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Transforming the balanced scorecard from performance measurement to strategic management: Part I. Kaplan, R. S. and D. P. Norton. 2001.

Accounting Horizons (March): 87-104.


Summary by Erica Hutchison Master of Accountancy Program University of South Florida, Summer 2001 Kaplan and Norton introduced the Balanced Scorecard in 1992, because they believed that financial indicators alone were insufficient to measure performance. Managers that rely exclusively on financial measurements are encouraged to sacrifice long-term improvement for short-term performance. The Balanced Scorecard approach supplements financial measurements with non-financial measures that indicate the actions that increase future financial performance. The Balanced Scorecard approach not only provides a measure of non-financial performance; it links the measurement to strategy. An important element of the Balanced Scorecard is identifying the goals of the company and the steps to achieve these goals. The Balanced Scorecard also reflects the change in technology and competitive advantage that came about in the 20 th century. An increase in the importance of intangible assets, such as customer relationships and skills and knowledge of employees, has created the need for non-financial measurements. It is very difficult to measure the value of intangible assets. The value of intangibles is indirect and cannot be identified as separate from the context of the organization. The value arises from the collection of intangible assets and their implementation strategy. The Balanced Scorecard approach does not try to value an organizations intangibles, but it does measure these assets in units other than currency. The Balanced Scorecard provides a framework for developing a strategy map for an organization. First, the strategic objectives are organized into four categories:
1. Financial strategy for growth, profitability, and risk from the

shareholders point of view. 2. Customer strategy for creating value and differentiation from the customers point of view. 3. Internal business process - strategic priorities for various business process that create customer and shareholder satisfaction.

4. Learning and growth - priorities that create a climate that supports

organizational change, innovation, and growth. The foundation for the strategy. By using the strategy map, organizations create a common and understandable goal for all units and employees. In developing a strategy map, organizations determine their goals and then work down as they plot the path that leads to the realization of the goals. For example, once the organization has financial and customer goals, they determine the internal business processes necessary to meet those goals. Once the internal business processes are determined, the organization determines the organization climate that will support the internal business process and determines a program of learning and growth. Some organizations have already implemented scorecards that use a mixture of financial and non-financial measures. Two popular scorecards are the stakeholder scorecard and the key performance indicator scorecard. The stakeholder scorecard identifies the major players in an organization such as shareholders, customers and employees. Then, the scorecard defines the organizations goals for each of these different constituents. However, the scorecard does not discuss the strategies needed to achieve these goals. The Key Performance Indicator scorecards offer a collection of financial and non-financial performance measurements that are organized into a list of perspectives. However, the overall strategy of the organization is not clear. A Balanced Scorecard enables all employees and units of the organization to understand the organizations goals and shows them how they can contribute to reaching those goals. Non-profit and government organizations (NPGOs) usually have trouble in determining their goal. Most of the initial scorecards of NPGOs have focused on increasing operational efficiency. It takes vision and leadership to move from continuous improvement of existing processes to thinking strategically about which processes and activities are most important for fulfilling the organizations mission. It is necessary for NPGOs to modify the architecture of the Balanced Scorecard, because financial success is not their primary objective. Many rearrange the structure to put customers or constituents at the top of the hierarchy. The

financial and customer objectives should be replaced by three different high-level perspectives:
1. Cost Incurred emphasizes importance of operational efficiency. 2. Value Created identifies the benefits being provided by the agency to its

citizens. 3. Legitimizing Support emphasizes the importance of meeting the objectives of its funding source. After these objectives are defined, an NPGO can define the internal processes and learning and growth that are necessary to meet the objectives. Once organizations developed the Balanced Scorecard, Kaplan and Norton began realizing that the scorecard was more than just a performance measurement system. Because the scorecard puts the organizations focus on the future, they soon developed their new measures into a management system. The Balanced Scorecard provides the recipe that enables ingredients already existing in the organization to be combined for long-term value creation. _______________________ Questions:
1. Does the balanced scorecard approach support or contradict the continuous

improvement concept? 2. Would this approach work with both Type X and Type Y workers? 3. Does this approach promote individualistic capitalism or communitarian capitalism?