Radnor, Z. and Heap, J. (2004), "Editorial", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 53 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijppm.2004.07953caa.001Download as .RIS
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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Welcome to another phase in the development of the International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management. Hopefully, by now, you should be getting use to our new style and size. This issue adds another important element: it includes four papers that have been peer-reviewed. This reflects the growing importance within academia of the inter-disciplinary area of performance management. By adopting a peer review process we are recognising both the advantages of “quality control” and the need to work within established performance measurement processes within the academic community reflected by the research assessment exercise within the UK and by citation indexes. However, the journal has not forgotten its roots and will ensure that the topic of “productivity” (still an important concept at both organisational and national levels) is considered within the academic and practitioner debates.
This is reflected in the first of the papers by Johnston and Jones, which considers service productivity. This paper takes the concept of productivity and applies it to the service environment particularly by distinguishing between operational and customer productivity. The paper argues that for service industries this distinction is important since considering and understanding both may lead to counter-intuitive relationships being discovered. For example, increasing the speed of transaction to increase operational productivity may have a negative impact on customer satisfaction and hence customer productivity. This is an interesting concept and the paper also serves to show that the journal continues its policy of covering all industry sectors.
The second paper (Morton, Brookes, Smart, Backhouse and Burns) addresses the performance debate from yet another perspective – product development and in particular group or team product development. This paper discusses the idea of informal relationships within the group and the importance of elements such as trust and personalities in allowing the relationship to enhance performance. The paper presents a model to identify and understand the informal relationship and suggests that by applying the model organisations may harness the positive aspects of the informal organisation whilst managing the negative in order to improve relationships and performance.
The third paper (Tan, Platts and Noble) considers an approach that allows for an “indicative” scorecard to be developed and utilised within an organisation. The paper suggests that measurement systems to date have largely been based on historical data and are thus most useful in justifying actions after the event. The model suggested in the paper allows managers to define linkages between variables in order to predict how a change in an input variable could affect output performance. The idea is powerful and could help managers remove measures that do not contribute to the required outputs and focus on those which illustrate sensitivity in relation to the process.
The final “academic” paper (Radnor and McGuire) shows the variety and multi-disciplinary nature of the journal as it considers performance management in the public sector. This paper, through the analysis of two studies, reflects on some of the general literature on public sector performance management in order to attempt to answer whether performance management in the public sector is currently fact or fiction? The paper considers and tests a framework developed by the Public Services Productivity Panel and suggests that the various facets or elements of the organisation need to be understood before the performance management system can be fully effective.
The journal intends to maintain its separate focus on professional practice and continues to offer news, views and reviews as well as occasional papers written by practitioners which have lessons to share.
This issue contains a paper (by Wilson) which uses experience of a particular organisation to suggest that performance measurement and improvement is underpinned by a clear articulation of the processes involved. This understanding also allows a balanced view of organisational performance and the creation of a portfolio of balanced performance measures.
In summary, this issue reflects our longer-term aim to present high quality papers from academics and practitioners covering the full range of productivity and performance management issues. We then aim to set these papers in a context of “real world” issues.
We are in the performance management business. Ideally, we will improve our performance over time. However, this requires us to receive some feedback and we would welcome your views on the journal and how well we are meeting your needs.
Zoe Radnor, John Heap