Management and business implications of IT-supported performance measurement system
The performance measurement revolution started in the late 1970s with the dissatisfaction of traditional backward looking accounting systems. Since then the literature in this field is emerging. Most of the focus was on designing performance measurement systems, with few studies illustrating the issues in implementing and using performance measurement systems. However there was no solid research reported in literature that demonstrated the impacts of performance measurement when implemented and used with appropriate IT support. In this research, initial evidence was gathered from four companies where IT-supported performance measurement system (IT-PMS) made positive impact on management and business. The findings obtained from these studies were grounded in theory and formed the basis for creating a set of predictions on management and business implications (dependent variables) and pre-conditions, which are the factors that effect the implications (semidependent variables). The objectives of this research were to prove predictions and preconditions as well as to build relationships between IT-PMS implementation (independent variables), predictions and pre-conditions. In order to achieve the research objectives, true experiments with the researcher as facilitator / personal observer (of the experiment) was considered to be essential. It was also essential to have a degree of control by the researcher to vary these independent variables and study their impact on dependent and semi-dependent variables. This strongly urged the researcher to adopt action research as the main research domain, by implementing IT-PMS at four companies and monitoring its impact. Finally, the research demonstrated that appropriately designed performance measurement systems, if supported through appropriate IT platforms and driven by senior management, appropriately implemented and used will result in positive management and business implications such as: facilitating more pro-active management style, increasing positive behaviour such as focusing on facts, communication, empowerment and teamwork, creating complete transparency and visibility of information, identifying weak areas of the business and promoting continuous improvement.