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Strategy implementation: a role for the balanced scorecard?

Helen Atkinson (School of Service Management, University of Brighton, Eastbourne, UK)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 December 2006




The purpose of this paper is to develop a deeper understanding of the role of the balanced scorecard in strategy implementation.


This paper provides a review of strategy implementation literature to identify the main inhibitors of successful strategy implementation and then proceeds to critically review the balanced scorecard and evaluate the contribution it can make to strategy implementation, in particular how it may be able to mitigate the problems associated with strategy implementation.


It is argued in the paper that the balanced scorecard, subject to the adoption of suitable processes, can address the key problems associated with strategy implementation including communication, the role of middle managers and integration with existing control systems. The study raises a series of research questions and proposes avenues for further research.

Practical implications

More than half strategies devised by organisations are never actually implemented. At a time of increasing competition and globalisation; shorter lead times and increased customer sophistication, the effectiveness of strategy implementation is even more important. The findings of this study will provide the basis for research that will improve this vital management activity.


The effective implementation of corporate strategy is often overlooked in strategic management literature. There is still recognition that there is a need for further research. By combining two eclectic fields of research, i.e. strategy implementation and performance measurement, it is proposed that new insights can be gained to inform future practice.



Atkinson, H. (2006), "Strategy implementation: a role for the balanced scorecard?", Management Decision, Vol. 44 No. 10, pp. 1441-1460.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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