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An investigation of the adoption and implementation of benchmarking

Dotun Adebanjo (E‐Business and Operations Management, The University of Liverpool Management School, Liverpool, UK)
Ahmed Abbas (Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand)
Robin Mann (Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 19 October 2010

5349

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use survey data collected from 453 respondents, from over 40 countries, to determine the current levels of use of benchmarking as an improvement technique. It identifies where and how benchmarking is implemented within organisations and compares the popularity of benchmarking against other improvement tools. Finally, it provides an evidence based opinion on whether benchmarking is a fad or an established management technique.

Design/methodology/approach

An on‐line questionnaire was used to collect data. The questionnaire was translated into five languages and promoted by the Global Benchmarking Network, a network of benchmarking competency centres, representing 21 countries. The data were then analysed using SPSS statistical software.

Findings

The analysis suggests that benchmarking (informal and formal) is used by a majority of organisations although best practice benchmarking is only used by a core minority. Benchmarking effectiveness compares favourably with effectiveness of other improvement tools and a majority of respondents intend to continue using benchmarking in the future.

Research limitations/implications

The responses from some of the countries that participated were small in number. This study also relied on a single respondent from each organisation. Inter‐country comparisons were not carried out.

Practical implications

Benchmarking will continue to be used to support the improvement of operations. For organisations that currently use benchmarking the paper provides some insights into how to obtain the full benefits from benchmarking. For those that do not use benchmarking the paper highlights how other organisations are using benchmarking to obtain operational benefits.

Originality/value

The paper presents a multinational survey of benchmarking. Carried out a quarter century after the start of benchmarking's growth, it helps to establish if benchmarking is an established improvement tool or a management fad. It also positions benchmarking relative to other improvement tools and is the most complete study on benchmarking adoption to date.

Keywords

Citation

Adebanjo, D., Abbas, A. and Mann, R. (2010), "An investigation of the adoption and implementation of benchmarking", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 30 No. 11, pp. 1140-1169. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443571011087369

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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