Journal of Productivity Analysis

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 87–107 | Cite as

Benchmarking for routines and organizational knowledge: a managerial accounting approach with performance feedback

  • Mircea Epure


This study proposes a managerial accounting research design that bridges a gap between firm productivity based on frontier techniques and strategic management. In doing so, it operationalizes the theoretical frameworks based on the endogenous components of across-firms heterogeneous resources and routines, which are fundamental for firm performance. The design focuses on industry-level benchmarking to analyze changes in performance and organizational knowledge investments, and proposes some indicators for firm-level strategic benchmarking. An analysis of a 12-year panel of the U.S. technology hardware and equipment industry illustrates the usefulness of the proposals. Findings reveal wider gaps between better and worse performers following economic distress. Increasing intangibles stocks is positively associated with changes in frontier benchmarking, while enhancing R&D spending is linked to frontier shifts. The discussion develops managerial interpretations suitable for control and reward systems.


Benchmarking Resources Management accounting Organizational investments Frontier analysis 

JEL Classification

M1 M41 D2 D24 



I thank two anonymous referees, participants at the European Workshop on Efficiency and Productivity Analysis in Helsinki, the European Accounting Association conference in Paris, the Strategic Management Society conference in Copenhagen, and the Barcelona Accounting Seminar at ESADE for useful comments. This research received financial support from the Spanish Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness through Grant ECO2014-57131-R. Usual disclaimers apply.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and BusinessUniversitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona GSE and Barcelona School of ManagementBarcelonaSpain

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