the annual report were numbers and statistics. Finally, extensive personal interviews were conducted with as many companies as possible. Time and personal circumstances allowed four companies to be interviewed. Interviews from Motorola were obtained from Joseph F. Miraglia, Senior Vice President and Assistant Motorola Director of Personnel; Bill Whelton, Senior Material Control; and Louis A. Respino, Material Control Manager. In addition, a personal internship over the summer of 1993 provided a thorough understanding of Motorola practices and beliefs. John Pettinger, Operations Manager, was interviewed from Federal Express. A phone interview was obtained from Mark Fenner, the Public Relations Manager at 3M. Finally, brief interviews were conducted with associates from Wal-Mart in order to obtain the employees perspective on Wal-Mart's corporate policies. Research found 10 basic trends of the '90s which include; the virtual corporation, concurrent engineering, outsourcing, empowerment, quality teams, continuous improvement, downsizing, training, customerization, and the environmental movement. The '90s are a period of dramatic change as companies seek survival in a increasingly global marketplace.


Includes bibliographical references.


99 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type