Literature Review Performance Management and the Balanced Scorecard

Chapter 2 Literature Review Since the Balanced Scorecard was developed in the 1990’s by Robert Kaplan and David Norton (1992), it has gained in popularity amongst academics and practitioners. In 1990, Kaplan and Norton led a research study of a lot of companies with the purpose of exploring the new methods of performance management. The importance of the study was an increasing belief that the financial measures of performance management were not as effective as before with the development of modern business enterprise.

Representatives involved in the study companies, including the researchers Kaplan and Norton, were persuaded that the reliance on financial measures of performance had an effect on their ability to create value. After deep discussions the group brainstormed on several alternatives but finally settled on the balanced scorecard, which featured performance measures, customer issues, internal business processes, employee activities, and shareholder concerns.

Kaplan and Norton introduced the new tool as the Balanced Scorecard and summarized the concepts of the study in the first of three Harvard Business Review articles, “The Balanced Scorecard-Measures That Drive Performance”. Many organizations in both the private and public sectors have embraced the concept of the balanced scorecard. Most have implemented it in an attempt to improve performance (Chan & Ho 2000; Hoque & Jamesl Ittner & Larcker 2003). However, it appears that the term balanced scorecard is subject to different interpretations.

For example, a document published by CMA Canada (1999) suggests that the term “Balanced Scorecard” maybe understood differently by different individuals/organizations. They state that many organizations believe that if a performance measurement system includes both financial and nonfinancial measures, it is a balanced scorecard, whereas Kaplan & Norton claim that a BALANCED SCORECARD is much more than just a collection of performance measures. Different interpretations of a BALANCED SCORECARD are evident in academic studies as well.

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Hoque & James (2000) determined BALANCED SCORECARD usage using a 20-item scale noting that their BALANCED SCORECARD measure might not pick up the strategic linkages of a real BALANCED SCORECARD. As a result, companies in their study may possibly have had varying levels of BALANCED SCORECARD implementation which could have affected their results, especially considering the fact that BALANCED SCORECARD usage was the dependent variable in their regression model.

Chan & Ho (2000) stated in their limitations section that “… the respondents may have mistaken their organization’s performance measurement system to that of a true BALANCED SCORECARD (p. 167). ” It is also possible that a company’s performance measurement system has all of the attributes of a balanced scorecard but they do not consider it to be one. Clearly defining a BALANCED SCORECARD would be a 4 contribution to future research by providing a basis to determine the extent of BALANCED SCORECARD adoption by an organization. This study will attempt to do this.

Although there are numerous studies on the balanced scorecard (Chan & Ho 2000; Hoque & James 2000; Lipe & Salterio 2000; Malina & Selto 2001; Lipe & Salterio 2002; Ittner & Larcker 2003; Speckbacher et al. 2003), only one study has attempted to develop a conceptual model of the scorecard and used it to examine the extent of its adoption. This was in Austrian, German and Swiss organizations (Speckbacher et al. 2003). This suggests a need for more research to examine what attributes of a Kaplan and Norton (1992, 2001, 2006) Balanced Scorecard other organizations use in their performance measurement system.

This study will not attempt to explain the reasons for any differences between organizations with different levels of Balanced Scorecard adoption, it will only report them. In summary, while other studies have looked at specific aspects of the balanced scorecard, only one has looked at its structure as a whole (Speckbacher et al. 2003). Similar to Speckbacher et al. (2003), this study examines the structure of the BALANCED SCORECARD as a whole. This study is however, unique in that it addresses both the structure and use of the BALANCED SCORECARD. Kaplan & Norton (1992; 1996; 2001), the originators of the balanced corecard, emphasize that the inclusion of non-financial measures is just one aspect of the balanced scorecard, noting that there are several structural attributes that make it unique from other frameworks, such as KPI (key performance indicator) cards and stakeholder cards. Kaplan & Norton (1996, 2001) also suggest that its unique structure allows it to be used as a strategic tool to steer organizations towards sustained long-term profitability. They argue that simply including non-financial metrics in their performance measurement system is not enough for organizations to learn, improve, and grow.

If Kaplan and Norton’s argument is correct, then companies with different levels of BALANCED SCORECARD adoption should see different results. This suggests a need to compare organizations that have different levels or numbers of balanced scorecard attributes to see if there are any differences. As well, academic studies may be more comparable if a clearly defined Balanced Scorecard was used. A clearly defined BALANCED SCORECARD would enable organizations and researchers to assess the level of BALANCED SCORECARD adoption which may help to explain some of the differences in results between studies.

Understanding Performance Management Processes 2. 1 Defining Performance Maila (2006) stated that performance implies the action of doing things that is using things, attending to conditions, processing, communicating and achieving results. Performance is the actual work that is done to ensure that an organisation achieves its mission. In summary, performance encompasses inputs, conditions, processes elements, outputs, consequences and feedback. According to Maila (2006), the end product of performance should be measured against four elements that are: quantity, quality, cost or risk factors and time.

The idea of measuring the end product is fully supported as it can be argued that a product can be in any form that is good or bad, hence the need to have it measured. Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS, 2002) states, performance shall mean the standard of performance required by BURS related to an employee’s output measured in terms of quality and quantity. In addition, it shall mean the behavioural standards and competencies adopted by BURS. The OPM (2005) defined performance as actions, behaviour and/or inputs by a staff member contributing to the achievement of results.

While the researcher acknowledges the above definitions, she argues that application of the definitions should be treated with a provision that the output of that action is positive to the organisation. In the researcher’s own definition, performance means an action by an employee that has produced an output relevant to an employee or organisation’s goals. 2. 2 Defining Management Management means to give direction, lead, control, govern, rule over, whilst a manager is an official who manages or controls- a person who has in his hands the general leadership of an enterprise or of a division (Bryman, 1984:78 as cited in Brynard, et al 1997).

Vaughan-Jones (2009), defined management as a process of achieving organisational goals through engaging in the four major functions (planning, organising, leading and controlling). Cleland (1994:39-40) described management through the major management functions that are planning, organising, motivation, directing and controlling. Mayor (2005: 246) identified planning, organising, directing, controlling and motivating as roles of individual project manager, an improvement on the definition by Vaughan-Jones as it has added motivation as a manager function.

The description of the major activities/functions of the manager as planning, organisation, command, coordination and control put for the first time the management process into the context of major activities or functions (Fayol, 1949, pp. 3-6). These management functions have been condensed to four, namely: planning, organising, leading and controlling, (Robbins 2003). What comes out clearly from the literature is that planning, organising and controlling are common in the description of the management process or the functions of management.

The researcher has made use of these concepts while cognisant of the fact that the usage of majority-based viewpoint can only be made if the viewpoint is proven by means of scientific investigation (Brynard, 1997: 54), however this research will not be able to prove that due to time constraint. In comparing management to leadership activities, the researcher noted that leadership activities has to do with: dealing with change; developing a vision and setting a direction for an organisation; formulating a strategy; aligning stakeholders with the organisation? s vision, motivating and inspiring employees; and recognising and reward success.

Management activities include planning and budgeting, implementing strategy, organising and staffing to achieve strategy; and controlling behaviour and problem solving to ensure strategy is implemented, Henry (2008: 143). The research supports the contemporary definition of management provided by Mayor especially that he has added motivation to the definition, a factor that contributes to effective performance management. 2. 3 Defining Performance Management OPM (2005) defines performance management as: “ongoing communication process between staff and supervisor/managers for getting better organisational results.

It involves: (a) establishing clear expectations and understanding about performance and the results to be achieved; (b) identifying essential areas of performance as relating to the mission and objectives of the O/M/A; (c) developing realistic and appropriate performance criteria; (d) giving and receiving feedback about performance; (e) conducting constructive performance assessments; and (f) planning continuous development of staff to sustain and improve performance so that individual, unit and organisational human capital is optimised”.

Performance management is a system for integrating the management of organisational and employee performance (Williams, 2002 as cited by Maila, 2006:13). Performance management is defined as “the systematic process by which an agency involves its employees, as individuals and members of a group, in improving organisational effectiveness in the accomplishment of agency mission and goals”, this was obtained through (U. S.

Office Personnel Management, (Undated) Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS, 2002) states that performance management is a joint responsibility between managers who carry out the assessments and the staff whose performance they are assessing. It is essential that this process is carried out objectively,openly and honestly. The researcher has found some common words to arrive at this definition: performance management is a continuous process between staff and supervisors agreeing on the activity to be performed, how it should be measured and within what period, with an aim to accomplish a goal at employee and organisational level. . 4 Defining Performance Management Processes Performance management process was defined as “a continuous process where supervisors and employees work together to establish objectives (goals), monitor progress toward these objectives and assess results”. With this process, employees receive regular feedback and coaching which is a vital development process for all employees (KSU, 2009). According Cornell University (2010), the first element of performance management process that must be effectively executed is specifying the required levels of performance and identifying goals to be achieved.

The researcher understands from the above definitions that performance management processes is a continuous (non-stop) process that underscores the need for supervisors and employees to work together in determining the organisation and employee? s goals and determining performance standards required to achieve those goals. The researcher views performance management processes as a continuous negotiation process that calls for effective communication (Acuff, 2008:6).

It is a process that requires that calls for identification and prioritisation of goals, defining what constitutes progress towards goals, setting standards for measuring results and tracking progress towards goals. It further calls for exchanging feedback among the components, reinforcing goal oriented activities and intervening to create improvement when needed. the performance management process places greater importance on the methods used to achieve results.

This study recognises that there is a thin line between the definitions of management processes and the description of management functions which then points to the conclusion that these two concepts could be used interchangeably. 2. 5 Defining Performance Measurement Balanced scorecard originally developed as tool for performance measurement at the organisational level and has been expanded to include critical success factors (Kaplan and Norton, 1993 as cited in MoF, 2009).

It is recognised by the researcher that the definition of performance measurement underscores the need for output/ product to be measured, (Maila (2006). Emphasis on measuring output is fully supported by this study as it could assist managers to determine whether or not the employee’s output contribute to the attainment of the set goals. The researcher’s contribution to the definition of measurement is that this process is aimed at determining strategies necessary to the realisation of the organisation’s objectives, as they appraise how far one is from attaining the set goal.

The process calls for assessment of results and provision of honest feedback to either strengthen progress or remedy non progress. 2. 6 Importance of Performance Management Processes Flanagan and Finger (1998:154) stated that most performance improvement processes consist of agreeing on the standards or expectations by managers and staff: monitoring progress; recognising; achievement and reviewing the performance displayed with recognition and review featuring in the maintenance plan. It is imperative that supervisor and employee agree upon and understand each other’s expectations of the job.

This is the foundation upon which the entire performance management process will be built. The challenge is that both supervisor and employee have to posses negotiating skills as they are required to agree on each other’s expectation of the job. According to Cornell University (2010), the main purpose of performance management process is to develop people and improve performance by clarifying goals and coaching regularly. A secondary purpose is to provide honest and accurate formal evaluations to support rewards for performance practices.

Performance management processes is important as it entails planning employee performance, facilitating the achievement of work related goals and reviewing performance as a way of motivating employees to achieve their full potential in line with the organisation’s objectives, (Swanepoel et al, 1998 as cited Maila, 2006:8). The researcher deducing from the literature above concluded that performance management process was important as it entails planning employee performance, agreeing on standards, monitor and evaluate performance with a view to facilitating the achievement of work related goals.

The process is further important as it allows for a two way feedback aimed at supporting rewards or punishment for performance practices. According to Maila (2006, p. 4), criteria for measuring success should be clarified and obstacles timorously identified so as to seek solutions and that public service delivery is not halted, performance management system is one of the instruments that can provide that solution.

According to Hogue (2010), performance measurement system highlights whether the organisation is on track to achieve its desired goals. Performance measurement system develops key performance indicators (KPIs), or metrics, depending on the nature and activities of the organization. KPIs can serve as the cornerstone of an organization’s employee incentive schemes. The researcher’s contention is that it is much more difficult to develop KPIs for each area of performance within the organisation which can be measured effectively.

According to the MoF (2009), the BALANCED SCORECARD of Robert Kaplan and David Norton of 1996 provide a framework that not only provides performance measurements, but helps planners identify what should be done and measured. BALANCED SCORECARD is an important approach for measuring and managing the most critical processes in organization. To be meaningful, company performance should be judged against a specific objective is achieved. Without an objective, a company would have no criterion for choosing among alternative strategies and projects (Armstrong 2000; Chang 1999).

For example, if the objective of the company is to maximize its return on investment, the company would try to achieve that objective by adopting investments with return on investment ratios greater than the company’s current average return on investment ratio. However, if the objective of the company were to maximize its accounting profits, the company would adopt any investment, which would provide a positive accounting profit, even though the company might lower its current average return on investment ratio (Birch, 1998; Atkinson, Warehouse, & Well, 1997).

Performance measurement is important for keeping a company on track in achieving its objectives (Armstrong, 2000; Atkinson & Epstein, 2000; Frigo, Pustortio, George, & Krull, 2000). The selection of the most appropriate indicators is however, an area with no defining boundaries as there are a number of purposes to which performance measurements can be put, although not all performance measurement can be used for purposes (Fitzergerald, Johnston, Brignall, Silveston, & Voss, 1993).

Even though individual firms tend to utilize firm-specific performance indicators appropriate to their needs, for many firms the main performance indicators would typically include some combination of financial; market/customer; competitor; human resource; internal business process; and environmental indicators (D’Souza &Williams, 2000; Barsky & Flick, 1999). More often than not usually however, performance measurements has relied on financial or accounting-based measures, despite the drawbacks associated with such an approach.

Specifically, the use of financial measures alone has serious limitations because of inherently backwards-looking nature, their limited ability to measure operational performance and their tendency to focus on the short-term (Kaplan et al. , 2001a; Ittner, Larcker, & Rajan 1997). The reliance on financial measures alone, therefore, to present the true picture of organizational performance, is in itself backward looking, especially from a variety of stakeholders.

As a result, an organization requires more from its performance management system than ever before (Becker & Gerhart, 1996l Kaplan et al. , 2001a; Lambert, 1998). Several researchers have identified that the selection of performance measurement indicators should be: 1. Driven from strategies and provide a linkage between unit actions and strategic plans; 2. Hierarchical and integrated across business functions; 3.

Supportive of the company’s multidimensional environment (internal or external and cost-based or non cost-based); and 4. Based on a thorough understanding of cost relationships and cost behaviour (Brown & Mitchell, 1993; Euske, Lebas, & McNair, 1993; Kaplan & Atkinson, 1989; McKensize & Shilling, 2000; McMann & Nanni, 1994). Additionally, the method of monitoring performance should be dynamic in order to adapt to internal and external changes.

In response to these recommendations, a number of frameworks that adopt a multidimensional view of performance measurement have been developed, most notable of which has been the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) developed by Kaplan and Norton (1992, 1996). The Balanced Scorecard addresses the need for multiple measures of performance and provides a strategic framework, which specifically encourages the use of both financial and non-financial measures along four perspectives – financial, customers, internal business processes, and learning and growth – to measure firm performance (Kaplan & Norton, 1996b).

In both research and practice, the BSC has received much attention, particularly as a tool for driving unit level strategy within many industries, including hospitality, health, manufacturing and banking (Ashton, 1998; Beechey & Garlick, 1999; Birch, 1998; Chow, Ganulin, Haddad, & Williamson, 1998; Kaplan et al. , 2001a). According to Kaplan and Norton (1996, p. ) “the balanced scorecard translates an organization’s mission and strategy into a comprehensive set of performance measures and provides the framework for strategic measurement and management”. On the outset therefore, the BSC appears to have all the answers for choosing the most appropriate measures of company performance, which are governed by the organisation’s strategic orientation and external competitive environment.

The success of the BSC relies on a transparent and well-defined strategy as the basis for the development of specific and relevant performance measures. Although the BSC, along with many other perspectives, acknowledges that firms respond to the environment they face in developing their strategy and ultimately performance measurement system, institutional theory specifically asserts that the social network in which firms operate exerts an equally strong hold on the decision- making practices of the firm (DiMaggio, 1983).

For instance, it is likely that for firms operating in highly uncertain environments, for example, the choice of performance measures may be influenced by choices made by industry leaders as a means of reducing uncertainty and enhancing legitimacy (mimetic isomorphism) (DiMaggio & Powell, 1991a; Greve, 2000; Haverman, 1993). For firms operating within institutional environments, such as banking, accounting, insurance and the like, shared norms and behaviours may dictate the types of performance measures used (normative isomorphism) (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; DiMaggio et al. 1991a; Gupta, Dirsmith, & Fogarty, 1994; Heverman, 1993; Hussain & Gunasekaran, 2002a). For firms operating in environments where there is a pressure to conform to rules and practices, performance measurement may be influenced by the dictates of supervisory bodies (coercive isomorphism) (DiMaggio et al. , 1991a; Greve, 2000; Haverman, 1993).

Therefore, it appears that if organisations are seeking to utilise the BSC or similar frameworks to develop the most appropriate measures of performance, coercive, mimetic and normative forces, along with strategic orientation, need to be factored into any analysis in order to gain a true picture of what factors influence performance measurement and management. Hence, it is the purpose of this dissertation to examine the role that institutional forces play in the choice of performance measurement systems, via the application of the BSC framework in an industry where the institutional forces mentioned above are at play.

Information about performance management is critical to the effective functioning of any business (Chandler, 1962a; Kaplan et al. , 1992; McWilliams, 1996). However, what constitutes good performance and what constitutes good measures of performance are continuously being debated (Corrigan, 1998; Kaplan & Norton, 1998; Kimball, 1997; Landy & Farr, 1983; Maisel, 1992). For instance, do financial performance indicators provide the necessary information for operating within environments that are classified as turbulent, given that they are backward looking? Armstrong, 2000; Barker, 1995; Kaplan, 1983). Is it important to utilise non-financial information for organisations that are facing changes in demand? (Chang, 1999; Kaplan, 1983). In order to answer these questions and more, this chapter reviews literature on performance management and describes the factors that influence performance measures. In addition, why there is a need for organisations to focus on both traditional financial and non-financial indicators of performance in order to meet organisational objectives, irrespective of competitive environment, is reviewed.

Specific frameworks, which can be utilised by organisations to measure performance in this way, are also reviewed, with a particular focus on the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) as a measurement tool which meets the demands of contemporary organisations (Duursema, 1999; Ittner & Larcker, 1998a; Kaplan et al. , 1992). 2. 7 Role of Performance Measures in an Organisation To function successfully in a business environment, an organisation depends upon the decision-making ability of its managers, who in turn, depend upon the availability of useable information (Banker, Devraj, Sinha, &

Schroeder, 1997). Information about performance is important in different ways to the various stakeholders within a business. For example, owners and investors are interested in company performance to ensure that their investment decisions are correct, and, if not, to look for alternative investments. Managers look at the performance of a company’s subunits as a way of prioritising the allocation of resources (Duursema, 1999; Euske et al. , 1993; Fama, 1890; Lockamy & Cox, 1994; Tricker & Dockery, 1995).

In a more strategic sense, performance measurement is seen as an important way of keeping a company on track in achieving the company’s objectives and as a monitoring mechanism employed by the owners of a company where ownership and management are separated (Baker & Wruck, 1989; Bushman, Indjejikian, & Smith, 1995; Delaney & Husekid, 1996; Huselid, 1995; Ittner & Larcker, 1998b; Kaplan, 1984; Lawler, Mohrman, & Ledford, 1992; Mayo & Brown, 1999).

If measures of performance are to be effective, the measures need to be performance- driven and linked with company strategy. This view is supported by a number of researchers who note that measures of performance need to be based on a company’s strategic objectives in order for employees to understand and be committed to the achievement of those objectives (Becker et al. , 1996; Hronec, 1993; Huber, 1990; John, Jacqueline, & Robert, 2002; Johnson, 1998; Kaplan, 1983; Kaplan et al. , 2001a). Specifically, D’Souza and Williams (2000), Euske et al. 1993), Kimball (1997) and Mayo and Brown (1999) argue that within the contemporary work environment, a good performance measurement system should be: •Supportive and consistent with an organisation’s goals, actions, people/culture, and key success factors; •Driven by the customer; •Appropriate to the internal and external environment; •Developed by a combined top-down and bottom-up effort; •Communicated and integrated throughout the organisation; •Focused more on managing resources and inputs, not just simply costs; •Committed to providing action-oriented feedback; and Supportive of individual and organizational learning. Although there is agreement that these types of characteristics will make for better performance measures (Devenport, 2000), how performance is actually measured is still a ‘black box’ for many organisations (Cross & Lynch, 1992; Eccles, 1991; ECSI, 1998; Frigo et al. , 2000; Gering & Mhtambo, 2000a; Henerson, Morris, & Fitz- Gibbon, 1987), particularly as performance measures used in one company may not be appropriate for another company facing a different situation or different set of circumstances (Otley, 1980).

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