Managing through measures: a study of impact on performance

Mike Bourne (Centre for Business Performance, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)
Mike Kennerley (Centre for Business Performance, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)
Monica Franco‐Santos (Centre for Business Performance, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Publication date: 1 June 2005

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the use of performance measures and how performance measurement impacts performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was conducted through multiple case studies in a single organisation. Comparisons are made between performance measurement practices in comparable high and average‐performing business units.

Findings

The findings suggest that current research into the impact of performance measurement on performance may be too simplistic in its approach as much of the research relies on studying the physical and formal systems used, ignoring the types of factors found to be important in this study.

Research limitations/implications

Being based on a single organisation, the wider applicability of the specific findings from this study should be questioned. However, if, as we suggest, the interactive nature of the use of the measurement system is important, future research will need to find ways of observing, measuring and quantifying this interactivity to allow a richer picture of the impact of performance measurement on performance to be developed.

Practical implications

The differences observed between the high and average‐performing cases was in the way they managed with the measures. Average‐performing business units used the performance measurement system as a simple control system, whereas, high performing business units were using the measurement system much more interactively.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the importance of using performance measures interactively and suggests further research into Simons' concept of “interactive control”.

Keywords

Citation

Bourne, M., Kennerley, M. and Franco‐Santos, M. (2005), "Managing through measures: a study of impact on performance", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 373-395. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410380510594480

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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