Melanie Hudson


The thesis extends current knowledge and understanding of integrated performance measurement (PM) development into the context of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The research builds on existing knowledge of integrated PM development approaches and identifies the context-specific factors which affect its introduction into SMEs. These are used to design, develop and validate a new, continuous improvement based approach for the development of integrated PM systems, which is specifically designed for use in SMEs. First, a conceptual model of criteria for integrated PM development is synthesised from the literature and the characteristics of SMEs are established. An evaluation of current approaches for the development of integrated PM is undertaken and an approach which conforms to the conceptual model is selected for an empirical study in a SME. Along with a set of interviews examining the state of PM in SMEs, this study identifies several factors which affect integrated PM introduction in this environment. These factors enhance the conceptual model and indicate the need for a more effective development approach for SMEs. Design theory is used to inform and structure the design of the new approach, which is developed and refined for practical use through a SME case study. Two further cases are carried out to validate the new approach, in which cross-case comparisons are made. The results indicate the validity of both the new approach and the enhanced conceptual model. The formulation of an enhanced conceptual model of integrated PM development, detailing the context specific criteria for effective in use in SMEs, together with the validation of a new, continuous improvement based, approach for integrated PM system development in SMEs that conforms to the conceptual model, represents a significant contribution to both theory and practice from this research.

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