Popularizing a Management Accounting Idea: The Case of the Balanced Scorecard
David J. Cooper
University of Alberta - Department of Accounting, Operations & Information Systems
Cardiff Business School - Accounting and Finance Section
York University - Schulich School of Business
August 18, 2011
AAA 2012 Management Accounting Section (MAS) Meeting Paper
We explore how the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), as a management accounting technique, emerged in local practice and was developed and marketed as a global management practice. Drawing on actor network theory (ANT) the paper offers an analytical history of the BSC, emphasizing how its various features were translated and transformed, that is shaped and solidified, through repeated experimentation that entailed various innovations, modifications, labeling, and specification of abstract categories and cause-effect relations, into its recent forms. The paper also examines the networks and associations that not only shape the form of the BSC but also mobilize the interests of various constituencies around it as a global management technology and the strategies that Kaplan and Norton used to maintain control of this innovation through its continuous reinvention.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: balanced scorecard, strategic performance measures, history, translation, obligatory passage point, diffusion
JEL Classification: M41, B30
Date posted: August 18, 2011
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