The Dutch agricultural sector nowadays experiences many challenges. To deal with these, the sector has been interested in finding ways to improve performance. Mostly, the improvement research has concentrated in the areas of innovation of products and quality, supply chain management, cooperatives, entrepreneurship and human resources. However, hardly any research has been done into ways to strengthen the internal organisation, encompassing the quality of management, employees and processes and systems of the agriculture company. This paper aims to address this research gap by evaluating whether the high performance organisation (HPO) framework, a scientific validated analysis and improvement technique, can be used to help agricultural enterprises to strengthen their internal organisation.
The HPO Questionnaire was applied at four Dutch horticulture companies to evaluate their performance. Subsequently, at each company, interviews were held to obtain more information about the scores. Then, a workshop was organised with the management of all four companies to discuss the study results.
The workshop showed that the framework was suitable for the participating companies to start improving their organisations, as management of all four companies agreed that the analysis and recommendations, derived from analysing the questionnaire data and the interviews, were highly relevant to their business.
As there is no holistic organisational evaluation and improvement technique which looks specifically at the internal organisation of horticulture companies, available for the agricultural sector, the application of the HPO Framework in this sector is the first of its kind.
The authors thank Arcadia, CombiVliet, Rabobank, Redstar and Ter Laak Orchids for organizing and participating in this research and Dr Emiel Wubben of Wageningen University for his review of the initial research results.
de Waal, A. and Meingast, A. (2017), "Applying the high performance organisation framework in the horticulture and greenhouse sector", Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 136-151. https://doi.org/10.1108/MBE-05-2016-0028
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