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Does the Balanced Scorecard Add Value? Empirical Evidence on its Effect on Performance

Fabien De Geuser, Stella Mooraj and Daniel Oyon

European Accounting Review, 2009, vol. 18, issue 1, 93-122

Abstract: Since its emergence at the beginning of the 1990s, numerous companies have adopted the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). This paper tackles two research questions: (1) whether the BSC adds value to companies and (2) if so, how does it contribute to organisational performance. In contrast to previous literature that does not separate these two questions, we rely on an established methodology (Foster and Swenson, 1997) to separate and quantify both the BSC contribution to performance and the way that the contribution is achieved, by applying a unique cause-and-effect scheme to the BSC. Our empirical results are based on survey data collected from 76 business units. They indicate first that the Balanced Scorecard has a positive impact on organisational performance. More specifically, the BSC improves the integration of the management processes and empowers people. Using the Strategy-Focused-Organisation (SFO) model (Kaplan and Norton, 2001), we empirically find that the sources of performance derived from the BSC are primarily of three types: (1) a better translation of the strategy into operational terms, (2) the fact that strategising becomes a continuous process, and (3) the greater alignment of various processes, services, competencies and units of an organisation.

Date: 2009
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