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Conceptual Foundations of the Balanced Scorecard

Robert S. Kaplan

Harvard Business School

March 1, 2010

Harvard Business School Accounting & Management Unit Working Paper No. 10-074

David Norton and I introduced the Balanced Scorecard in a 1992 Harvard Business Review article (Kaplan & Norton, 1992). The article was based on a multi-company research project to study performance measurement in companies whose intangible assets played a central role in value creation (Nolan Norton Institute, 1991). Norton and I believed that if companies were to improve the management of their intangible assets, they had to integrate the measurement of intangible assets into their management systems.

After publication of the 1992 HBR article, several companies quickly adopted the Balanced Scorecard giving us deeper and broader insights into its power and potential. During the next 15 years, as it was adopted by thousands of private, public, and nonprofit enterprises around the world, we extended and broadened the concept into a management tool for describing, communicating and implementing strategy. This paper describes the roots and motivation for the original Balanced Scorecard article as well as the subsequent innovations that connected it to a larger management literature.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

JEL Classification: M46

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Date posted: March 3, 2010 ; Last revised: March 18, 2010

Suggested Citation

Kaplan, Robert S., Conceptual Foundations of the Balanced Scorecard (March 1, 2010). Harvard Business School Accounting & Management Unit Working Paper No. 10-074. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1562586 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1562586

Contact Information

Robert S. Kaplan (Contact Author)
Harvard Business School ( email )
Soldiers Field
Accounting & Control
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6150 (Phone)
617-496-7363 (Fax)

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