Edited by Sten Söderman and Harald Dolles
Chapter 3: Researching elite sport systems using process benchmarking
The concept of benchmarking emerged in the management literature as a consequence of a series of successful organizational development projects conducted by the management of the US copier manufacturer Rank Xerox. Since its emergence in the 1980s, benchmarking has been used as a framework for researching best practice in a range of industries in an attempt to understand and improve performance. Within sport management for example, benchmarking has been used to compare the performances of public sport facilities and as a framework for investigating the management of sport teams (Böhlke, 2002). In the context of elite sport systems, research carried out to identify the factors that need to be present in order to facilitate international sporting success (de Bosscher et al., 2006, 2008; Green, 2007; Green and Oakley, 2001) has similarities to, or makes direct reference to, the process of benchmarking. The existing research into the comparison and analysis of elite sport systems has led to a convergence in the design of those sport systems as many countries have attempted to copy what has been perceived to contribute to the performance of those nations who have a history of elite sporting success (Green and Oakley, 2001).
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