COOPER-framework: A unified process for non-parametric projects

Ali Emrouznejad*, Kristof De Witte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Practitioners assess performance of entities in increasingly large and complicated datasets. If non-parametric models, such as data envelopment analysis, were ever considered as simple push-button technologies, this is impossible when many variables are available or when data have to be compiled from several sources. This paper introduces by the ‘cooper-framework’ a comprehensive model for carrying out non-parametric projects. The framework consists of six interrelated phases: concepts and objectives, on structuring data, operational models, performance comparison model, evaluation, and result and deployment. Each of the phases describes some necessary steps a researcher should examine for a well defined and repeatable analysis. The cooper-framework provides for the novice analyst guidance, structure and advice for a sound non-parametric analysis. The more experienced analyst benefits from a check list such that important issues are not forgotten. In addition, by the use of a standardized framework non-parametric assessments will be more reliable, more repeatable, more manageable, faster and less costly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1573-1586
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2010


  • DEA
  • Non-parametric efficiency analysis
  • Unified process
  • COOPER-framework

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