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The balanced scorecard at Skellefteå municipality
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The concept of the balanced scorecard was introduced by Harvard professors Robert

S. Kaplan and David P. Norton in 1992 when organizations realized that it was no

longer sustainable to focus only on financial objectives in order to stay competitive.

The balanced scorecard was traditionally developed for use in for-profit organizations

but with its fundamental idea that the financial perspective does not always cover

what is most important, it has also been implemented in non-profit organizations

where profit maximization is not the main objective. Although the balanced scorecard

is presented to be an effective management system for survival in a more

challenging and competing environment it has also been strongly criticized by several

authors as well as organization that have unsuccessfully implemented it. Empirical

studies evaluating this relatively new management control system are still rather

limited, especially in non-profit organization which made us eager to look deeper into

the effects of using the balanced scorecard and we identified a research problem;

Is the balanced scorecard an effective management system that improves the

performance of a local public administration in Northern Sweden?

For this study we identified our alignment toward the positivistic scientific ideal. We

have further chosen a deductive approach as the already existing theory of the

balanced scorecard is the base of our research. We have used a qualitative research

strategy where our empirics are based upon eleven semi-structured interviews with

leaders in Skellefteå municipality where they have given their perception of the

balanced scorecard and its influence on the organization management. Our main

purpose has been to evaluate whether the usage of the balanced scorecard is

improving the performance of Skellefteå municipality. In the process of evaluating our

results it has been made evident that the management system is perceived as

performance increasing even though areas of improvements do exists. One example

of improvement could be to develop an IT-tool to facilitate the reporting of the

balanced scorecard as it is at present experienced as a very time consuming process

since it is manually completed. Skellefteå municipality has put a lot of time and effort

on the implementation of the balanced scorecard as well as on developing suitable

perspectives and objectives for the management system. Furthermore, the

municipality has emphasized the importance of communicating and follows up

processes to improve the quality of the system. This careful implementation and

utilization is something that has lead to a balanced scorecard that increases the

performance of Skellefteå municipality

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 51 p.
Keyword [en]
balanced scorecard, performance, non-profit organization, Skellefteå municipality, management system
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-22176OAI: diva2:213043
Available from: 2009-04-27 Created: 2009-04-27 Last updated: 2009-04-27Bibliographically approved

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