Benchmarking the business performance of departmental space in universities

MATZDORF, F. (2010). Benchmarking the business performance of departmental space in universities. In: European facility management conference 2010: 9th EuroFM research symposium, Madrid, 1-2 June 2010. (Submitted)


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Purpose and Theory: In UK higher education institutions, facilities management performance tends to be measured in space utilisation and space cost. A new approach uses the �return on investment� (ROI) concept of income generation to highlight space performance at faculty/department/building level.

Design and approach: Using space data from several English universities and data envelopment analysis (DEA), six types of academic units (departments, institutes or similar) are compared in regard of their respective research and teaching income. This technique allows mapping out the total �envelope� with the best performers at the edge, showing what improvement/change would be needed for the others in the group to match their performance.

Findings: This is a viable method of benchmarking and gives participating institutions better and more strategic and business-oriented feedback on the performance of their space envelope than mere cost comparisons. It can potentially inform strategic decisions about university estates. However, there are barriers to applying this approach: problems posed by issues of classification and diverse organisational structures can be overcome, but lack of collaboration of facilities/estates and finance directorates; lack of centralised, accurate and detailed data pose more serious challenges.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Paper accepted for presentation at the European facility management conference 2010: 9th EuroFM research symposium to be held in Madrid, Spain from 1-2 June 2010.
Uncontrolled Keywords: facilities management, benchmarking, higher education, data envelopment analysis, output, income generation.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Service Sector Management
Depositing User: Users 4 not found.
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2010 15:14
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 13:33

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