En route to a theory of benchmarking
Authors: Moriarty, John P.; Smallman, Clive
Source: Benchmarking: An International Journal, Volume 16, Number 4, 2009 , pp. 484-503(20)
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:<B>Purpose</B> - The purpose of this paper is to review the epistemology of benchmarking and identify methodological elements of a theory of benchmarking. <B>Design/methodology/approach</B> - A thematic approach is applied to origins, primal and functional definitions of benchmarking. <B>Findings</B> - Benchmarking remains theoretically underdetermined, with publications focusing on pragmatism and praxis rather than epistemology. Analysis of the literature leads to a new definition of benchmarking focusing around the teleological processes that lead to state-transformation of organizations. <B>Research limitations/implications</B> - A theoretical foundation for benchmarking should be consistent with current organizational paradigms. Going forward the paper aims to develop a theory of benchmarking based on illustrative model derived from the thematic review. <B>Practical implications</B> - The paper initiates the development of a more rigorous theoretical base for future benchmarking practice, which will strengthen organizations' business cases for undertaking such processes. <B>Originality/value</B> - Recasts much of the extant literature in beginning to focus on the fundamentals of benchmarking.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2009-07-10