Using research such as benchmarking contributes to strategic decision making by allowing leaders to compile information from various data points from within their organization to achieve optimum outcomes and higher performance levels. By looking from within an organization to see what can be improved upon, and which aspects of organizational development will contribute to favorable improvements for the stakeholders, organizations can continue to be the best they can be. “As such, developing a methodology for effectively benchmarking sustainable business practices is an important step in the evolution of sustainability management. However, a company’s sustainability performance is composed of many elements that may involve difficult tradeoffs, and its performance may vary over time.” (Maltz, Bi, & Bateman, 2018). There is always room for improvement in the strategic, leadership, and management aspects of a firm, therefore, as difficult and intensive as benchmarking is when executed properly an organization can continue to hold their strategic advantage in the market that it exists in.
It is important for leaders to understand and know how to use research to improve organizational effectiveness because an organization that is not continually trying to improve itself is one that will lose its strategic and competitive advantage and possibly lose its relevance in its market. Leaders must also know the organization they work for inside and out to be able to extract the key (sometimes hidden) information that would contribute to increased performance and innovation. Leaders need to know the drivers that stifle development as well as the ones that bolster development. Knowing what to research and how to use that information is what will keep an organization in front of its competitors and generate success.
Maltz, E., Bi, H. H., & Bateman, M. (2018). Benchmarking sustainability performance: the next step in building sustainable business models. Journal of Public Affairs (14723891), 18(3), 1. https://doi.org/10.1002/pa.1606