Interpretation and Use of the Balanced Scorecard in Denmark: Evidence from Suppliers and Users of the Concept

Danish Journal of Management & Business, 2014, Issue 3/4, 13-25

16 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2014 Last revised: 9 Dec 2014

Date Written: August 15, 2014

Abstract

This paper examines how the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) has been interpreted and used in Denmark. Drawing on interviews with suppliers and users of the BSC, the paper shows how these different actors have interpreted and attached meaning to the BSC concept. The BSC’s 'interpretive space' and 'boundary object' characteristics lead to different interpretations and mobilizations of the concept in practice. There is a multiplicity in terms of what the concept means on both the supply side and the demand side. Two main interpretations can be identified in Danish practice: the BSC as (1) a 'performance measurement system'; and (2) as a 'strategic management system'. Interestingly, there is a mismatch between how consultants and user organizations interpret and attach meaning to the concept. While suppliers interpret and promote the BSC as a strategic management system, users appear more likely to interpret and use the concept as a performance measurement system. The paper discusses possible explanations for these differences.

Keywords: Performance management, Balanced Scorecard, management concept, management fashion, interpretive space, boundary object, Denmark

JEL Classification: M10

Suggested Citation

Madsen, Dag Øivind, Interpretation and Use of the Balanced Scorecard in Denmark: Evidence from Suppliers and Users of the Concept (August 15, 2014). Danish Journal of Management & Business, 2014, Issue 3/4, 13-25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2499157

Dag Øivind Madsen (Contact Author)

University of South-Eastern Norway ( email )

Bredalsveien 14
Hønefoss, Buskerud 3511
Norway

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