Performance Measurement Systems Research
Global market pressures have led companies to pursue various improvement programs - program designed to improve quality, service, and profitability. Many of these improvement programs have taken on the labe "lean practices." Success, or failure, of the lean practices is attributable to various issues:
1. Quality of training initiatives
2. Improper time perspectives
3. Misplaced expectations
4. Ineffective performance measurement
Our research hopes to shed light on the role that the performance measurement system plays in the firm-level evaluation of the impact of learn practices. Specifically, to what degree do the qualitative factors of the performance measurement system contribute to the correct assessment of progress in the implementation of lean practices.
This research is designed to clearly define and delineate the problems and qualities of firm-wide performance measurement systems in the assessment of progression in lean initiatives. This will help companies design their performance measures. The result of the analysis will serve as "best practices" criteria to avoid the pitfalls and incorrect conclusions that have led many to abandon lean efforts. Managers will be able to eliminate the wasted resources associated with those "failures" and engage in the lean transformation process effectively and efficiently. The global analysis will assist companies with multinational operations to gain an appreciation of the cultural differences that must be considered in the development of their performance measurement locally and internationally.
Our goal is to identify and understand the correlation between the success or failure of a company's lean initiatives and the effectiveness of its measurement system. To achieve this goal, we will look at various performance measurement systems of companies that are in the process of implementing lean practices. We hope to identify the qualitative factors of different performance measurement systems and the impact of each factor on the correct assessment of progress in the implementation of lean practices. Our project objectives are listed below:
1. Design and develop an electronic survey and an interview document to assess the perceived importance of the qualitative aspects of performance metrics within performance measurement systems. We plan to survey/interview between 50-60 U.S. companies and up to 10 Asian companies to understand how these measures are used to assess the ongoing progress of the lean initiatives on a firm-wide basis.
2. Using survey and interview results, identify the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches to serve as a firm-wide progress assessment tool.
3. Analyze the data to understand the linkages between the metrics and underlying casual factors driving overall firm progress toward lean improvement goals.
4. Compare and contrast the responses of U.S. companies to the responses of the Asian companies to discern cultural issues related to the significance placed on the qualitative factors within the measurement systems.
5. Synthesize the findings into "best practices" approaches.
The Research Group
Professor Stan Smith (Mentor) is a lecturer for the Darla Moore School of Business, School of Accounting. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech and a Masters of Professional Accountancy from Georgia State University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant. He has worked 34 years as a practicing accountant with tenures at Lockheed, Chemical Waste Management and Southwire Corporation, as well as a private consulting practice.
Corinne Buescher is a junior accounting student at the Moore School of Business. She came to the University from Williamsburg, VA as a Cooper Scholar and was recently awarded the Francis A. Humphries scholarship award for accounting students. She is also an active member of Beta Alpha Psi and president-elect of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) - USC Student Chapter.
Michael Barron is a senior accounting student at the Moore School of Business. He is from Columbia and came to the University under the SC Life Scholarship; upon his graduation in May 2013, he will be going to graduate school at USC. Michael is a founding member of the USC student chapter of IMA.
Kun Yin is a junior finance and marketing student at the Moore School of Business. He came to the University as a Palmetto Fellow Scholar and Dean's Scholar. He is an active member of Delta Sigma Pi and serves on the exec board as Spring Fling Chair.
Anh Nguyen Vu is a senior in International Business and Global Supply Chain & Operations Management at the Moore School of Business. He is originally from Hanoi, Vietnam and came to USC in 2011. He is a Lean Six Sigma Sonoco Green Belt Candidate for May 2013.