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Title: Group benchmarking : process, outcomes and analysis
Author: Friedewald, Thomas Michael
ISNI:       0000 0001 3484 5050
Awarding Body: University of Northumbria at Newcastle
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2001
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Failure to apply best practice costs the UK economy approximately £300 billion per annum (CBl 1997:4). Quality networking initiatives which help organisations 'transfer' best practices offer a potential solution to this problem. Unfortunately, little research has been done to evaluate their effectiveness or to identify the determinants of effectiveness. To remedy this deficit in knowledge, this research used an action research method to design and implement a quality networking initiative called 'group benchmarking. The group benchmarking process created an inter-organisation benchmarking network and common interest groups, which served as the focus of an exploratory case study concentrating on process effectiveness and the key determinants of effectiveness. Data was gathered using participant observation, interviews and review of documentation, and triangulation was achieved by comparing across these sources. Grounded theory techniques were used to analyse the case study data. In this case, group benchmarking was not found to be a particularly effective method of finding best practice, though it was significantly more useful in helping participants learn how to benchmark. Effectiveness was found to be contingent upon the effort expended, how 'ready' organisations (and individuals) were to benchmark, the structure/nature of the process, the extent of facilitation and the quality of the common interest group processes. This study makes several contributions to knowledge. It illustrates that many of the same factors critical to benchmarking effectiveness in a single organisational setting (e.g. preparation, effort, structured process) are also crucial in an inter-organisational setting. It also demonstrates a new method of assessing quality networking effectiveness and identifies the critical success factors specific to benchmarking networks and common interest groups. In addition, the study proposes a contingency model of effectiveness, offers hypotheses for further research and provides guidance to policy makers and practitioners working in the field of benchmarking and quality networking.
Supervisor: Yarrow, David ; Appleby, Alex ; Prabhu, Vas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: N100 Business studies