System dynamics applications in performance measurement research: A systematic literature review

Olufunke Olufunmi Oladimeji, Heather Keathley-Herring, Jennifer A. Cross

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study investigates system dynamics (SD) applications in performance measurement (PM) research and practice. A bibliometric analysis was conducted to investigate the maturity of this research area and identify opportunities for development. Design/methodology/approach: A systematic literature review (SLR) was conducted to provide a comprehensive and rigorous review of the existing literature. The search was conducted on 10 platforms identifying 97 publications, which were evaluated using bibliometric analysis. Findings: The analysis revealed that applications of SD are most commonly used in the PM system design phase to model organisational performance. In addition, the bibliometric results showed a highly dispersed author set, with most studies using exploratory methods, suggesting that the research is in a relatively early stage of development. The results also showed that over 50 per cent of the causal models were not validated, emphasizing an important methodological gap in this research area. Research limitations/implications: This SLR is limited to indexed publications on 10 platforms, the search strategy was relatively precise and only available papers in English language were used for the literature review. Practical implications: PM systems supported by SD can help managers understand and improve organisational behaviours by addressing dynamic complexities and relationship between variables. This study evaluates the maturity of this research area including information about the current development of this area and opportunities to build on existing knowledge. Originality/value: This study identifies how SD approaches are applied to PM and highlights areas that require further research consideration. This paper is the first of two publications to result from this study and focuses on evaluating the current state of this research area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1539-1576
Number of pages38
JournalInternational Journal of Productivity and Performance Management
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 6 2020


  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Performance measurement
  • System dynamics
  • Systematic literature review


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