Beyond Control: Using the Balanced Scorecard to Change Culture and Implement Strategy

50 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2014

Date Written: November 30, 2013


This longitudinal case study examined how the balanced scorecard (BSC) was used to facilitate change within a professional service firm, illustrating the ideas presented by Kaplan and Norton in their 2001 and 2006 books. EES Consulting is an international engineering and environmental services consulting firm that experienced declining profitability and internal cultural division in the early 1990s. This study focuses upon its Canadian operations, and its experience revitalizing the firm following their adoption of the BSC in 1999.

Rather than introducing the BSC to facilitate management control (Kaplan and Norton 1992, 1996; Simons 1995), EES Consulting employed the BSC as a vehicle for promoting strategic and cultural change (Kaplan and Norton 2001). Key to its successful adoption and use was insider driven customization (Rao and Giorgi 2006) and the definition of causal links. This included identifying strategies to address cultural deficiencies, and measures to track progress towards members’ desired culture. Second was widespread education about and dissemination of information about the BSC among members. Although EES members suggested that change was attributable to their adoption of the BSC, we suggest that this technology merely served as the catalyst for re-examining certain organizational social structures and dynamics that had shifted from the firm’s inception.

Keywords: balanced scorecard, case study, cultural change, strategy implementation

JEL Classification: M49

Suggested Citation

Ogata, Ken and Spraakman, Gary, Beyond Control: Using the Balanced Scorecard to Change Culture and Implement Strategy (November 30, 2013). 2014 Canadian Academic Accounting Association (CAAA) Annual Conference, Available at SSRN: or

Ken Ogata

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3

Gary Spraakman (Contact Author)

York University ( email )

Room 282 Atkinson Building
York University
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
416 736 2100,22155 (Phone)
416 736 5963 (Fax)

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