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The rise of the balanced scorecard! Relevance regained?

Hanne Nørreklit (Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen, Norway)
Lennart Nørreklit (Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark)
Falconer Mitchell (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)
Trond Bjørnenak (Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen, Norway)

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change

ISSN: 1832-5912

Article publication date: 26 October 2012




The purpose of this paper is to explore the contribution made by the balanced scorecard (BSC) in regaining the practice relevance of management accounting research.


Using discourse analysis, the paper investigates the speech genre in use in main BSC texts.


The authors' analysis reveals that the BSC is defined in a way that can provide management with a type of general overarching model. However, the model lacks realistic scholarly characteristics and instead it exhibits characteristics of a myth speech genre. This is especially so in the presentation of the central concern with cause‐effect statements in the BSC.

Research limitations/implications

The authors' analysis, therefore, suggests that methodological issues relating to the usage of cause and effect statements must be solved if research, such as that carried out in the BSC development, is to become more relevant to practice. To overcome this problem and regain research relevance, the paper recommends a more scholarly speech genre, giving more attention to various usages of inferential statements and specifically a pragmatic constructivist perspective for analyzing construct causalities.


The paper advocates a scholarly methodological basis as a requirement for accounting innovation to enable it to solve practice problems in a way that improves practice and hence increases relevance of research.



Nørreklit, H., Nørreklit, L., Mitchell, F. and Bjørnenak, T. (2012), "The rise of the balanced scorecard! Relevance regained?", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 490-510.



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