MAKING SCIENTIFIC PERFORMANCE MEASURABLE – EXPERIENCES FROM A GERMAN CLUSTER OF EXCELLENCE

R. Vossen, F. Welter, I. Leisten, A. Richert, I. Isenhardt

RWTH Aachen University (GERMANY)
New organizational forms of highly complex and interdisciplinary cooperation like clusters of excellence constitute a new challenge in terms of cluster management and controlling. With regard to the requirements for adequate means of operationalization and evaluation, conventional performance measurement approaches and indicators are not sufficient, because they focus mostly on monetary aspects. Within the cluster of excellence “Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass” a performance measurement approach is implemented, focusing on quantitative as well as qualitative performance indicators. The approach bases on a Balanced Scorecard that is specified to the needs of interdisciplinary research cooperation. A mean of making various performance indicators measurable thus depicts a yearly survey among all hierarchical levels of cluster members to reflect the progress of the scientific output. The results are used as a basis of decision-making for the cluster management board. With regard to this, an operationalization and evaluation of performance indicators supports a continuous improvement process within the entire interdisciplinary cooperation. A further development of the measurement approach considers an integration of concepts like benchmarking and intellectual capital reporting to allow a more holistic form of scientific performance measurement.