Benchmarking and Management Control


[[Schematic content below will de updated for Winter 2019 edition]]

Block 1: Introduction to benchmarking measures

  1. Definition of performance monitoring and benchmarking in competitive settings
  • Monitoring (internal assessments)
  • Benchmarking (external assessments)
  1. Profitability and productivity changes
  • Decision making for improved profitability; applications
  • Absolute and relative changes (index numbers) in the presence and absence of prices
  • Multifactor productivity, profit margins, output and input prices, and output-input mix

Block 2: Multidimensional benchmarking and applications

  1. Benchmarking in multidimensional settings
  • Output maximization and input minimization, fixed and variable inputs
  • Using productivity and efficiency to set targets and reform operations
  1. Business applications of benchmarking assessments
  • Business applications of benchmarking (e.g., acquisitions, corporate social responsibility)
  • Public sector applications of benchmarking (e.g., regional spending for entrepreneurship)

Group activity: Presentation of articles

Block 3: Organizational architecture and performance control measures

  1. Designing organizational architecture
  • Determinants of the architecture of markets and firms
  • Decision rights: centralization versus decentralization
  1. Divisional performance evaluation and control
  • Measuring divisional performance: cost, expense, revenue, profit and investment centers
  • Transfer pricing and trade-offs between decision management and decision control
  1. Measuring internal business processes and employee performance
  • Relative, objective and subjective measures
  • Within-firm and across-firms applications
  1. Assessing management evaluation across the world
  • Firm- and institutional-level determinants of performance measures
  • Applications -using econometric techniques- with real data from international management surveys

Group activity: Presentation of Final Reports


Additional material and data examples

Identifying gains from mergers and acquisitions

Hotel data

Bank data


Software resources

EMS: Efficiency Measurment System (novice users) or [alternative direct download]

R package: “Benchmark and frontier analysis using DEA and SFA” (average users)

GAMS (advanced users)


Interesting websites

World Management Survey

Interactive Benchmarking


Optional bibliography

American Productivity and Quality Center.

Bain and Company “Management Tools and Trends”

*Balk, B.M., 2003. The residual: On monitoring and benchmarking firms, industries, and economies with respect to productivity. Journal of Productivity Analysis 20(1), 5-47.

Bogetoft P., Otto, L., 2011. Benchmarking with DEA, SFA and R. Springer, New York.

*Brickley, J.A., Smith Jr., C.W., Zimmerman, J.L., 2016. Managerial Economics and Organizational Architecture. 6th ed., McGraw-Hill.

Camp, R.C. Benchmarking: The Search for Industry Best Practices That Lead to Superior Performance. Productivity Press, 2006.

Kaplan, R.S., Atkinson, A.A., 2000. Advanced Management Accounting. 3th ed., Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River.

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