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Business performance measurement : a soft systemic approach

Ashley, S.J. (2001). Business performance measurement : a soft systemic approach. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


The first objective of the research presented in this thesis, was to perform an investigation into the challenges of business performance measurement. The second objective of the research was to respond to these challenges, by articulating a Soft Systemic approach to business performance measurement. To meet the objectives of the research, the project draws on two key areas: a review of literature about measurement in different fields of study; and three real world action research case studies. The work in these areas is presented in this thesis, the main topics of which are:

- Identifying specific challenges to measurement in the area of business performance measurement.

- Identifying a number of generic causes of complexity in measurement situations; and introducing a new measurement classification based on the complexity of measurement situations.

- Using the new classification of measurement situations to critique the traditional approach to measurement; and thereby identifying situations, such as business performance measurement, where a new approach to measurement is needed.

-Proposing a set of Soft Systemic principles to measurement; and showing that this Soft Systemic approach is significantly different to the traditional approach.

-Showing that the Soft Systemic approach is more suitable to the complex challenges of business performance measurement.

-Translating the Soft Systemic approach into a practical framework, the Soft Systemic Performance Measurement Framework (SSPMF), to assist measurement practitioners in business performance measurement; and validating that framework in case study work.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: Cass Business School
Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > Cass Doctoral Theses
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