The purpose of this study is to participate in the current debate on developing the theoretical basis for the concept and process of benchmarking. The paper aims to explore the prospects for a new form of benchmarking – networking benchmarking – and adopts, as the scientific framework of the process, an action research approach that combines scientific method and practical developmental work.
In order to explore the possibilities of these new theoretical constructions, this study applies them in a Nordic project, in which the representatives of five Nordic countries studied together how to develop their national statistical procedures on woman entrepreneurship by benchmarking and developing best practices for use in the Nordic countries.
The results supported the idea that benchmarking is a special kind of action research. The results also indicated that the need for explicating and mutually sharing adopted theoretical frames turned out to be one of the key points in increasing the efficiency and innovativeness of the process. Consequently, networking benchmarking and the action research model indeed have potential both as a theoretical frame and a practical tool, thus encouraging their further development.
It should be noticed, however, that the present study is only a very minor effort and an example of the possibilities scientific knowledge can offer to the developments of benchmarking.
From the practical perspective as a whole, this study offers a large range of opportunities for Nordic co‐operation within the field of entrepreneurship data gathering.
Considering more specifically future research directions from this study, the results encourage studying both the networking benchmarking the action research approach in different contexts. On the other hand, the findings also give some ideas for further development of the action research model.
Kyrö, P. (2006), "Action research and networking benchmarking in developing Nordic statistics on woman entrepreneurship", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 13 No. 1/2, pp. 93-105. https://doi.org/10.1108/14635770610644600Download as .RIS
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