Citation

Organizational Benchmarking in School Districts: A cost benefit analysis of International Study Tours

Abstract | Word Stems | Keywords | Association | Citation | Similar Titles



Abstract:

In education, as in many fields, knowledge of national and international developments is no longer a luxury; it is a part of standard operations. Reports comparing systems around the world, whether by testing agencies (e.g. IEA, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) or international policy organizations (e.g. OECD, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) or consulting companies (e.g. McKinsey) attract enormous public and media attention. All international assessments show large differences in student outcomes across countries, even taking into account national wealth or other influencing factors. Moreover, some jurisdictions have made considerable improvements in educational outcomes over fairly short periods of time, suggesting that others could do the same if properly focused. Policy proposals in education here at home are often based on models or examples from other countries. School districts cannot ignore their performance relative to other systems, not only those nearby but around the world.

International study tours for the purpose of “organizational benchmarking” can be a valuable element of organizational learning and improvement. The practice of international travel for benchmarking is widely used in various sectors and represents an organizational investment in leadership development and improvement. However, in the current era of austerity, a publicly funded organization, such as a school district, can easily get into more difficulty over a few thousand dollars of spending on than over its overall performance as a school system. Public educational organizations need to have a thoughtful approach to issues that can become subjects of public scrutiny. In terms of international study tours, public educational organizations need to articulate the purposes, demonstrate the results and place these activities in the context of broader improvement goals.

In this paper we provide a cost/benefit analysis of recent study tours organized by a Canadian School Board, demonstrating that in both monetary terms and in terms of participants’ subsequent work within the organization, the benchmarking visits contributed value to the district.

We first provide an overall frame of reference for thinking about such travel, concluding that when used to “benchmark” against other high performing systems in the purpose of home organization improvement it can be an important part of effective organizational learning.

In Section 2 we review literature on “benchmarking” as an activity done by all kinds of organizations in the public and private sectors, analyzing the key components that make this work useful. We also examine evidence on the extent of international benchmarking travel in education around the world. In both cases we find that this kind of travel is a frequent activity of many kinds of organizations. The stage of work leads to the primary conclusions that benchmarking through international travel can be a valuable element of organizational learning and improvement and that benchmarking needs to be carefully organized and strongly connected to organizational improvement generally.

In Section 3 we present a case study of one Canadian School Board’s recent experience with benchmarking through international study tours and provide evidence of the value of the associated expenditures. Primary data sources include a semi-structured survey of former study tour participants as well as the analysis of a series of documents relating to those study tours. The evidence demonstrates that with relatively low cost, these benchmarking travels indeed fostered open-mindedness and learning motivation in participants and resulted in various post trip learning activities among colleagues in the Board. We conclude with a discussion of the various issues in maximizing the value of international benchmarking.

Section 4 provides conclusions and recommendations. We propose a clear policy framework for international benchmarking that would provide all parties with a sound basis for knowing that Board resources were being well used.

Author's Keywords:

International Benchmarking, Study Tours, Organizational learning and improvement
Convention
Submission, Review, and Scheduling! All Academic Convention can help with all of your abstract management needs and many more. Contact us today for a quote!
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

Association:
Name: Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference
URL:
http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p708801_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Read, Robyn., Huang, Xuefeng. and Flessa, Joseph. "Organizational Benchmarking in School Districts: A cost benefit analysis of International Study Tours" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Mar 10, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p708801_index.html>

APA Citation:

Read, R. , Huang, X. and Flessa, J. , 2014-03-10 "Organizational Benchmarking in School Districts: A cost benefit analysis of International Study Tours" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p708801_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In education, as in many fields, knowledge of national and international developments is no longer a luxury; it is a part of standard operations. Reports comparing systems around the world, whether by testing agencies (e.g. IEA, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) or international policy organizations (e.g. OECD, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) or consulting companies (e.g. McKinsey) attract enormous public and media attention. All international assessments show large differences in student outcomes across countries, even taking into account national wealth or other influencing factors. Moreover, some jurisdictions have made considerable improvements in educational outcomes over fairly short periods of time, suggesting that others could do the same if properly focused. Policy proposals in education here at home are often based on models or examples from other countries. School districts cannot ignore their performance relative to other systems, not only those nearby but around the world.

International study tours for the purpose of “organizational benchmarking” can be a valuable element of organizational learning and improvement. The practice of international travel for benchmarking is widely used in various sectors and represents an organizational investment in leadership development and improvement. However, in the current era of austerity, a publicly funded organization, such as a school district, can easily get into more difficulty over a few thousand dollars of spending on than over its overall performance as a school system. Public educational organizations need to have a thoughtful approach to issues that can become subjects of public scrutiny. In terms of international study tours, public educational organizations need to articulate the purposes, demonstrate the results and place these activities in the context of broader improvement goals.

In this paper we provide a cost/benefit analysis of recent study tours organized by a Canadian School Board, demonstrating that in both monetary terms and in terms of participants’ subsequent work within the organization, the benchmarking visits contributed value to the district.

We first provide an overall frame of reference for thinking about such travel, concluding that when used to “benchmark” against other high performing systems in the purpose of home organization improvement it can be an important part of effective organizational learning.

In Section 2 we review literature on “benchmarking” as an activity done by all kinds of organizations in the public and private sectors, analyzing the key components that make this work useful. We also examine evidence on the extent of international benchmarking travel in education around the world. In both cases we find that this kind of travel is a frequent activity of many kinds of organizations. The stage of work leads to the primary conclusions that benchmarking through international travel can be a valuable element of organizational learning and improvement and that benchmarking needs to be carefully organized and strongly connected to organizational improvement generally.

In Section 3 we present a case study of one Canadian School Board’s recent experience with benchmarking through international study tours and provide evidence of the value of the associated expenditures. Primary data sources include a semi-structured survey of former study tour participants as well as the analysis of a series of documents relating to those study tours. The evidence demonstrates that with relatively low cost, these benchmarking travels indeed fostered open-mindedness and learning motivation in participants and resulted in various post trip learning activities among colleagues in the Board. We conclude with a discussion of the various issues in maximizing the value of international benchmarking.

Section 4 provides conclusions and recommendations. We propose a clear policy framework for international benchmarking that would provide all parties with a sound basis for knowing that Board resources were being well used.


Similar Titles:
A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Forensic Services: A Case Study of Cleveland City Police Department's Criminal Laboratory

School management committees benefits and costs: Results of studies and psychological research

The Effectiveness of International Security Cooperation: Cost-benefit Analysis of Peace-keeping Operations

A Model for a Cost-Benefit Analysis from a Professional Development School Evaluation


 
All Academic, Inc. is your premier source for research and conference management. Visit our website, www.allacademic.com, to see how we can help you today.