CONCEPTUAL FORMATION OF TERRITORIAL BENCHMARKING
Аспирант, Омский государственный университет им. Ф.М. Достоевского
КОНЦЕПТУАЛЬНОЕ СТАНОВЛЕНИЕ БЕНЧМАРКИНГА ТЕРРИТОРИЙ
В статье рассматриваются сущность и основные положения территориального бенчмаркинга, которые выстраиваются на базе оригинальной концепции бенчмаркинга, теории нового государственного управления и концепции региональной конкурентоспособности.
Ключевые слова: бенчмаркинг, новое государственное управление, региональная конкурентоспособность.
Post-graduate student, senior teacher, Omsk F.M. Dostoevsky State University
This article is devoted to the essence and highlights of territorial benchmarking which are built on the basis of original benchmarking concept, new public management theory and the concept of regional competitiveness.
Keywords: benchmarking, new public management, regional competitiveness.
Benchmarking is a methodology of innovative and creative behavior of contemporary economic units which effectively learn and adopt methods and tools of theoretical and practical content for the purpose of the improvement of units’ characteristics.
According to the international consultancy firm “BAIN&Co” benchmarking is a widespread management technology that occasionally takes one of the first places in “Top 10 Management Tools” list .
While globalization compels different countries and regions to compete with each other benchmarking becomes more popular management tool among not only multinational companies but State institutions [2, 10].
It must be mentioned that the theory of benchmarking on company’s level appeared in 1972, but the scientific base of territorial (regional, spatial) benchmarking began developing only at the end of XX century. Territorial benchmarking theory is taken under consideration in the publications of Huggins R., Stimpson R., Thompson P., Perani J., Sirilli S., Cooke Ph., Zairi M., Harmes-Liedtke U., Kozak M., Malecki E., Legler H., Rutten R., Boekema F., Stough R.R., Roberts B.H., Izushi H., Prokop D. and etc.
Russian researches of territorial benchmarking are only on initial stage of their development. This field of science is considered by Moskovkin V.M., Voronina L.V., Chervyakov S.S., Kaverzin I.L. and etc.
The universality of benchmarking determines it’s suitability in public management and this fact is successfully confirmed with the experience that has been gained in Europe and the US. That’s why many managers of territorial (regional) development are interested in benchmarking. For example, the basis of territorial benchmarking concept in Europe is determined in the Lisbon Strategy which aim is to create the most competitive regional economies in the world. According to “US Navy Best Manufacturing Practices Center of Excellence” half of all organizations in the US, which do benchmarking exercises, relates to government .
The analysis of publication has revealed that the territorial benchmarking is based on new public management theory, original benchmarking and the concept of regional competitiveness.
Apart from the fact that original benchmarking concept provides different models, tools and methodological process, it also allows distinguishing the features that differs this theory from territorial benchmarking. In particular, German economic development professional Harmes-Liedtke U. states two distinctive features of spatial benchmarking.
Firstly, benchmarking on company’s level faces the problem of sharing data with competitors, which makes it somewhat difficult for comparisons between companies. But things are different when it comes to comparing locations. The competitive relationship between regional and local territories is much less accentuated than the one that is established between direct competitor companies [4, 5].
Secondly, according to the original concept benchmarking is all about comparing critical business processes, naturally with the intention of improving results. But benchmarking in the public sector is oriented above all towards results or indicators related to performance, and thus serves first and foremost as a comparison of outputs. Having developed this idea Huggins R., Izushi H., Thompson P. and Prokop D. worked out three interconnected types of benchmarking [5, 184]:
- performance benchmarking – based on a comparison of metrics portraying the relevant characteristics of benchmarked regions;
- process benchmarking – based on a comparison of the structures, institutions, and systems constituting the practices and functioning of benchmarked regions;
- policy benchmarking – based on a comparison of the types of public policy considered to influence the nature of the practices and subsequently the characteristics of benchmarked regions.
All these types of territorial benchmarking must be used periodically in order to get the synergistic effect. As territorial benchmarking becomes more sophisticated, it builds on the preceding modes, i.e. it is difficult to undertake spatial process benchmarking without first undertaking a performance benchmarking exercise, and similarly policy benchmarking usually builds upon the findings of process benchmarking exercises.
The formation of territorial benchmarking as well has become possible thanks to new public management that constitutes a new model of management and implies adaptation successfully used management tools from the sphere of corporate and strategic management. For an instance, there are some good regional practices in using of:
- SWOT-analysis, adopted by Grant R.;
- strategic matrices like BCG or McKinsey;
- Balanced Scorecard, which is developed by Kaplan R. and normally utilized in corporate management.
Territorial benchmarking is tightly connected with the regional competitiveness which can be defined as the capacity and capability of regions to achieve economic growth relative to other regions at a similar overall stage of economic development [6, 156]. The regional competitiveness is built on the basis of regional development strategy which usually includes three main parameters: economic, social and environmental factors. All this factors must be used in combination for the strategy- building of sustainable development.
There are still a lot of scientific debates about concrete metrics which must be used in the strategy building. Malecki E. states that it’s very important to use such indicators as the level of human capital, the degree of innovative capacity, and the quality of the local infrastructure [6, 157].
It’s significant to notice that there are some projects in Europe already that allows comparing some cities in different European countries according to the factors that define sustainable development. For example, “ESPON CityBench Webtool”, which was created in 2013 (see fig. 1).
Fig. 1 – ESPON program in Europe
ESPON has developed, in strong cooperation with EIB and EUROSTAT, an innovative and user-friendly tool for a first benchmarking of European cities . It aims at giving a first indication on suitable locations for urban investment, based on various themes like demography, economy, quality of life or investment climate.
Some experts argue that territorial benchmarking is a new management technology and its methodology hasn’t been developed properly yet. But the majority of specialists in regional development is confident that the success of European and American practice in territorial benchmarking exercises will force a lot of countries around the world to use this relatively new management tool.
- Top 10 Management Tolls // Official website of the international consultancy firm “BAIN&Co” – [Электронный ресурс]. – Режим доступа: http://www.bain.com/management_tools/BainTopTenTools/default.asp.
- Searls B., Mann R., Hogler K. Benchmarking 2030: future of benchmarking // Global Benchmarking Network. Germany, 2013. – P. 70.
- US Navy Best Manufacturing Practices Center of Excellence. – [Электронный ресурс]. – Режим доступа: http://bmpcoe.org.
- Harmes-Liedtke U. Benchmarking Territorial Competitiveness // Mesopartner working paper. Buenos Aires, 2007. – P. 33.
- Huggins R., Izushi H., Prokop D., Thompson P. The Global competitiveness of regions. New York, 2014. – P. 260.
- Huggins R., Izushi H., Thompson P. Regional Competitiveness: Theories and Methodologies for Empirical Analysis // The Business and Economics Research Journal. – 2013. – № 6.2. – P. 155-172.
- Official website of the “ESPON” program in Europe. – [Электронный ресурс]. – Режим доступа: http://espon.geodan.nl/citybench3/index.html.