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Diffusion of the Balanced Scorecard in the Swedish Municipality Sector

Publiceringsår: 2008
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag


This article examines the introduction of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) among municipalities in Sweden from a diffusion perspective. The point of departure in the article is that there is a gap in our understanding concerning the diffusion of new management accounting constructs. Over the last decade, research has largely been based on empirical evidence regarding early adopters. Furthermore, these studies have largely been based on case study evidence and on interviews with managers at high organisational levels. We have far less knowledge of the diffusion process over time. Knowledge is also lacking regarding the use of such constructs throughout individual organisations. The article is based on a survey of 190 municipalities in Sweden, and their adoption and use of the BSC. The empirical findings not only demonstrate that there has occurred a diffusion of the BSC among Swedish municipalities but also that the diffusion process in large follows a S-shaped pattern. Interesting to notice is that the diffusion seems to follow a time lag in comparison to the private sector. Furthermore the empirical findings demonstrate that the BSC is primarily used in soft services such as elderly care and education. The empirical findings show that the BSC is associated with interpretative viability, both concerning use and content.


  • Economics and Business
  • diffusion
  • performance measurement
  • interpretative viability
  • BSC
  • management accounting construct
  • content
  • use


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