At first sight, the concept of measuring and managing business performance is straightforward not necessarily easy: Managing Organizational Health Essay, UWS, Malaysia


University of the West of Scotland (UWS)

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Managing Organizational Health

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At first sight, the concept of measuring and managing business performance is straightforward −not necessarily easy to do −but a logical process that is easy to define and understand. On deeper inspection that is not the case. Performance management and measurement are complex, reaching every level of the business from the development of a strategy to the management of individual employees.

The performance management process often raises fundamental questions about the purpose and direction of the business, questions senior managers do not always want to ask. It brings to the fore many grey areas and problems for which there are no easy answers but which may have been lying, untouchable, within the organization, and causing trouble for years. It involves a wide range of activities and skills from strategic thinking to detailed analysis and from facilitating discussions to gaining commitment to actions and just making sure things are happening. It is ultimately about getting the right things done.

Many businesses fall into the trap of treating their performance management process almost as a ‘tick box’ exercise, something that can support and run alongside the implementation of their strategy. In fact, if it is to be successful, it needs to be an intrinsic part of strategy formulation as well as be integrated into everyday business. It should involve a broad range of people with different skills and it should touch every employee.

However, too many businesses waste substantial amounts of money, time, and employees’ goodwill on half-hearted processes that do not work or cause more trouble because they lead the business in the wrong direction. Businesses that invest time and effort in getting their systems right can gain a considerable competitive advantage.

Although there are some golden rules, there is no single ‘correct way’ to manage and measure performance. You may already have processes and systems set up−most organizations to have. The book is designed so you can dip into selected chapters and take from them what you feel is appropriate. In the interest of making the book readable, references have not been used in the body of the text in the academic tradition. Clearly, all the ideas are not our own so we have included at the end of each chapter a set of further readings that capture both the original source of the ideas and more detail for people who want to investigate a particular subject further.

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