The concept of transformation level was introduced by Venkatraman in the early 1990s. (See the MIT90s methodology entry for full details.)
There are five transformation levels that he proposed:
- localised exploitation
- internal integration
- business process redesign
- business network redesign
- business scope redefinition
A number of commentators proposed adopting a similar approach for educational institutions but in our view the concept is best used in a general way rather than trying to draw precise analogies. In particular, few universities have gone to the level of business scope redefinition driven by e-learning and fewer still made a success of that.
Notwithstanding some issues on specifics, Venkatraman's concept of transformation level appears to be the main historical justification for many benchmarking methodologies having 5 scoring levels, even if this is now justfiied, post hoc, in terms of social science methodology - see Likert scale.