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Strategic alignment: linking your learning strategy to the balanced scorecard

Ajay M. Pangarkar (President at CentralKnowledge Inc., based in Laval, Quebec, Canada.)
Teresa Kirkwood (Vice President at CentralKnowledge Inc., based in Laval, Quebec, Canada.)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 14 March 2008




The purpose of this paper is to address the increasing need to move past the traditional measurement, evaluation methodologies and truly connect the value of learning and performance to organizational objectives and strategy.


Though anecdotal research, several industry conference presentations on the topic, and discussions with senior management groups it is highly evident that there is a need for both an organization's learning group and senior management to communicate. Add to the fact that the Balanced Scorecard is becoming the tool of choice for many organizations to translate their mission into tactical outcomes, the learning and growth component is one of the weakest developed areas of this important tool but, according to the creators of BSC, it is the most significant part of the BSC enabling the other components.


The need for organizations to compete is increasing exponentially. Organizational leaders are quickly realizing that their organizations can no longer compete based on past success factors such as assets, products, or pricing in a knowledge‐based economy. The senior management groups understand that more than equipment, their success lies in the knowledge of their employees to compete. New ideas, innovation, and technology are significantly contributing to the knowledge need.

Practical implications

From this paper, readers, specifically those responsible for training, learning, and human resources along with senior managers, will be able to communicate and begin to connect their learning strategies to the organization's mission and strategic planning process.


Kaplan and Norton stress the need for management to be attentive to the “Learning and growth” component of the BSC and not disregard or minimize its importance to the other perspectives. To date, how to integrate and develop the learning and growth component was not addressed in any depth.



Pangarkar, A.M. and Kirkwood, T. (2008), "Strategic alignment: linking your learning strategy to the balanced scorecard", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 95-101.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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