The effects of alternative supplementary display formats on balanced scorecard judgments

William N. Dilla, Paul Steinbart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) to evaluate performance is a complex judgment task involving a large set of performance measures. Commercially available BSC software provides capabilities for providing decision guidance to the user through the design of supplementary information displays. This study compares the judgment performance of decision makers who received BSC data for two divisions of a simulated company in one of three formats: (1) individual BSCs for each division, (2) individual divisional BSCs supplemented by a side-by-side tabular summary of each division's performance, and (3) individual divisional BSCs supplemented by a side-by-side graphical comparison of each division's performance. Providing supplemental tabular displays did not improve judgment consensus, relative to viewing separate displays, but did improve consistency between performance evaluation and bonus allocation decisions. Consensus for participants using supplemental graphical displays was lower than that for participants viewing separate displays for each division. Further, participants given supplemental graphical displays exhibited lower judgment consensus and lower consistency between performance evaluation and bonus allocation decisions than those using supplemental tables. Inconsistency and lack of consensus are likely to create perceptions of unfairness, thereby increasing dissatisfaction with and resistance to continued use of the BSC. Thus, our findings indicate the need for care when designing and implementing BSC decision aids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-176
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Accounting Information Systems
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005

Keywords

  • Balanced scorecard
  • Decision aids
  • Information presentation formats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Information Systems and Management

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