The term benchmarking refers to a systematic, quantitative comparison between one or more key aspects of an organization and a referent considered the best example of that type of organization. Its purpose is to enhance the organization’s own performance and competitiveness. Well utilized, benchmarking can contribute decisively to a firm’s reputation by improving the quality of products and services—normally the most important driver of corporate reputation—as well as other relevant reputational drivers, such as innovativeness, a committed workforce, a well-tuned strategy, sound leadership, and a socially responsible governance structure. Additionally, leading companies that excel in one or more relevant aspects of their corporate performance—such as Google, Apple, BMW, or Lego—can become benchmarks in their own right across different industries worldwide, further enhancing their prestige and ...

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