The politics of the balanced scorecard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to revisit the balanced scorecard (BSC) literature with an eye to how political aspects associated with power, conflict and resistance become manifest and how further empirical research on this theme may be advanced. Design/methodology/approach - The paper is based on a review of extant research informed by interpretive and critical perspectives and offers a discussion of how insights from this literature may enrich our understanding of the politics of the BSC. Findings - The paper discusses the politics of the BSC implicated in: its diffusion and dissemination; performance measurement and strategic alignment; implementation and organizational learning; and governance and regulation. Research limitations/implications - The paper offers a relatively holistic view of the politics of the BSC which may form a starting point for multi-level analyses of this phenomenon and dialogue with the "mainstream" literature on the BSC informed by functionalist and managerialist approaches. Originality/value - The paper offers a comprehensive review of the politics of the BSC, which should assist researchers in identifying extant knowledge gaps and opportunities for further empirical research. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-489
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Accounting and Organizational Change
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Balanced scorecard
  • Management accounting
  • Organizational learning
  • Strategic management accounting
  • Strategic performance measurement


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