There is now increasing emphasis on qualitative benchmarking, in addition to traditional, quantitative metrics (Broderick et al., 2010).

Information about Benchmarking

Benchmarking as a business and management process came under scrutiny by academic re-searchers around the early 1980s because of its use by Xerox. Researchers were interested in its relationship with total quality management (TQM), in the organisational culture changes that occur alongside the practice of benchmarking, and in issues of benchmarking and ‘best practice’ (Broderick et al., 2010). However, more recently the definition of benchmarking has expanded because of the varied way it is implemented in practice by different organisations. Now it is often viewed as a 'bundle of different concepts that are difficult to comprehend'. Nevertheless, it can be seen to engender some generic characteristics across definitions, in-cluding:

  1. the relationship between benchmarking and quality management;
  2. the identification and advocacy of the benefits of best practice in service operations; and
  3. in the emergence of a focus on process benchmarking (Woodburn, 1999).


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