Main Performance Categories: Effectiveness and Efficiency

  • Harald DyckhoffEmail author
  • Rainer Souren
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Business book series (BRIEFSBUSINESS)


Traditional methods of cost/benefit-analysis in economics and of management accounting in business administration usually measure the performance of activities in monetary terms. In contrast, this book focuses on particular aspects of the theory, methodology, and application of performance evaluations for non-financial data. They are relevant for a wide range of application areas where other values than purely market-based economic ones are important, e.g. because of social or ecological impacts in cases of sustainability evaluations. The first chapter explains why the measurement of effectiveness and efficiency forms the core of performance evaluations in general. Based on Max Weber’s concept of purposive rationality, it approaches performance evaluation as a kind of generalised cost/benefit-analysis for non-financial types of costs and benefits which measure the disadvantages and advantages of an action on distinct, incommensurable scales. The approach is based both on decision theory and production theory. In this way, well-known concepts and methods of performance measurement, such as those of data envelopment analysis or life cycle assessment, are enhanced by a sound foundation for fruitful and valid empirical research and applications. In addition, the scope, focus, and contents of the following chapters are sketched.


Benefits Costs Effectiveness Efficiency Key performance indicator Performance measurement Rationality 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business and EconomicsRWTH Aachen UniversityRheineGermany
  2. 2.Group of Sustainable Production and Logistics ManagementIlmenau University of TechnologyIlmenauGermany

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