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Popularizing a management accounting idea: the case of the Balanced Scorecard

Cooper, David J., Ezzamel, Mahmoud and Qu, Sandy Q. 2017. Popularizing a management accounting idea: the case of the Balanced Scorecard. Contemporary Accounting Research 34 (2) , pp. 991-1025. 10.1111/1911-3846.12299

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We explore how the Balanced Scorecard (BSC ), as a management accounting technique, was developed and marketed as a general management practice. Drawing on actor network theory (ANT ), we analyze interviews with key actors associated with the BSC , insights gained from attending BSC training workshops, and other documentary evidence to construct a history of the BSC . Our historical analysis offers theoretical tools to understand how the various features of the accounting technique were translated and transformed, that is, shaped and solidified. This translation entailed processes of modification, labelling, framing, and specification of abstract categories and cause‐effect relations. We also examine the networks and associations that both shape the form of the BSC and mobilize the interests of various constituencies around it to produce what can be regarded as a global management technology. Finally, we highlight the strategies and actions used to maintain control of this technique through its continuous reinvention, and, by doing so, we emphasize the idea of strategic agency.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Canadian Academic Accounting Association
ISSN: 0823-9150
Date of Acceptance: 17 March 2017
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2021 12:15

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