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Communicating performance measures: Supporting continuous improvement in manufacturing companies
University of Skövde, School of Engineering Science. University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. (PAT - Produktions och Automatiseringsteknik)
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Manufacturing enterprises are a key driver of economic growth (Eurostat, 2016). Implementing continuous improvement (CI) is commonly used to increase competitiveness (Hyland et al., 2007), but despite the well-known theory of CI, many manufacturing companies fail in implementing it (Bhasin, 2012; Nordin et al., 2012; Tiwari et al., 2007).

An identified critical success factor in CI implementation is the evaluation of performance, including the performance evaluation system itself, the linkage between targets at different company levels, and continual evaluation of performance (Bakås et al., 2011; Scherrer-Rathje et al., 2009; Ukko et al., 2009). Another critical success factor in CI implementation is the communication of performance measures (Bakås et al., 2011; Ukko et al., 2009).

This research explores the communication of performance measures. The aim is to support CI by improving the communication of performance measures, and to this end, this thesis concentrates on identifying the main challenges in the communication of performance measures supporting CI. The research scope is manufacturing companies in general, and manufacturing SMEs in particular. The relevant literature concerning the communication of performance measures in manufacturing companies is identified and summarized. Also, current practice is explored, focusing on how performance measures are communicated in manufacturing companies, and whether and how the communication supports CI. This has been done to identify divergences between current practice and theory. Finally, theory and empirical findings are synthesized to identify some of the main challenges to be addressed in order to succeed in CI.

The main task is to support CI efforts in manufacturing SMEs, eliminating the identified divergences in the communication of performance measures by adapting these measures to these manufacturing SMEs. These challenges can be summarized as follows: 

- using both financial performance measures as well as objective and subjective, non-financial performance measures  - aligning performance measures with strategy and targets  - integrating all performance measure communication, as related to both daily performance and CI, in the same communication loop.  - forming two-way communication channels between managers and operators  - aligning oral and written communication channels  - exploring how information systems can facilitate the communication of performance measures  - using and optimizing the visual communication of performance measures

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Skövde: Högskolan i Skövde , 2017. , 168 p.
Keyword [en]
Communication, performance measures, manufacturing, continuous improvement
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Production and Automation Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-13812ISBN: 978-91-982690-9-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-13812DiVA: diva2:1113361
Presentation
2017-08-30, Spegeln, Högskolan i Skövde, Kanikegränd 1C, Skövde, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

I avhandlingen ingår även följande publikationer:

Larsson, C., Strand, M., Persson, A., & Syberfeldt, A., 2017. Communicating continuous improvement in manufacturing SMEs: Divergences between current practice and theory. Published at PMAA 2017 Conference “New Approaches, Changed Understandings”. Dunedin, New Zeeland, 2017.

Larsson, C., 2017. How to visualize performance measures in a manufacturing SME. Accepted for publication in Measuring Business Excellence.

Larsson, C., & Syberfeldt, A., 2016. Communicating performance measures - current practice in manufacturing SMEs. Submitted to International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management.

Available from: 2017-06-22 Created: 2017-06-21 Last updated: 2017-06-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Performance measurement communication supporting lean production in SMEs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Performance measurement communication supporting lean production in SMEs
2014 (English)In: Performance management: Designing the high-performing organization, 2014, 714-725 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the current status of performance measurement communication to support lean production in SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on theoretical and empirical studies. A literature review of existing research in performance measurement communication, focusing on lean production in SMEs, was carried out. The empirical part is based on interviews with both managers and operators in SMEs in the south of Sweden working with lean production. Twenty-four interviews in eight companies / plants were carried out.

Findings

The paper provides a structured overview of current research in performance measurement communication. Performance measurement communication was categorised into three parts, which taken together could support lean production implementation in SMEs. It can be concluded that, although all existing research in performance measurement and communication, there is no operational guideline of how to communicate performance measurement. From the interviews it can be seen that the companies have improved their performance measurement communication during the lean production implementation, but that there is no common way of communicating performance measurements in SMEs.

Keyword
lean production, performance measurement, communication, SME, implementation
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-9742 (URN)
Conference
PMA 2014 conference, 25-27 June 2014, Aarhus, Denmark
Available from: 2014-08-20 Created: 2014-08-20 Last updated: 2017-06-22Bibliographically approved
2. Visual communication of performance meaures supporting continuous improvement: Challenges and opportunities for manufacturing SMEs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Visual communication of performance meaures supporting continuous improvement: Challenges and opportunities for manufacturing SMEs
2016 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper provides a holistic view of visual communication of performance measures supporting continuous improvement in manufacturing SMEs. This is done by a theoretical part with a literature review, and an empirical part with case studies, including both the managers’ and the operators’ perspectives, and by focusing on manufacturing SMEs. The paper identifies five challenges and one opportunity in visual communication that SMEs perceive when using visual communication of performance measures, supporting continuous improvement.

Keyword
Visual communication, Performance measures, Continuous improvement, SME
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-12876 (URN)
External cooperation:
Conference
Performance measurement and management: New theories for New practices. 10th conference of the Performance Measurement Association, PMA 2016, Edinburgh, Scotland, June 26-29, 2016.
Available from: 2016-09-05 Created: 2016-09-05 Last updated: 2017-06-22Bibliographically approved
3. Performance measurement follow-up supporting continuous improvements in manufacturing companies: a systematic review
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Performance measurement follow-up supporting continuous improvements in manufacturing companies: a systematic review
2015 (English)In: 22nd EurOMA conference: Operations management for sustainable competitiveness / [ed] Gerald Reiner, 2015Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Performance measurement has been paid a lot of attention. This paper provides a systematic review of existing research in performance measurement follow-up, which so far has been less treated. The paper suggests a categorization of the follow-up phase into the performance measurement system, input to and output from the system, and operational activities. It is concluded that there is a lack of research concerning the operational activities in the follow-up phase. It is also concluded that most of the research concerning follow-up of performance measurement does not support continuous improvement explicitly, but concerns performance measurement follow-up in general.

Keyword
performance measurement, continuous improvement, manufacturing
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-11328 (URN)978-2-9700901-2-0 (ISBN)
Conference
22nd EurOMA conference
Available from: 2015-08-10 Created: 2015-08-10 Last updated: 2017-06-22Bibliographically approved

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