A framework to relate business improvement actions and performance measurement
This thesis reports on the development of a performance improvement framework that formally represents causal relationships between performance measures, factors of performance, improvement actions and the overall strategy of a business. The measurement of business performance has received significant attention from both the academic and business worlds. Literature suggests the benefits of implementing balanced performance measurement. However, practitioners in the field of performance measurement do not seem to deliver the significant results anticipated by the research community. The research reported in this thesis delivers a performance improvement framework that allows practitioners to integrate the operations knowledge in an organisation with a formal performance measurement system, in the form of causal relationships in improvement actions. This gives an improvement focus to measurement and at the same time ensures that improvement actions are aligned to the overall strategy of the organisation. The development of the framework was based on methodological theory development and empirical case studies. The process to apply the framework and a set of web-based tools to support its implementation were also built. These were tested in a process industry environment. The research contributes to knowledge by extending the concept of performance indicators to incorporate factors that affect them, the potential improvement actions, their constraints and their relationships. For organisations that have established performance measurement systems and are working with a performance measurement culture, use of this framework allows them to systematically evaluate actions for continuous improvement.