IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Characteristics of High Performance Organizations


  • André de Waal

    (Associate Professor Strategic Management at the Maastricht School of Management, Academic Director of the Center for Organizational Performance, and guest lecturer at the Free University Amsterdam and Erasmus University Rotterdam.)


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 aimed at identifying the factors which have a positive relation with organisational performance, through a literature review of 290 research studies into high performance and subsequent testing in 1470 organisations worldwide. The research yielded 35 characteristics – grouped into five factors – that have a significant correlation with high performance and seem to be generic for all types of organisations, industries and countries.

Suggested Citation

  • André de Waal, 2011. "Characteristics of High Performance Organizations," Working Papers 2011/04, Maastricht School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:msm:wpaper:2011/04

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2011
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. André de Waal, 2011. "Strategy Only Matters A Bit: The role of Strategy in the High Performance Organization," Working Papers 2011/02, Maastricht School of Management.
    2. repec:spr:jknowl:v:8:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s13132-017-0471-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Michiel Frederick Coetzer & Mark Bussin & Madelyn Geldenhuys, 2017. "The Functions of a Servant Leader," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(1), pages 1-32, February.
    4. Manoj Dubey, 2014. "Evolving Business Excellence Framework for Organization agility," Working Papers 1426, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.
    5. Robert Goedegebuure & Kennedy Ssejjemba & André de Waal, 2013. "Key determinants of effective partnerships: The case of partnerships between lead firms and farmers in pineapple value chains in Uganda and Kenya," Working Papers 2013/27, Maastricht School of Management.
    6. André de Waal & Kettie Chipeta, 2013. "Effects of culture on the perception of South African and Tanzanian business students on high performance organizations," Working Papers 2013/03, Maastricht School of Management.
    7. Elias Carayannis & Evangelos Grigoroudis & Stavros Sindakis & Christian Walter, 2014. "Business Model Innovation as Antecedent of Sustainable Enterprise Excellence and Resilience," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 5(3), pages 440-463, September.
    8. André de Waal, 2011. "Creating High Performance Organisations: The Determining Factors," Working Papers 2011/10, Maastricht School of Management.

    More about this item


    high performance organizations; HPO; excellence; sustainability; performance; quality;

    JEL classification:

    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:msm:wpaper:2011/04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maud de By). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.