Integrated Measurement and Assessment of Performance in Large Organizations: The Case of a Swedish Construction Company
Doctoral thesis, 2006
The construction industry has been criticised in several public investigations during the last few years because of lack of competition and resistance to change. Unlike other industries the production costs within the construction industry are increasing and lately, foreign contractors have made their entrance to the Swedish construction market. Despite this situation with an alarming need for change and improvement, little efforts have been spent on developing and applying improvement processes and tools in construction companies.
The purpose of this thesis is to develop a procedure and tool for measuring and assessing performance in a large organization. Two qualitative pre-studies of how large non-construction companies used self-assessment models in their organizations were conducted. Then follows a case study where the researcher, in cooperation with colleagues at the case company, have developed and implemented procedures and tools for measurement and assessment of operations and performance in an action research process. Consecutively, research findings have been presented in scientific journals. At the end of the research a new model for measurement and assessment of performance had been implemented.
- In order to measure and assess operations and performance in an organization there is a need to go beyond proposed generic models and consider how a procedure and tool fit with 1) existing processes and tools 2) managements agenda, and 3) organizational characteristics and conditions.
- With regard to the action research process, this thesis points to the need for involving people within the case organization in the development of tools and procedures. Furthermore, it is shown that action research may be beneficial for the individual, the case organization and academia.
- TQM, Performance Measurement and Organizational Effectiveness are all fields of theory that are relevant to increase the understanding of measurement and assessment in an organization. However, they are on various levels of abstraction and their roles in informing the understanding of measurement and assessment of performance are therefore different.
In summary this thesis points to the critical need of considering the cultural and local contexts of measurement and assessment of performance in an organization