The Public Value Scorecard: A Rejoinder and an Alternative to 'Strategic Performance Measurement and Management in Non-Profit Organizations' by Robert Kaplan
28 Pages Posted: 5 May 2003
Date Written: May 2003
Robert Kaplan's Balanced Scorecard has played an important and welcome role in the nonprofit world as nonprofit organizations have struggled to measure their performance. Many nonprofit organizations have taken both general inspiration and specific operational guidance from the ideas advanced in this important work. Their pioneering efforts to apply these concepts to their own particular settings have added a layer of richness to the important concepts. Given the great contribution of this work to helping nonprofits meet the challenge of measuring their performance, it seems both ungracious and unhelpful to criticize it. Yet, as I review the concepts of the Balanced Scorecard, and look closely at the cases of organizations that have tried to use these concepts to measure their performance, I believe that some systematic confusions arise. Further, I think the source of these confusions lies in the fact the basic concepts of the Balanced Scorecard have not been sufficiently adapted from the private, for-profit world where they were born to the world of the nonprofit manager where they are now being applied. Finally, I think a different way of thinking about nonprofit strategy and linking that to performance measurement exists that is simpler that and more reliable for nonprofit organizations to rely upon. The purpose of this paper is to set out these contrarian ideas.
Keywords: Performance Measurement, Nonprofit Strategy
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