Implementing a performance management system in a field service organisation : lessons from a telephone company

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Lamb, Duncan Andrew
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MA of Business Administration
Brunel University
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Since the onset of industrialisation, one of the central tasks of management has been to improve ‘productivity’. This dissertation is an analysis of factors which are important in the goal of improving productivity through measurement and feedback. This type of improvement activity has been a current theme through the ninety years since Taylor first examined worker activity in a metal cutting factory. He concluded that there were improvements to be gained from carefully studying the work flow, allocating each worker a defined part of the production function, measuring the efficiency of each worker, and paying him on the basis of that measure. Since Taylor, who focused on individuals' performance, we have seen a series of ‘measurement’ techniques such as Management by Objectives (MBO) focusing on Managers, Total Total quality management (TQM) focusing on Processes and now Performance Management Systems (PMS) focusing again on individuals. Each of these systems has attempted to correct some of the shortcomings of the previous systems.