Monthly Archives: February 2013
Building relationships to manage carbon emissions
Andrea Abrahams, General Director, talks about the carbon management programme, BP Target Neutral, which works to the framework of reduce, replace and neutralise. Andrea also gives an example of where offsetting is a part of the carbon management strategy.
Development of a performance framework to track progress of partnership work
Richard Wilding, Performance Business Partner at Leicestershire County Council explains the challenges regarding service delivery to a troubled family and some of the complexities around collaborative working between agencies. Strong leadership and consensus around improving situations for troubled families, alongside Central Government’s focus on the topic has enabled the Council to progress initiatives as part of improvements in this area.
Mid Staffordshire Hospital: Making the Right Changes
Professors David Buchanan and Mike Bourne discuss what needs to change in the NHS following the scandal of Mid Staffordshire Hospital where hundreds of people died amid appalling levels of care. They recommend a fundamental change in culture and appropriate use of performance targets.
Faculty Biographies: David Buchanan ; Mike Bourne
See associated project resources and briefings from Cranfield Healthcare Management Group
Explaining the effects of performance measurement on performance – an organizational routines perspective
Summary of a research paper by Dr Andrey Pavlov, Centre for Business Performance at Cranfield School of Management.
The article valuably points to a way in which the effect of performance measurement can be made more visible.
Performance measurement clearly has a powerful impact on organizations but its effect is far from predictable and is poorly understood. The problem to be solved is discovering the contents and mechanisms of the “black box” that sits between performance measurement and its outcome. For Pavlov and Bourne this “black box” contains multiple organizational processes that deliver performance. In this theoretical article the authors explore the literature on Management Control Systems, Management Accounting and Organizational Routines to understand how the impact of performance measurement on performance can be understood by looking at changes in organizational routines.
Management Control Systems go back to the early twentieth century management idea that control is essential to operational efficiency. Building control over the way work is performed and standardising the processes for delivering it becomes the essence of operational management supported by performance measurement. The systems consist of planning, measurement, feedback and rewards with the latter two triggered by consist of planning, measurement, feedback and rewards with the latter two triggered by action. Performance measurement is used to provide information on past performance and communicate the direction of future performance. For Management Accounting a process of measurement, reflection and action is engendered for identifying the drivers of performance.
The ‘Organizational Routines’ perspective sees organizations as a complex set of processes. The routines determine what the organization is. Routines have arguably evolved in response to performance feedback. If performance is unsatisfactory the routine is likely to change which means that routines are sensitive to environmental impact. Routines are both patterns of behaviour and mental models in that routines change as people reflect on what they are doing and then use that reflection to change the way they act. The organizational routines perspective is invaluable for examining the effect of performance measurement because changes to routines provide the visible manifestation of its impact. In other words routines reveal the contents of the “black box” and what is learned from organizational performance brings change to routines.
This works in three ways. Firstly, when performance falls below the target level, performance measurement triggers a change in routine. Secondly, in feeding forward performance information it provides guidance on the shape of future performance. In other words measures focus attention on what needs to change. Thirdly, it intensifies the process of changes to routines as it drives the iterations between thinking and acting.
The article valuably points to a way in which the effect of performance measurement can be made more visible. To gain a better understanding of the relationship between routines and performance measurement future research could examine in more detail the impact of performance measurement on both the cognitive and behavioural aspects of routines.
Pavlov, A. & Bourne, M. 2011, ‘Explaining the effects of performance measurement on performance – an organizational routines perspective’, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, vol. 31, no. 1, pp 101-122.
2015 British General Election PhD Opp: Assessing Political Marketing Channel Experiences – apply by 8 Mar
Cranfield School of Management – one of Europe’s top management schools – is inviting applications to undertake a PhD on the above research project, offered by the Centre for Strategic Marketing and Sales. Study may be on a part-time or full-time basis; funding may be available for a successful full-time candidate.
The project will be supervised by Professor Paul Baines and Dr Emma Macdonald, with support from Professor Hugh Wilson.
Broad Areas of the Study
This unique doctoral opportunity is available to a full- or part-time researcher in the interface between political marketing (the use of marketing in political contexts) and marketing communications (specifically multi-channel communication). It would therefore be of particular interest to those who wish to pursue a future academic career. The study involves the study of marketing during the next British General Election (expected in 2015). It involves the use of the innovative real-time experience tracking method, the subject of a recent Cranfield article in Harvard Business Review (Macdonald, Wilson & Konuş 2012), in collaboration with MESH Planning, our market research company partner. A background including statistics is required.