Purpose – To highlight a few critical issues related to indicators that are used to compare organizational practices. Design/methodology/approach – The approach is as follows: to compare the efficacy of qualitative and quantitative indicators; objectivity in identification of processes and practices; and make a distinction between essence and logistics of benchmarking. Findings – For any benchmarking exercise the most important job is objectivity in identification of processes and practices. The distinction between the two is not always apparent. Qualitative evaluation of practices is as important as quantitative evaluation. The quantitative performance indicators for evaluation of best practices come only at the end of a series of critical qualitative analysis of the organizational processes and practices. Research limitations/implications – The subject of the paper has been the enhancement of the effectiveness of R&D organizations. Such organizations form an important part of the innovation system of a nation, generally known as national innovation system (NIS). NISs of more successful countries are being continuously evaluated and emulated by other countries for attaining respective technological aspirations. This leaves a wide scope for application of benchmarking methodology. The dynamics of networks like NIS being different from that of a business organization, the methodology for best practices has to be refined. The present paper has addressed only the R&D organization part of NIS. Much of the validity of the conclusions will depend upon studies on NIS in particular and organizations not driven by profit motive in general. Practical implications – The exact definition of the organization in terms of its mandate, long‐term vision and source of competence is the critical task. This is an important lesson for extending benchmarking exercise beyond business enterprises. The study envisages that the methodology would have wide scope of application for organizational restructuring of R&D organizations. However, methodology has to be refined depending on the specificity of the problem of R&D organizations. Originality/value – It is in presenting the comparative efficacy of qualitative and quantitative indicators for R&D organizations and also in highlighting the importance of benchmarking, the essence of organizational practices, to arrive at the logistics.
Benchmarking: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2006
Keywords: Performance measures; Benchmarking; Research and development; Quality indicators; Quantitative methods
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