Handbook of Research on Sport and Business
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Handbook of Research on Sport and Business

Edited by Sten Söderman and Harald Dolles

This Handbook draws together top international researchers and discusses the state of the art and the future direction of research at the nexus between sport and business. It is heavily built upon choosing, applying and evaluating appropriate quantitative as well as qualitative research methods for practical advice in sport and business research.
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Chapter 3: Researching elite sport systems using process benchmarking

Leigh Robinson and Nikolai Böhlke


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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