Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Patrick T. Hester

Committee Member

Charles B. Keating

Committee Member

Pilar Pazos-Lago

Committee Member

Thomas Meyers


Performance measurement is utilized by organizations in all industries, including research and development (R&D). Measures are developed, data are collected, and the measurement results are used to drive the organization. The implicit hope is, of course, that the measures drive the organization to improve. However, literature identifies high failure rates directly related to performance measurement system (PMS) implementations. Establishing the fundamental operational characteristics associated with successful PMSs would provide a significant contribution towards the establishment of PMS assessment criteria. This research addresses this gap through the use of a grounded theory method employed to identify these operational characteristics, assesses the findings against systems theory concepts, and produces a practical assessment framework for R&D PMSs.

A grounded theory method was used to identify a theoretical construct of operational characteristics. These operational characteristics were then compared to systems theory axioms and principles to evaluate them in terms of systems complexity. These two steps provided a comprehensive basis for a systems-based assessment of R&D PMS implementations. Finally, the research introduces a framework for assessment, using maturity levels, as a practical contribution by aligning the theoretically-derived operational characteristics and an adaptation of the Capability Maturity Model. The systems-based R&D PMS implementation assessment framework provides practitioners with a means to assess the current state of their PMS implementation and provides guidance needed for them to improve their PMS.