Feasibility of implementing the balanced scorecard in a higher education institution : a case study of the Faculty of Engineering at Durban University of Technology.
Higher education institutions are being challenged to reform and restructure to offer top quality education, while at the same time produce highly skilled graduates for the workforce. In order to be competitive and sustainable Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have to make changes in their management, operations, recruitment of students and staff, curriculum offerings and in all areas of the organisation. The aim of this research was to investigate the current management performance systems in the Faculty of Engineering at Durban University of Technology (DUT) and propose a framework for a performance management system based on the balanced scorecard. The readiness of the institution for a performance management system, its culture fit with performance management systems and the link between individual and organisation performance was also surveyed. It has been noted from the surveys that individual performance impacts on the organisational performance. The institution has procedures, policies and measures in place for quality of the academic programs, research outputs and student success rates. The integrated electronic database systems can ensure updating and reporting of performance indicators. Performance indicators can be linked to the financial, student, internal processes and organisational learning perspective. The program quality, student success rates and research outputs from individuals in academic departments do impact on the organisational performance. Outputs from individuals are collated in the department into faculty and institutional data which is then used for the Department of Higher Education and Training (DOHET) institution subsidy. Even though there are numerous reports generated at various sub levels in the areas of management, facilities, research, teaching and external links, this information still exists in a dispersed format. The establishment of a performance measurement tool like the balanced scorecard would not only serve as a single source of data and information on the institution’s progress but would also highlight that DUTs objectives have been met. The balanced scorecard framework will allow for a central location of data, provide specific information on research and student success rates and track expenditure while linking individual goals to organisational goals. It can also be used to predict long term sustainability of the university. The outcome of this research will benefit students, the community, employers, academic and support staff of the university. The adoption of the balanced scorecard will favour effectiveness and efficiency within all sectors of the institution.