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Pietro Micheli

Professore a contratto

Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche


Syllabus for this year (2016-2017)

Module objectives

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Understand the importance of intended and emergent strategies, and how to design strategic objectives
  • Critically assess the design, implementation, use and review of performance measurement systems.
  • Understand the roles performance measurement and management play in organizations.
  • Link performance management practices at inter-organizational, organizational and individual levels.
  • Critique different performance improvement approaches
  • Understand how organisations can both improve and innovate
  • Apply the key principles and tools (e.g., strategy maps, performance indicators and targets, value stream maps) taught on the course to a wide range of organisations across all sectors.


This module looks at how healthcare organisations can measure, manage and improve their performance. In particular, we will consider connections between strategy, performance measurement and continuous improvement - and examine how these elements can positively affect the performance of organizations and individuals.

We first look at strategy formulation and implementation, to understand how to set priorities and direction in organisations, and to define how the main objectives should be achieved. We then turn to performance management as a key means to execute strategy: while organizations may design appropriate corporate and business strategies, they usually fail to execute them. Therefore, we will consider how this could be avoided and, in particular, how performance measurement systems – balanced scorecards, dashboards, etc. - could help put strategy into practice.

Finally, we link performance measurement and management to improvement and innovation. Healthcare organizations are increasingly required to be more efficient, provide greater value to patients/customers, and address the needs of their key stakeholders. However, research shows that short term ‘fixes’ and mere applications of tools rarely work. In this module we will see how improvements can be achieved and sustained only through a deep understanding – and sometimes re-engineering - of organizational processes, and through the promotion of learning and improvement at individual, team and organizational levels.

This module is rooted in the real world: we will look at the latest thinking and tools, carry out exercises (e.g., on how to develop strategy, scorecards, targets and indicators), and use real examples from various organisations. At the same time, we will look for relevant academic work that could explain why certain approaches work or not, and what we could do to effectively manage performance in organizations.

Module assessments

The marks for this module are awarded for an individual assignment. Specifically, you will have to analyse and critique performance measurement and improvement practices in an organization of your choosing. You may select an organization / business unit you have worked for, or an organization you could find information on – further details will be provided during the module.

The essay will have to be 2,500 words’ long (+/- 10%), excluding references and tables. Longer or shorter essays will not be marked.

Module Reading Materials

The main texts we will use are:

Gray, D., Micheli, P. and Pavlov, A., (2014), Measurement madness – Recognising and avoiding the pitfalls of performance measurement, John Wiley & Sons.

Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A. and Johnston, R. (2013), Operations management, 7th ed., Pearson.

Specific pre-readings are:

Day 1:

Gray, Micheli and Pavlov – Part I (chapters 1 and 2)

Kaplan, R. S. and Norton, D. P. (1992), ‘The Balanced Scorecard - Indicators that drive performance', Harvard Business Review, Vol. 70, No. 1, pp. 71-79.

Kaplan, R.S., Norton, D.P. (2000). ‘Having trouble with your strategy? Then map it’, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 78, No. 5, pp. 167–176.

Day 2:

Gray, Micheli and Pavlov – Chapter 7

Day 3:

Gray, Micheli and Pavlov – Chapter 6

Days 4-5:

Slack et al. – Chapters 15 (pp. 464-481), 17 (pp. 534-551) and 18 (pp. 578-592).

Pubblicato il: 25 gennaio 2017