Focus background

About COER


The Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER), led by Dr Robin Mann, undertakes benchmarking and business excellence research and consultancy.

COER consists of three entities:

  • COER Massey University is the RESEARCH arm and focuses on "Acquiring Knowledge". It administers doctoral research programmes in business excellence and benchmarking.
  • Limited is the KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER arm and focuses on "Best Practice Sharing" through its website.
  • COER Limited is the CONSULTANCY arm and focuses on "Applying Knowledge". It provides consultancy services in business excellence and benchmarking.

The Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER), School of Engineering and Advanced Technology at Massey University was formed in February 2001 to integrate a number of innovative initiatives aimed at helping organisations to significantly improve their business performance. These initiatives were all focused on benchmarking, best practices and organisational excellence.

Until the formation of COER, there had been a lack of substantive research in these important fields within New Zealand. As a result, many New Zealand organisations were unaware of these approaches and/or their potential to improve competitiveness.

In 2006, Limited and COER Limited were formed to capitalise on the commercial opportunities that had developed in this field. This enabled COER Massey University to focus on providing doctoral research programmes in business excellence and benchmarking.

Since its creation, COER has had a significant impact on the field of business excellence, both in New Zealand and throughout the world. Some of its accomplishments include:

  1. At its foundation, COER became the first research centre in Australasia to focus on business excellence and benchmarking.
  2. COER founded and led the New Zealand Benchmarking Club, consisting of New Zealand's leading businesses, from 2000 to 2004. The club was the first of its type in NZ and became New Zealand's first-ever representative on the Global Benchmarking Network. COER's Dr Robin Mann now serves as chair of the Global Benchmarking Network.
  3. In 2004, COER organised and held Australasia's first-ever benchmarking conference, which attracted more than 100 delegates to a two-day conference and 40 delegates to a two-day workshop.
  4. In 2004, COER was instrumental in the launch of a major initiative in New Zealand called the Business Capability Partnership, which aims to raise the management and leadership capability of NZ businesses. This initiative is now being driven by the Ministry of Economic Development.
  5. In 2005, COER was commissioned to undertake the first major review of the Australian Business Excellence Framework since 1987. The research was regarded by many (funders and companies) as the most important management research to be conducted in Australia in 15 years. It included the first-ever international comparison of how Business Excellence (BE) models were deployed to maximise their engagement and use.
  6. COER developed, a benchmarking and best practice networking web site, from concept to commercialisation. Formally endorsed by leading institutes, is recognised as one of the leading management information resources in the world. was spun out of Massey University in 2006 to become Ltd. The resource has thousands of members.
  7. In 2006, COER organised and chaired the 11th World Congress for Total Quality Management. This was the first time the congress had been held in Australasia. It attracted more than 350 delegates from over 30 countries, with more than 130 papers presented.
  8. In 2007, COER substantially revised its unique "TRADE" best practice benchmarking methodology (designed to deliver results quickly). TRADE has since been used or adopted by a number of countries, including New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Taiwan.
  9. Since 2001, more than 300 organisations have undertaken COER's benchmarking and performance excellence self-assessment (BPES) - see Business Excellence Tools to view the self-assessment tools that COER supports.
  10. Since 2001, COER has published numerous research papers and presented its research findings in more than 18 countries, giving over 150 presentations.

For further information and a diagram showing how COER acquires, shares, and applies knowledge on organisational excellence click here.

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