Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 1 December 2005



Banwell, L. (2005), "Editorial", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 6 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/pmm.2005.27906caa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


This issue again has a truly international flavour to it, as befits a truly international area of interest. Again too, the content is a mixture of metrics and measures, using the widely held understanding (and underpinned by a quick check in Chambers English Dictionary!) that “metrics” are about “the theory of measurement”, developing both standards and methodology, “measurement” is about the process of doing it and the “measures” themselves are “the ascertainment of extent by comparison with a standard”. The subsequent steps on what one can term a “performance measures and metrics continuum”, move through time to “outputs” (analysed data) and “outcomes”, which are all about impact and consequences, and what happens next. And so the evaluation feeds back to re-start the process. Most contributions to the Journal focus on measurement and measures. Those highlighting “outcomes” are few, and are to be greatly encouraged. As I write this editorial, the 6th. Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services is due to take place next week, with its central theme being about “impact and outcomes of library and information services”. Subsequent issues of the Journal will be dedicated to presenting its keynote and seminar papers.

Returning to the current issue, the first and second papers are towards the “metrics” end of the continuum. First, Roxanne Missingham, from Australia, presents us with a review of studies from national and US state public libraries. The focus of the paper is on contingent valuation and its use in determining return on investment. The second paper comes to us from Greece, and adds to the literature on the balanced scorecard, a well established method claiming to offer a framework which balances financial and non-financial measures of an organisation’s performance. The authors propose the use of a multi criteria approach to address the problem of selecting the most appropriate measures to include in the Balanced Scorecard. A worked example is presented.

The third and fourth papers in the issue focus on developing theory from holistic case studies which are described in the papers. Alison Pickard from Northumbria University, UK, describes an in-depth, longitudinal, qualitative study of a group of nineteen undergraduate students over three years. The paper presents a cross case analysis of their change in perceptions and use of electronic information services over the period. The fourth paper is truly multinational and continues the international perspective of the issue. The project was undertaken in Japan, Finland and the UK, with the paper jointly authored by the researchers. An earlier service evaluation had derived four dimensions to pursue through interview, and which include discussing the concept of “ba” – translated and explained as “place/shared space”.

This is indeed another issue to enjoy, and I commend it to you.

Linda Banwell

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