Vroom’s Expectancy Theory

This refers to a theory of employee management and motivation. The theory states that an employee will work smarter and/or harder if they believe their additional efforts will lead to valued rewards. It assumes that behaviour is caused by making a conscious choice from a number of alternatives, pleasure being maximised and pain minimised. It… Read more

Business process re-engineering (BPR)

This refers to a structured approach to re-designing an organisation and its processes to improve their efficiency. Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) focuses on the analysis and design of workflows and business processes across an organisation (not just within one function), identifying waste, duplication and unnecessary delay. Originally developed in the 1990s with a cost-cutting focus… Read more

Kaizen costing

This refers to a continuous quality improvement philosophy originally implemented in Japanese manufacturing industries. The philosophy seeks daily incremental improvements, typically through the participation of all staff, with every team member involved in improving the work of their team and the quality of their production. Techniques used within the Kaizen philosophy include the Deming cycle… Read more

Risk management

This refers to the structured management process for assessing, mitigating or accepting business risk. Risk management begins with the identification of potential risks, their likelihood and potential impact on the organisation. In the light of the assessment, managers identify appropriate actions to reduce the likelihood of negative risks occurring or to mitigate their impact if… Read more

Matrix Structure

Matrix structure refers to an organisational structure which includes both functional and business or project accountability. Individuals working in a matrix structure typically report to two lines of management, one for the delivery of the task in hand and the other for their subject matter expertise. For example a project to develop a new product… Read more


This refers to the structured process of comparing performance, internally or externally, against best practice performance levels. Benchmarking takes the organisation’s performance metrics (for example number of units produced per employee) and compares these metrics with other organisations or business units. Where significant gaps are identified, the root cause of these differences is analysed and… Read more

Balanced scorecard

This refers to a system used to assess the organisation’s performance against, typically, four business dimensions. A balanced scorecard measures the organisation’s performance against financial, customer service, internal efficiency and organisational development (for example research and development, staff development) criteria. The approach recognises that a single measure (for example profitability) may be distorted in the… Read more

Front line managers

This refers to the lowest layer of management, where the staff managed by the front line manager do not themselves manage other staff. Examples of front line managers include store supervisors responsible for check-out staff and site foremen responsible for labouring staff. Front line managers is a term normally found in human resources and performance… Read more

Performance Prism

This refers to a strategic and performance management approach which focuses on the performance of the organisation and its stakeholders. The Performance Prism assesses five interrelated elements: stakeholder satisfaction. stakeholder contribution, organisational strategies, business processes and organisational capabilities for stakeholders such as investors, customers, employees, suppliers, regulators and members of the wider community. The Performance… Read more

Performance management

This is the systematic process by which the overall performance of an organisation is monitored and improved. Performance management systems include the establishment of corporate visions and goals, the setting or business and individual targets, measuring and reporting performance against those targets, reviewing performance and adjusting activities in the light of that review. Performance management… Read more