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A Critical Analysis of the Balanced Scorecard: Towards a More Dialogic Approach

  • David J. Cooper
  • Mahmoud Ezzamel
Chapter

Abstract

The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a very influential performance measurement system (PMS). Such systems institutionalize certain ways of looking at, and understanding, the nature of management and organization. We provide a critical analysis that integrates a technical and social view of the BSC. This allows an analysis of the core assumptions of the BSC: the value of strategy and strategizing, the nature of stakeholder interests, the modeling of organization, and the role of language, particularly the effects of quantification. We argue that the assumptions of technical approaches to the BSC encourage mechanical, partisan, quantified and hierarchical approaches to management. We call for greater dialogue within an organization between those who contribute to an organization’s success. A more dialogic approach seeks a better balance between acting and thinking, between discussions about organizational ends and means of achieving those ends and the possible integration of social and technical understandings. A commitment democratic deliberation should lead to a more equitable scorecard, and enhanced organizational performance.

Keywords

Balanced scorecard Strategic management Performance measurement Critical analysis Organizational modeling Quantification Language Democratic deliberation Dialogue 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Cooper
    • 1
  • Mahmoud Ezzamel
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.School of BusinessUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Cardiff Business SchoolUniversity of CardiffCardiffWales
  3. 3.IE Business SchoolMadridSpain

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