Performance measures in English small and medium enterprises: survey results

  • Sousa S
  • Aspinwall E
  • Guimarães Rodrigues A
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Abstract

Purpose – To determine the current state of knowledge related to performance measures and their degree of implementation in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in England. Design/methodology/approach – The paper starts with a literature review and then goes on to discuss the methodology used. The survey is briefly presented together with the analysis of the resultant data. General opinions regarding performance measurement in English SMEs are described, including the most important measures and the biggest obstacles to the adoption of new ones. Hypotheses about differences between groups are tested and discussed. Findings – This work concludes that there is a gap between the theory/knowledge of performance measures and the practice in English SMEs. Training of employees and difficulty in defining new performance measures were highlighted as the major obstacles to the adoption of new performance measures. Research limitations/implications – The low response rate of the survey precludes the generalisation of the findings. Practical implications – Innovation and learning measures should be applied more widely. Originality/value – This paper is relevant to academics and SME managers because it supports the existence of a gap between the theory of performance measurement and its degree of implementation. In addition, it introduces both theoretical information on performance measurement, including that based on the balanced scorecard perspectives, and practical information from a survey conducted in English SMEs. Keywords Performance measures, Small tomedium-sized enterprises, Balanced scorecard, Total quality management, England

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Authors

  • Sérgio D. Sousa

  • Elaine M. Aspinwall

  • A. Guimarães Rodrigues

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