Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Towards a definition of a business performance measurement system

By Monica Franco-Santos, Mike Kennerley, Pietro Micheli, Veronica Martinez, Steve Mason, Bernard Marr, Dina Gray and Andrew Neely


Scholars in the field of performance measurement tend to use the term business performance measurement (BPM) systems without explaining exactly what they mean by it. This lack of clarity creates confusion and comparability issues, and makes it difficult for researchers to build on one an each other's work. The purpose of this paper is to identify the key characteristics of a BPM system, by reviewing the different definitions of a BPM system that exist in the literature. This work aims to open a debate on what are the necessary and sufficient conditions of a BPM system. It is also hoped that a greater level of clarity in the performance measurement research arena will be encouraged. Design/methodology/approach--The performance measurement literature is reviewed using a systematic approach. Findings--Based on this research, a set of conditions of a BPM system has been proposed from which researchers can choose those which are necessary and sufficient conditions for their studies. Research limitations/implications--The analysis in this paper provides a structure and set of characteristics that researchers could use as a reference framework to define a BPM system for their work, and as a way to define the specific focus of their investigations. More clarity and precision around the use of the BPM systems phrase will improve the generalisability and comparability of research in this area. Originality/value--By reviewing the different definitions of a BPM system that exist in the literature this paper will hopefully stimulate a debate on the necessary and sufficient conditions of a BPM system and encourage a greater level of clarity in the performance measurement research arena

Topics: Business performance, Performance management, Performance measurement (quality)
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1108/01443570710763778
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

Suggested articles


  1. (1997). A Stakeholder Approach to Strategic Performance Measurement”,
  2. (1999). Aligning Strategic Performance Measures and Results, The Conference Board,
  3. (2005). An examination of the literature relating to issues affecting how companies manage through measures, doi
  4. (2003). Assessing and maximising the impact of measuring business performance,
  5. (2001). Balanced Scorecard: a Rising Trend in Strategic Performance Measurement”, doi
  6. (2003). Business Performance Measurement - Past, Present, doi
  7. (2002). Business Performance Measurement: Theory and Practice, doi
  8. (2003). Deleted: We thank the EPSRC for support of this project through the research grants: Managing through Measures (grant number GR/R56136/01) and Evaluating the Impact of Performance Measurement Systems (grant number GR/S28846).23
  9. (1995). Dynamic strategy formulation and alignment”. doi
  10. (2003). Ethical Dilemmas in Performance Measurement”,
  11. (1991). Facets of Systems Science, Kluwer Academic Lebas, doi
  12. (2006). Hard facts, dangerous half-truths, and total nonsense, doi
  13. (2003). Implementing performance measurement systems: a literature review”, doi
  14. (1997). Integrated Performance Measurement Systems: a Development Guide”, doi
  15. (2006). Is There Such a Thing as ‘Evidence Based Management’ ”, doi
  16. (1996). Linking the Balanced Scorecard to Strategy (Reprinted From the Balanced Scorecard)”, doi
  17. (1994). Making Best Use of Performance-Measures and Information”, doi
  18. (1991). Measure Up - The Essential Guide to Measuring Business Performance,
  19. (1998). Measuring Business Performance: Why, What and How,
  20. (1983). Measuring Manufacturing Performance: A New Challenge for Accounting Research”, doi
  21. (2003). Necessary and Sufficient Conditions, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,
  22. (1990). Performance Management in Local Government, doi
  23. (1999). Performance Management: a Framework for Management Control Systems Research”, doi
  24. (2001). Performance Measurement Practices Survey Results,
  25. (1995). Performance Measurement System Design: a Literature Review and Research Agenda”, doi
  26. (2000). Performance Measurement Systems Design: Developing and Testing a Process Based Approach”, doi
  27. (1987). Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting, doi
  28. (1998). Strategic Performance Measurement and Incentive Compensation”, doi
  29. (1999). Systems Thinking, Systems Practice, doi
  30. (1954). The Practice of Management,
  31. (2003). Understanding strategic performance measurement systems and their impact on organisational outcomes: a systematic review, Working paper Cranfield School of Management.
  32. (1992). What Is Strategic Performance Measurement?, Ernst &

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.