This paper aims to understand how business networks created by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) measure the common results achieved through the example of Italian network contracts. The relevance of the topic is demonstrated by the widespread adoption of networking strategies and the difficulty for both researchers and SMEs managers to evaluate the success of the alliances created. Focusing on the network as an entity, the empirical analysis searched for the adoption of performance measurement systems at the network level and the usage of information systems to collect and disseminate information. Preference has been given to the use of multiple case-studies. Data collection recurred to direct interviews and document analysis. Our findings indicate that the analyzed SMEs networks do not have a proper management control system at the network level. Network managers collect some indicators related to the resources invested, the network’s internal processes and the customer dimension, but these indicators are not linked by causal relationships. All networks prepare an annual report, which is mainly used to monitor expenses. However, network meetings and internal communications are considered more important tools to monitor network members’ behavior and assess the results achieved.
Keywords: Performance, Business Networks, Small and Medium Enterprises, Performance Measurement Systems