The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is one of the most widely adopted management concepts in world. However, few studies have examined organizations’ motives and rationales for adopting the BSC in any greater detail. Using data from qualitative interviews with 39 Scandinavian adopters of the concept, this paper identifies four main types of motives and rationales: (1) improvement of management practices, (2) organizational politics and changes, (3) cultural and societal trends, and (4) management fads and fashions. In addition, the motives appear mixed and tangled. The paper discusses these findings in relation to extant research on adoption and diffusion of the BSC. At a more general level the findings suggest moving beyond the rational vs. non-rational dichotomy of adoption motives, and recognize that the motives are not mutually exclusive, but may work in interplay.
Balanced Scorecard; management concepts; management fashions; adoption; motives; rationales