The Effect Of Using The Balanced Scorecard Information Technology Essay

This research is basically to access and analyse the effect of the use of balanced scorecard as a strategic management system in an organisation.

In the course of this research, extensive literature review of the balanced scorecard will be made. However, this research will run in the confines of a case study. Since the aim of this research is to analyse the effect of using the balanced scorecard as a strategic management system, ASDA/WALMART SUPERSTORES will be used as a case study.

ASDA/WALMART is the second largest retailer in the United Kingdom and the use of the balanced scored card as a strategic management system will help them align their vision with set objectives of the organisation. After much research consideration of this subject matter, it can be established that this approach can work for any organisation in the retail industry.



The balanced scorecard (BSC) model was developed by US academics Robert Kaplan and David Norton in response to the shortcomings of traditional financial measures. The balanced scorecard (BSC) is a management tool that helps to align behaviour of all employees to the organisation’s strategy (Marr, B. & Neely, A, 2003) Tuan, L.T and Venkatesh, S. supported that the balanced scorecard (BSC) provides a framework which encourages the use of financial and non-financial measures of performance. This also will allow organisation to identify its strategic object. This can be achieved by balancing four core perspectives- Financial perspective, customer perspective, internal business process perspective and learning and growth perspective to measure performance (Kaplan and Norton 1992)








To carry out a critical literature review to identify and assess the role of the use of balanced scorecard performance appraisal system

To examine the criticism of the balanced scorecard as against the traditional methods of performance measurements.

To carry out an empirical research to establish the opinions of the top Management team of ASDA/WALMART about the use of the balanced scorecard as a strategic management system.

To find out whether the middle managers in ASDA/WALMART support the use of the balanced scorecard as a strategic management system and if they find it effective?

To come to a conclusion on the extent to which the use of the balanced scorecard as a strategic management system is effective.


After carrying out a literature review to collate data on the views of different authors on the use of balanced scorecard as a strategic management system, a set of questions will be prepared. This is necessary so as to be able to have a wide range of top management and middle managers’ view on the subject matter.

In order to obtain relevant information needed to achieve the objectives stated below; questionnaires will be sent and delivered to top management team and middle managers of ASDA/WALMART for the following reasons:

To examine the controversies of the use of the balance scorecard as a strategic management system.

To analyse and establish the opinions of top management team and middle managers on the effectiveness of the balanced scorecard as a strategic management system.

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To draw a conclusion on the extent to which the balanced scorecard model is more effective than traditional methods of performance appraisal.



Blaikie, N. (2003) defined positivism as the research that assumes that social reality is external to people involved and only the aspect that can be measured are regarded as relevant to research.

Jackson, W. (1995) stated that research just like positivism relies on experiments, survey and secondary data, therefore, according to the research onion model, my research philosophy is positivism based. The author will be using questionnaire which comes under the Survey category.


The deductive approach research strategy will be used for this research because; sufficient materials like journals, articles and periodicals are available to carry out a test on how effective is the use of the balanced scorecard as a strategic management system.

This research approach will involve different researches strategies ranging from Experiment Survey, Case Study, Ethnography and action Research but the Survey strategy will be used for this research.

Survey strategy and questionnaire option are chosen under this category leaving behind the structured interview and observation.

Kumar, R (1999, p.104) stated that sometimes information required to carry out a research are readily available but needed to be gathered or collected from different sources to get the clue to what one is trying to find out or achieve.

To achieve the objective of this research as earlier stated above, questions will be tailored to answer the Research Objectives.

Questionnaire was chosen because it allows the collection of data from a sizeable population i.e. the top management team and middle managers of ASDA/WALMART.

The delivery and collection questionnaire method is considered appropriate for this research. The questionnaire will be delivered in person to selected top management team and middle managers, asking them of a possible date of collection. This is chosen to be the best form of questionnaire method necessary to achieve the aim of the research, Saunders et al (2009)

The author considered interview as another option to this research, but realised that time may be a limiting factor. It may be impossible to interview all the top management team/middle managers of ASDA/WALMART.

The author also considered the convenience of answering the structured interview as respondents may be busy with other business matters on the day of interview. This may cause lack of concentration or simply not getting the best from the person interviewed.

If time permits, additional information through interview would be gathered. This will be done by carefully selecting respondents from the questionnaire who are willing to supply more information on the subject matter and are ready to be interviewed, to assist in achieving the objective of the research.

A question will be in the questionnaire asking whether respondent are willing to give further information to help achieve the research objective (Interview).

Other research strategy or methods are considered inappropriate for this kind of research.


Questionnaires are generally seen as been cheaper to administer compared to interviews. Researchers and authors believe that questionnaire saves time, human and financial resources.

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Bryman, A. (2004, p. 133) added that, the reduction in cost of carrying out a research is an advantage considering a sample that is geographically widely dispersed.

Questionnaires are also quicker to administer as they can be sent out through the post, distributed in an office, school or working place etc.

It also offer greater anonymity as some questions are sensitive and are best asked without face to face interaction, Kumar R. added.

This allows the respondent to freely express his/her opinion on the topic of research.

According to Bryman, A. (2004), it has been argued that the characteristics of the interviewers (and respondents) do affect the answers that people give. It was discovered that characteristics like ethnicity, gender, social background of the interviewer may combine to bias the answers that the respondent provides.

This is also part of the reason why questionnaire was chosen to be the most appropriate method of data collection.


Despite all these advantages, questionnaire also has its own disadvantages and these are discussed below:

Questionnaire can only be applied to a population that can read and write. This does not provide opportunity for the population sector that is part of the research that is illiterate, very young or old, or handicapped, Kumar R. stated.

A low response rate or low feedback from the distributed questionnaire is a major disadvantage of the use of questionnaire. Some of the distributed questionnaires are thrown in the waste bin, some are forgotten where they are kept by the respondent; these do not make the researcher to get a perfect picture on the subject matter and conclusion may be drawn from few respondent who returned the questionnaire.

Kumar, R. (1999), stated factors that can contribute to low response of the questionnaire as follows:

The interest of the sample population on the topic of study; the layout and length of the questionnaire; the methodology used to deliver the questionnaire.

In tackling these factors for the purpose of this research, I have carefully selected auditing firms that are directly involved in provision of non audit services. I have also considered the small business entities that desire the use of auditors for both auditing purposes and non audit services.

Gill, J. and Johnson, P. (1997, p.89), stated that all questions in the questionnaire should be really relevant to the research question, therefore I have handled the issue of relevance, layout and length of question with care.

I have also made up my mind to deliver the questionnaires in person to the sample of population selected and asking a convenient day and time for collection of the questionnaire. This approach will assist to reduce the problem of low response rate experienced using questionnaires.

Another disadvantage of questionnaire is that respondent does not have the opportunity to ask for clarification on issues. This does affect the quality of information supplied by respondent. The may also cause collation problem for the researcher, if different respondent interpret same question differently. In handling this, the questions in the questionnaire will be set in a simple and unambiguous manner. The questions will be stated in clear terms for all to understand.

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Questionnaire cannot probe, stated Bryman, A. (2004). The researcher cannot probe further on an issue apart from that which is in the questionnaire.

The only way that questionnaire can be made to probe is by asking an open-ended question.

In Open- ended questions possible responses are not given to the respondent. The respondent write down the answers in his/her words, Kumar, R. (1999, p.116)

The disadvantage of open ended questions is that it may be difficult for the research to summarise his find as opinion of respondent may be far apart/ different from each other making it difficult for researcher to summarise and conclude.

Kumar, R. (1999), gave another disadvantage of questionnaire as its inability to be supplemented with other information like interview which can be supplemented with observation.

To handle this, if time permit as earlier stated an interview will be conducted to supplement (additional information) the information gathered through questionnaire.



Conduct a review of literature on the use of balanced scorecard as a strategic management system in order to develop research question.

A case study methodology will be used as the primary research method

A questionnaire will be developed with question based on the background

and objective of the research.

The questions in the questionnaire will seek to test the research question; does the use of the balanced scorecard as a strategic management system have any effect on performance?

The questionnaire will be distributed to the corporate directors and also Middle Managers of ASDA.

Data analysis that will be used is percentage method and chart, to evaluate the effect of non audit service on auditor’s independence.

4. If required, conduct interviews with some auditors after the collation of Questionnaire.



The Data required are data that will give information about the effects of the use of the balanced scorecard. Also data that will give information about how middle managers find the implementation and what their opinion will be is very essential too.


Textbooks, journals, online and articles will be consulted. Information will also be gathered through questionnaires.



Charts and graphs and grant chart will be used to analyse findings.


Hypothesis drawn on this research will be tested and the most appropriate will be considered in the course of this project.



It is expected that the response that will be gathered from the ASDA/WALMART will be the secondary data that will be analysed to help us come to a conclusion on the research.


I have access to finances that can sustain the research program. I have access to libraries, books, journals, online e-books and organisations.


Plans are in place to continue with this research in case the current methodology fails. Structured interview will be used, however this approach may be time consuming and respondents too may not be readily available.

We will need to have this approach as a backup plan.

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