Balanced Scorecard

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss non-financial components of the balanced scorecard

Balanced Scorecard

The balanced scorecard (BSC) approach uses both financial and nonfinancial measures in evaluating all attributes of the organization’s procedures. This approach differs from the traditional approach of only using financial measures to evaluate a company. While financial measures are essential, they are only a portion of what needs to be evaluated. The balanced scorecard focuses on both high-level and low-level measures, using the company’s own strategic plan. This method assesses the organization in four separate perspectives:

  • Financial. The financial measures are the major focus of the BSC—but not the only measures. This perspective asks questions like whether the organization is making money or whether the stockholders are pleased.
  • Customer. The BSC also evaluates how the organization is perceived, from the customer’s perspective. This measures customer satisfaction, new customer growth, and market share.
  • Internal process. The internal procedures and processes perspective observes how smoothly things are running. This perspective will examine quality, efficiency, and waste as they relate directly to the products or services.
  • Learning and growth/capacity. This area evaluates the entity and its performance from the standpoint of human capital, infrastructure, culture, technology, and other areas. Are employees collaborating and sharing information? Does everyone have access to the latest trends in training and continuing education in their areas?

The main advantage of this approach is that it offers organizations a way to see the cause-and-effect in the objectives. For example, if an organization would like to make more money in order to pay higher dividends to its stockholders, the organization will need to increase market share, improve customer satisfaction, or grow its customer base. In order to make customers happier or gain new customers, the organization could try to reduce defects and increase overall quality of the products; to accomplish that, the organization could retrain or offer new training to its employees.

Practice Questions