Corporate benchmarking : the case of Libyan manufacturing organisations
The focus of this study is to identify and explain problems that confront Libyan organisations which implement benchmarking practices. There are two aspects of the process that lead to these problems. Benchmarking is an exogenous process for an organisation as well as a multivariate practice. In this sense, best practices arise from outside of the organisation, and the organisation seeks to benchmark several performance metrics simultaneously. Concerning this, this study investigates the surrounding environment in which seven Libyan manufacturing organisations (LMOs) are operating in relation to benchmarking implementation. Further discussion is devoted to culture and organisational issues relevant to benchmarking. To achieve these objectives, discussion of the Libyan environmental development context in terms of social, political and economic aspects is followed by a review of benchmarking, related literature and theoretical perspective on benchmarking. This provides the basis for the research questions generated and the research methodology applied. The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) methodology is used in this study to make pairwise comparisons at criteria level based on data obtained from fieldwork. Substantial fieldwork was carried out using quantitative methods such as questionnaires and supplemented with some interviews with certain managers to improve understanding of benchinarking practices in LMOs. This study contributes to the knowledge and understanding of the nature of benchmarking problems that confront LMOs. It also makes some suggestions to Libyan organisation and society. The main findings of this study revealed the following: (i) Benchmarking implementation in LMOs is influenced by many organisational factors including company culture, technology, etc. and by the surrounding environment. (ii) Many LMOs which have failed to achieve their product target also failed to achieve their sales target. This was a result of shortages in raw material and spare parts, and poor maintenance and technology caused by the embargo which was imposed on Libya by the UN and US. (iii) The judgements of respondents over the relative importance of cost and quality control, sales maximisation and market share with respect to determination of benchmarking criteria suggests that cost and quality control are the superior benchmarking criteria within most LMOs. (iv) Libyan companies are not paying enough attention to accounting compensation systems that can encourage employees to work and improve company performance. This may causes difficulty and creates low managerial performance, which affects benchmarking implementation in LMOs.