As running a corporate?or government or not-for-profit?enterprise becomes increasingly complicated, more sophisticated approaches are needed to implement strategy and measure performance. Purely financial evaluations of performance, for example, no longer suffice in a world where intangible assets?relationships and capabilities?increasingly determine the prospects for success. Kaplan, a Harvard Business School professor of accounting, and Norton, president of Renaissance Solutions, make a key contribution by describing and illustrating the balanced scorecard, a multidimensional approach to measuring corporate performance that incorporates both financial and non-financial factors. The concept of a balanced scorecard originated in a study group of 12 companies that met throughout 1990; since then, the authors have worked with several companies, including FMC Corporation, Brown & Root Energy Services, Mobil and CIGNA, to create scorecards and use them as a systematic means to implement new organizational strategy. Though still in the preliminary stages of development, balanced scorecards could represent the emergence of a new era of management sophistication, in which both the hard and soft variables of work life are taken into account in a rigorous, testable fashion. Kaplan and Norton provide an excellent, though dry, introduction to a new methodology of management.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.