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Coping with strategic changes in a turbulent market: A study of the BSC and the underlying strategy
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study aims to contribute to the understanding of how existing theories of strategy and strategic changes may be applied in a real-world Balanced Scorecard (BSC) context. In other words, how a strategy is connected to an existing BSC in a real-world setting. What makes this study interesting and relevant is the current turbulent state of the worldwide economy that is likely to lead to strategic adjustments and changes to a larger extent, which should be reflected in a strategic tool such as the BSC.


In order for a change to be implemented it must be known and understood by those who are expected to perform the change. The ones expected to implement a change should know about it to actually be able act out on a possible connection between the strategy and the BSC. To deeply understand how strategy and strategic changes are reflected in the BSC should thereby entail how strategic changes are uttered in the BSC as well as how well they are communicated to all relevant levels of the company. That implies finding whether the BSC is actually used, in a real-world setting, as the strategic communication tool that it has been occasionally named and how that would occur.


The study departures from existing strategy- and BSC theory to then contribute with a real life application of them. The method used to fulfill this purpose is by deeply interviewing relevant respondents at Nordea familiar and active within the subjects of strategy and the BSC. The study will reveal a result that is analytically, but not statistically generalisable to other similar contexts, all in accordance to the qualitative research strategy that this study holds. Multiple cases, in form of different units or divisions all in different hierarchical levels of Nordea, have been studied in isolation and comparison. One true reality has not been sought for, but rather the contribution of each case to the real-life context.


It was found that a strategic change should, to a great extent, be implemented through addressing behaviors. Using Key Performance Indicators (KPI) in the BSC could demonstrate both how certain activities should be prioritized and what level of performance should be expected. Further, KPI’s can easily be adjusted to the specific role of an employee and even be broken down to an individual level, which make every change relevant and thereby more likely to be fulfilled. Further, they can be adjusted and implemented at any hierarchical level. Consequently, by using KPI’s to address a coveted behaviour and to consistently monitoring and reviewing the process, strategy and strategic changes can be implemented in a flexible, relevant and active manner to ascertain that the best conditions are provided for both seeing and implementing strategic changes through the BSC.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 96 p.
Keyword [en]
Strategy, Balanced Scorecard, communication
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32667OAI: diva2:304880
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2010-05-28 Created: 2010-03-21 Last updated: 2010-05-28Bibliographically approved

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Spetz, Emma
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