Radnor, Z. (2007), "Editorial", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 56 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijppm.2007.07956daa.001Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The collection of papers in this issue reflects the international nature of the journal. They cover a variety of industries in a variety of global settings. What is interesting is the way in which sometimes the setting is a key factor in determining behaviours and responses to situations – showing that particular geographical and cultural attributes can make a difference to research outcomes.
(Of course these differences extend to misunderstandings that arise from language and translation difficulties. I was once asked why a textbook on productivity was set in the retail industry and not in manufacturing. It turned out that the reader was confused, not surprisingly, by the term “shop floor”.)
The paper by Tsang is set firmly within this first camp, exploring issues of performance management in human resources among successful Chinese software firms which are owned and led by their founders. This draws in the particular socio-economic status of post-second world war China and the long Confucian tradition to explain some unique characteristics of performance management.
Though we recognise the importance of recognising such “factors of difference”, we do strive for balance in this journal and point out that equally interesting is the way in which the generic lessons sometimes transcend these geographic and cultural boundaries.
This is illustrated by the study by Singh, Garg and Deshmukh which shows that in a globalised economy there are some basic lessons of competitiveness that must be learned. The study analyses a number of aspects of competitiveness relating to the Indian auto component sector, which is trying to survive and prosper in one of the most globally-competitive markets of all.
Some concepts are more novel – or are newly-articulated expressions of current and emerging practice. The paper by Saiz, Bas and Rodriguez introduces us to the subject of enterprise networks – structures of independent firms related by vertical or horizontal agreements that jointly define a strategy to achieve certain goals. The purpose of the research paper is to present a performance measurement system for such networks and is set within a European context.
Chen and Chen employ a combination of data envelopment analysis (DEA) and the balanced scorecard to evaluate the performance of the semiconductor industry in Taiwan.
We have received and published a number of papers using DEA – it seems to have become “fashionable”. Were we cynical here, we might suggest that DEA is a quantitative analysis technique for those frightened of real numbers … but since we are not, we recognise DEA as a useful tool for obtaining fresh insights from existing data sets.
In the reflective practice section, Enshassi, Mohamed, Mayer and Abed present a paper which has measured masonry labour productivity in the Gaza Strip, in Palestine, using a consistent benchmarking approach. The problems involved in such benchmarking and the analysis of factors which affected the labour productivity draw out some practical lessons for those managing construction and similar projects.
So, we get around the globe in this issue. The word “International” in our title clearly belongs there!
Zoe Radnor, John Heap