Management And Accounting Web

Balanced Scorecard Questions

Provided by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida

Balanced Scorecard MC Questions | Balanced Scorecard Main Page

1. How do Kaplan and Norton define a strategy? (See the Balanced Scorecard summary and the Kaplan & Norton 1997 summary). (See Porter's table and read the Porter 96 summary for much more depth. Also see the Fonvielle & Carr and Kaplan & Norton 2000, 2001a and 2001b summaries and the Birkett 1995 summary on knowledge management and core competencies. Other strategy articles include Campbell & Alexander, Kim & Mauborgne 2002, Kim & Mauborgne 2004, Luehrman, Christensen, Hammer, Iansiti & Levien, Porter 1980, Porter 1987, and Porter 2001).

2. What are the four perspectives of the balanced scorecard (BSC)? (See the BSC Summary, Kaplan & Norton 1992 and Tatikonda & Tatikonda summaries).

3. According to Kaplan and Norton, what is the most important, or main perspective of the BSC? Why? (See the Kaplan & Norton 1997, Chapter 3 and 1992 summaries).

4. Would the financial emphasis be appropriate for non-profit entities? (See Kaplan & Norton 2001a and the scorecards for the Federal Procurement System and United Methodist Publishing House).

5. The internal business process perspective relates to the generic internal value chain. What are the parts of this chain and what are some measurements for each part? (See the BSC Summary). (The Birkett 1995 summary is also applicable to this question).

6. Kaplan and Norton indicate that the metaphor for the BSC should be a flight simulator, not a dashboard of instrument dials. What do they mean by this? (See the Kaplan & Norton 1997 and the Epstein and Manzoni summaries).

7. What is balanced by the BSC? (See the BSC Summary).

8. What is the difference between diagnostic measures and strategic measures? (See the BSC Summary).

9. According to Kaplan and Norton, should the BSC be used as a control system? Explain. (See the BSC Summary, Chapter 12, the Kaplan & Norton 1992 and Simon's Levers of Control summaries).

10. When Kaplan and Norton say the BSC is a strategic system, do they mean as a way to formulate strategy or implement strategy? (See the Kaplan & Norton 1997 and 1996 summaries).

11. According to Kaplan and Norton, should all stakeholders be represented on the BSC? Why? (See the Kaplan & Norton 1997 summary).

12. Does the BSC concept resolve Deming’s complaint concerning management by objectives and results? If so how? Deming said "A goal without a method is nonsense." (See the Deming topic, Kaplan & Norton 2001, Chapter 12 and Sears example. See also Schonberger 2008 who is critical of the scorecard approach).

13. Does the BSC concept resolve Deming’s criticism (disease) concerning running a company based on visible figures alone? (See the Deming topic and Kaplan & Norton 2001).

14. Is the BSC concept consistent with the theory of constraints? (See the TOC topic).

15. Does the BSC concept resolve the conflicts between JIT and the traditional concepts of management? (See Clinton & Ko-chen, Chapter 12 and Schonberger 2008).

16. Does the BSC concept resolve the responsibility accounting conflict? (See the Fonvielle & Carr summary for some ideas and Chapter 8, 9, 10 & 11).

17. How does the BSC relate to life cycle management? (See the PLC summary, and the Hayes & Wheelwright summaries 1 and 2 for the relation between strategy, PLC and BSC).

18. Does the BSC concept place enough emphasis on quality and continuous improvement? (See the Chapter 11, the Six Sigma summaries and Schonberger 2008).

19. Does the BSC concept eliminate the constrained optimization mind set? (See the Chapter 11 and BSC summaries).

20. Where should the BSC start, with the whole company or the business unit, e.g., the division level? (See the Kaplan & Norton 1997, Chapter 8 and Epstein & Manzoni summaries).

21. Is the BSC applicable to small companies and service organizations? (See the Chow, Haddad & Williamson summary).

22. Is the BSC applicable to individuals, i.e., should each employee have a personal scorecard? (See the Kaplan & Norton 1996, Chow, Haddad & Williamson, Fonvielle & Carr, Birkett 1995 and Kaplan & Norton 2001 Chapter 3 summaries).

23. How do you know when you get your scorecard balanced? (See the Porter, Epstein & Manzoni, and Reilly & Reilly summaries for some ideas. The benchmarking summaries such as Murray, Zimmerman & Flaherty and Colburn, Grove & Fukami are also relevant to this question).

24. Does the process of developing a balanced scorecard ever end? (See the Porter and Epstein & Manzoni summaries for some ideas).

25. Does the Balanced Scorecard resolve the issue over performance measurements? (See the Reilly & Reilly, Jalbert & Landry, Ridgway, Kurtzman, Tatikonda & Tatikonda, Ittner & Larcker 98, Ittner & Larcker 2003, Hayzen & Reeve and Schonberger 2008 summaries. All of the summaries on EVA and other related measurements are also relevant. Lev, Kaplan & Norton 2004, and Ulrich & Smallwood emphasize intangibles).

26. What is a Strategy Map and how is it related to the Balanced Scorecard? Does the strategy map solve the problems described by Reilly & Reilly and Ittner & Larcker? (See the BSC Summary, Campbell & Alexander the Kaplan & Norton 2001 summary and MAAW's Strategy Graphics section).

27. Discuss and compare the measure network with the balanced scorecard. (See the Reilly & Reilly summary).

28. What are some of the criticisms of the balanced scorecard? (See the Ittner & Larcker 03, Jalbert & Landry, Reilly & Reilly, Ridgway, Schonberger 2008, and Norreklit summaries).

29. Discuss and compare the strategy maps illustrated in Kaplan & Norton 2001 with the strategy canvases and value curves illustrated by Kim & Mauborgne.

30. Look at some of the Balanced Scorecard software available on the BSC links (e.g., Ergometrics) and comment on your view of the usefulness of the software.