Title: Benchmarking operations to promote learning: an internal supply chain perspective

Authors: Helen Benton, Mario Binder, Wolfgang Egel-Hess

Addresses: Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge CB4 1UP, UK. ' Automotive Business Unit, ZLU – Zentrum fur Logistik und Unternehmensplanung GmbH, 10245 Berlin, Germany; Operations and Information Management Group, Aston Business School, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK. ' BASF AG, Germany

Abstract: Despite the widespread discussion of organisational learning, there is little scholarly contribution on promoting learning through the practical application of management tools. This is especially true in a complex internal supply chain context of an organisation. This paper seeks to address this gap by exploring and analysing the capability of the benchmarking tool to promote learning in the internal supply chain context of a large organisation. A longitudinal in-depth case study of a project that benchmarked the filling and packing internal supply chain with its internal and external interfaces was conducted within the German chemical company BASF. Four key management areas were identified to facilitate learning during a benchmarking project: knowledge management, change management, project management, and leadership. This research proposes a set of propositions combining benchmarking and learning within the context of internal supply chains that are grounded in the empirical data and the extant learning theory.

Keywords: benchmarking; chemical industry; organisational learning; supply chain management; SCM; value chain; internal supply chain; Germany; BASF; knowledge management; change management; project management; leadership.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLC.2007.015507

International Journal of Learning and Change, 2007 Vol.2 No.2, pp.145 - 169

Published online: 22 Oct 2007 *

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