'Good enough' performance measurement: A trade-off between activity and action

R. Johnston*, S. Brignall, L. Fitzgerald

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Performance measurement systems along the lines of the EFQM and the balanced scorecard have developed rapidly in recent years, and now occupy much management time and effort. There is limited evidence that performance improvement has received proportionate attention. Six organisations selected to their success were studied using a grounded theory approach based on interviews with management accountants and operations managers in each of the organisations. It is clear that they are all making strenuous efforts to use their performance measurement systems but with a focus on the 'good enough' rather than the detail. This gave managers in these organisations the time and space to concentrate on the use of performance measures on forward looking relevance, understanding and action, rather than retrospective and detailed control. This approach was promoted by senior managers and was based on their ability to see the business in simple terms and their understanding of the key drivers of business performance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)256-262
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2002


    • Good enough
    • Management accounting
    • Operations management
    • Performance improvement
    • Performance measurement


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