Balanced scorecard: the four perspectives

A look at the four perspectives used to view an organisation in the original balanced scorecard model.

The basic principles of Kaplan and Norton's original balanced scorecard model have proved hugely influential on subsequent thinking about the subject. While individual organisations tailor the quadrant of perspectives to suit their own circumstances, the general spread of viewpoints has changed little - and is worth examining.

Different balanced scorecards for different organisations

Of course, the traditional balanced scorecard model does not suit every organisation in every way. Charities differ from commercial enterprises in that their primary goals are non-financial, although they still need to be organised in a financially efficient way and appeal to donors enough to maximise their revenue-generating potential.

A military organisation needs to be able to implement directives quickly and effectively; a government agency's principal focus might be delivering service improvements to the public. But each organisation will remain relatively fixed to the spirit of Kaplan and Norton's original balanced scorecard quadrants.

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