Balancing multiple competing objectives with a balanced scorecard

Publication Type:
Journal Article
European Accounting Review, 2010, 19 (2), pp. 203 - 246
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This paper investigates how multiple and competing objectives are managed within an organisation, and the role that the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) plays in balancing organisational objectives. The issue of achieving multiple objectives, those which represent the interests of various stakeholders, has come to the forefront of the corporate agenda, as companies are seen increasingly as more than a source of profit for shareholders, but rather as 'citizens' playing a broader role in society. This study adopts an exploratory case study approach to understand how the BSC is used in management decision and control processes to assist with the balancing of objectives. The case organisation is a state-owned electricity company, and provides a unique setting where multiple and equally important strategic objectives exist. The results demonstrate that the BSC has the potential to help in making trade-offs and balancing objectives, but there are certain requirements for this to succeed. The paper provides insights into issues of balanced strategic management, as it discusses 'balance' in terms of both process and outcomes. © 2010 European Accounting Association.
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