Benchmarking is a crucial management tool that guides the stakeholders on the overall performance of the organization as well as mobilizing the employees on a continuous improvement of the organisation’s environmental and social performance. Bench marking is considered to have an impact when the results of the organization performance are immediate (Vorhies and Morgan, 2005). It is essential to recognize that benchmarking and the transfer of the best industry practices are supposed to help an organization in the long run through maximum utilization of the available resources and filling in the gaps associated with an organization poor performance (Drew, 1995).
The notion of a single best practice may be overstated. Distinctive human resource practices help to create unique competencies that differentiate products and services and drive competitiveness in organizations. People management practices are the drivers of efforts to create distinctive competencies and, in turn, business strategies. There are various human resource management models that have been used by companies to benchmark and stay competitive in the turbulent business environment and they include the Industrial Organization Model and McKenzie’s 7s Strategy which include shared values, structure, strategy, systems, style, staff and skills.
Shared values are commonly held beliefs, mindsets, and assumptions that shape how an organization behaves and its corporate culture. Shared values are what engender trust. They are an interconnecting centre of the 7Ss model. Values are the identity by which a company is known throughout its business areas, what the organization stands for and what it believes in, it central beliefs and attitudes. These values must be explicitly stated as both corporate objectives and individual values.
Structure is the organizational chart and associated information that shows who reports to whom and how tasks are both divided up and integrated. In other words, structures describe the hierarchy of authority and accountability in an organization, the way the organization's units relate to each other: centralized, functional divisions (top-down); decentralized (the trend in larger organizations); matrix, network, holding among others. These relationships are frequently diagrammed in organizational charts. Most organizations use some mix of structures: pyramidal, matrix or networked ones to accomplish their goals.
Strategies are plans an organization formulates to reach identified goals, and a set of decisions and actions aimed at gaining a sustainable advantage over the competition.
Systems define the flow of activities involved in the daily operation of business, including its core processes and its support systems. They refer to the procedures, processes and routines that are used to manage the organization and characterize how important work is to be done.
Style refers to the cultural style of the organization, how key managers behave in achieving the organization’s goals, how managers collectively spend their time and attention, and how they use symbolic behaviour. How management acts is more important that what management says.
Staff refers to the number and types of personnel within the organization and how companies develop employees and shape basic values.
Skills refer to the dominant distinctive capabilities and competencies of the personnel or of the organization as a whole.
Industrial Organization (I/O) Model
The external environment is primary determinant of the organizational strategy rather than internal decisions of managers. The environment presents threats and opportunities all competing to have equal access to resources. Resources are highly mobile between firms. Organizational success is achieved by offering goods and services at lower costs than...