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Abstract

We examined the best-selling management book Good to Great (GTG) through the lens of upper echelons theory. In doing so, it is demonstrated that the often cited practitioner/academic divide is not necessarily so expansive as frequently perceived. We utilized upper echelons theory and more specifically, the associated metaconstruct of behavioral integration, to identify principles from GTG that are consistent with the theoretically rooted processes of collective action. Through this theoretical lens, three key principles emerged from GTG for building a successful organization: organizationally focused leadership, a disciplined culture, and the right people. Implications for practice are discussed, including the reciprocal relationship among these principles. We conclude by appealing for more constructive dialogue between academics and practitioners of management.