The challenges of performance measurement in SMEs

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Thorsten Snapholt
The purpose of this thesis was primarily to investigate the challenges of implementing performance measurement systems in small and medium-sized enterprises. Based on the results of the investigation, the secondary objective of this thesis was to develop a solution to these challenges. The investigation was based on a literature review, where relevant academic literature was analyzed and evaluated. The literature review was conducted in order to find scientific evidence for the existence of challenges in the implementation of performance measurement in SMEs. The investigation found a total of six challenges, including the lack of strategic relevance, the limited opportunity for continuous improvement, a lack of accessible information, limited resources, the lack of depth and breadth, and a high level of complexity.

On the basis of these findings, five performance measurement systems were compared, in order to select the most fitting performance measurement system for SMEs. As a result of the comparison, the Balanced Scorecard by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton was selected as the subject for further investigation. It was found that the Balanced Scorecard included the necessary critical success factors for mitigating the challenges of the lack of strategic relevance, the limited opportunity for continuous improvement and the lack of depth and breadth. As the Balanced Scorecard did not adequately mitigate every challenge, the Balanced Scorecard was modified, with the purpose of creating a performance measurement system that could mitigate all six challenges.

The modified Balanced Scorecard was based on four primary changes. The first change was the restructuring of the Office of Strategy Management, where the primary tasks of the OSM were redelegated to a single Strategy Manager. Secondly, the practice of conducting cost-benefit analysis during the development of key performance indicators was implemented in the second stage of the Balanced Scorecard, in order to lower the total amount of key performance indicators to be measured. Thirdly, processes related to monitoring and measuring were to be automated, with the purpose of lowering overhead costs. Lastly, the Strategy Manager was tasked with ensuring the creation of reports for the operational and strategy meetings, in order to develop a more cohesive process for continuous improvement within the company.
Publication date6 Jun 2019
Number of pages87
ID: 304479907