Do the Motives for Adoption of the Balanced Scorecard Affect its Development and Use?

Paula Van Veen-Dirks, Anne M. Lillis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This study examines the relationship between the motives for balanced scorecard (BSC) adoption and the development and use of the BSC. We expect that a stronger focus on economic adoption motives is associated with full development of the BSC and its integration into the performance measurement and control systems of the firm. In contrast, we expect that a higher focus on legitimacy as a motive for adoption leads to loose coupling of the BSC with the control systems of the firm. We expect legitimacy as a catalyst to BSC adoption leads to a lower level of BSC development and use, which enables the organization to keep the environment satisfied, but does not influence processes within the organization.

The data are obtained from a web-based survey with 88 useful responses of firms indicating that they use the BSC. The study investigates the relationship between the motives for BSC adoption (economic and legitimacy) and the development and use of the BSC. The results provide evidence for the hypothesis that economic motives for adoption positively affect the development of the BSC. In addition, the results partially support the hypothesis that legitimacy motives negatively affect the use of the BSC. When legitimacy comes via the mechanism of mimetic isomorphism, it has a negative effect on use of the BSC. Surprisingly, however, legitimacy has a positive effect on use when it comes via the mechanism of normative isomorphism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerformance Measurement and Management Control
Subtitle of host publicationThe Relevance of Performance Measurement and Management Control Research
EditorsMarc J. Epstein, Frank H.M. Verbeeten, Sally K. Widener
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78756-469-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-78756-470-1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameStudies in Managerial and Financial Accounting
ISSN (Print)1479-3512

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