Nickels, et al. (2010) define benchmarking as “comparing an organization’s practices, processes, and products against the world’s best” (p. 218).

 Nickels, et al. (2010) define benchmarking as “comparing an organization’s practices, processes, and products against the world’s best” (p. 218). The question is how do we define the “world’s best.” In an effort to see what information was out there as it relates to benchmarking, I came across this interesting site. It is about an organization, non-profit, which you might call repository for benchmarking. I am not sure if you ever heard of Benchenet, it is the benchmarking exchange where members share and work towards identifying benchmark practices. Their web address is http://www.benchnet.com/. I would check it out. I am still exploring it. There are quality control measures that ensure organizations adopt best practices such as Six Sigma, ISO, and others…..so if you were wanting to locate a benchmark practice, what approaches would you take?

  1. click here for more information on this paper

2. the last major fundamental function of management is that of control. There are a number of “traditional” control methods; but this, as with everything else, needs to change in today’s business environment. Controls help managers to determine if they are accomplishing desired results and/or advancing to established targets and objectives.

 

There are three types of control systems relating to time:

  1. Steering controls are taken before the project has been completed.
  2. Yes – No controls are hurdles that have to be overcome before the next step is undertaken.
  3. Post-action controls are performed after the project is finished to compare the results with the expectations.

Traditional controls are bundled in the text under three broad categories:

  1. Diagnostic controls (budgets, zero-based budgets, ratio analysis, and performance reports).
  2. Boundary control systems (standards of ethical behavior, codes of conduct, other policies outlining what rules employees must live by and what behaviors to avoid).
  3. Interactive control systems (face-to-face mechanisms to tell managers how they have performed over the past week or agreed-upon time and emphasize the importance of certain sorts of information and communications to the organization’s strategy).

There are unintended behavioral consequences of controls. Poorly implemented controls and control systems can breed misunderstanding, negative attitudes, alienation, lack of commitment, and feelings of powerlessness, and might encourage such behavior as excessive gamesmanship or manipulation of the system’s rules in order to gain personal advantage. Managers counter some of the unintended negative consequences of controls by opting to tie certain rewards into the control processes, thus supplying motivating factors. Progressive organizations will see the benefit of leading employees to develop self-control by building systems of beliefs that mesh with organizational strategy. Open communication regarding the importance of tasks and their place within the organization’s plans; can develop a sense of commitment, an essential element for managers and employees if the organization is to benefit.

 

As I reflected over the last paragraph, I thought a discussion I was having with a friend. We were discussing the organization in which she works and while on the surface – to the curstomer – things appear to be okay however controls are not being followed/applied by all groups, i.e. policies and procedures. While one group may be written up for not complying, the others, a few of the supervisors, do the exact opposite. It is that internal debate an individual has — do you stay and workaround – or do you leave.

 

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