Reconceptualising e-business performance measurement using an innovation adoption framework

Hinton, C. Matthew and Barnes, David (2012). Reconceptualising e-business performance measurement using an innovation adoption framework. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 61(5) pp. 502–517.



Purpose – Previous empirical research into the performance measurement of exemplary e-businesses has pointed to a lack of progress in developing distinctive performance metrics for e-business and a failure to adopt best practice in performance management. The objective of this paper is to reconsider the evidence from that study by drawing on innovation adoption theories.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper re-examines the findings from case study-based research that investigated leading e-business performance measurement practices. The study suggests that there are limitations in analysing the findings using normative best practice, the dominant paradigm within performance management. Given that e-business innovation relies on the adoption of multiple technologies this paper reconsiders the findings using the conceptual perspective of the innovation adoption literature.

Findings – The study highlights the importance of individual, cognitive, social and cultural influences in an organisation's operating environment on its willingness to adapt performance measurement metrics for online business activities. The findings point to the benefits available from incorporating new theoretic perspectives in performance measurement research.

Research limitations/implications – The work points to a need to adopt a more context-specific approach to the development of e-business performance measurement. Furthermore, it indicates ways in which both the understanding and practice of performance measurement in e-business can be advanced.

Originality/value – This paper highlights the limitations of current performance management literature as monopolised by normative best practice thinking, and argues for the need to incorporate other theoretical perspectives into performance management research

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