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Title: Benchmarking in Maltese internal audit units
Authors: Balzan, Lara
Baldacchino, Peter J.
Keywords: Auditing, Internal -- Malta -- Case studies
Auditing, Internal -- Quality control
Total quality management
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Citation: Balzan, L., & Baldacchino, P. J. (2007). Benchmarking in Maltese internal audit units. Benchmarking: an International Journal, 14(6), 750-767.
Abstract: Purpose; The organisation‐wide drive towards total quality management (TQM) and the call for sound corporate governance require that Maltese internal audit (IA) units benchmark their operations as a first step towards the critical evaluation of their processes and the management of change. The purpose of this paper is to determine the awareness of this process in Maltese IA units, its perceived major benefits and limitations and also major barriers in its implementation. Design/methodology/approach; The objective of this study is achieved through a series of semi‐structured interviews with 12 Maltese IA executives representing most Maltese IA units. Findings – This study concludes that Maltese IA executives have a weak grasp of the benchmarking process and that, current IA evaluation techniques are mere rudimentary comparisons, essentially backward‐ and inward‐looking in nature. Maltese IA executives appreciate the benefits of benchmarking as an effective IA quality tool but are divided as to its limitations. In addition, there are organisational and cultural barriers preventing them from attaining its potential benefits. Originality/value; In addition to the analysis of major obstacles to the implementation and development of this TQM tool in a European ministate, this study points to possible regulatory and organisational changes for future improvements.
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