Popularizing a Management Accounting Idea: The Case of the Balanced Scorecard

46 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2013

See all articles by David J. Cooper

David J. Cooper

University of Alberta - Department of Accounting, Operations & Information Systems

Mahmoud Ezzamel

Cardiff Business School - Accounting and Finance Section

Sandy Qu

York University - Schulich School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 1, 2012

Abstract

We explore how the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), as a management accounting technique, emerged in local experiments and was developed and marketed as a general 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, theorizations, modifications, labelling, 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. We highlight the strategies that Kaplan and Norton used to maintain control of this technique through its continuous reinvention.

Keywords: balanced scorecard, strategic performance measures, history, translation, obligatory passage point, diffusion

Suggested Citation

Cooper, David J. and Ezzamel, Mahmoud and Qu, Sandy Q., Popularizing a Management Accounting Idea: The Case of the Balanced Scorecard (June 1, 2012). University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2222813 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2222813

David J. Cooper (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Accounting, Operations & Information Systems ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

Mahmoud Ezzamel

Cardiff Business School - Accounting and Finance Section ( email )

Colum Drive
Cardiff CF10 3EU
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 29 2087 4277 (Phone)
+44 (0) 29 2087 4419 (Fax)

Sandy Q. Qu

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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