BSC in Denmark


A research study conducted by Nielsen and Sorensen in 2004, investigating the motives, diffusion and utilization of the Balanced Scorecard in Denmark confirmed that the BSC has achieved great attention in the country. The findings of the study suggest that 80% of the respondent companies to the survey affirmed that their level of knowledge in relation with the BSC is high, while only less than 20% gave a  high priority to the BSC.


The researchers considered for the purpose of the study a sample of 442 respondents with a satisfactory knowledge of the BSC from 210 Danish small and medium sized companies.  The response rate was calculated to be 12%, which equals 53 usable questionnaires. While Nielsen and Sorensen (2004) acknowledged that the sample of the study is not representative as stated in statistical literature, the selection of companies from the small and medium sector was considered as representative for Denmark.


The data of the survey was analysed against a set of variables which have as the main determinants the knowledge of the BSC, priority of the BSC and use of the BSC in Danish companies. The results from the data interpretation are synthesized in the table below.




Knowledge, priority and use of the BSC

  • 82% respondents reports a high level of Knowledge of the BSC, while 18% report average knowledge
  • 17% of the respondents gave high priority to the BSC, whereas 59% give low priority to the BSC
  • The degree of BSC use is 32%, with 28% reporting partial application of the BSC, while 4% applied BSC to the full extent

System for strategic control

  • 70% of the respondents consider that the strategy work is extremely important, while 10% consider this aspect of almost no importance
  • 83% of the respondents find that BSC creates an increased need to focus on target areas
  • 48% consider the need for early warning provided by the BSC as important while 22% consider this aspect as unimportant
  • 74% consider that is important for the company to have a tool that can identify the value creating processes for systematic follow up

Balanced and focused management and control tool

  • 70% of the respondents agree that the nature of the target figures, focusing and causality are important elements in the BSC
  • 80% agree the BSC results in a need to identify benchmarks, in order to support the strategic goals.
  • Overall Danish companies consider that the balanced control is an important requirement for a well functioning BSC

Usefulness and accessibility in Danish Companies

  • 65% of the respondents consider that BSC builds on easy and accessible logic
  • 10% considered that there is enough literature within the area where it is possible to obtain inspiration for BSC
  • Only 19% agree that  US literature can be used in Denmark without major changes
  • 74% of the respondents find that organizational learning is important
  • 44% consider that it is not important  that  BSC implementation requires consulting services

The influence of society on the development and adjustment of companies

  • 48% consider that internationalization makes it more difficult to make decisions without including non financial information
  • 38% find it more necessary to include more holistic management system like the Balanced Scorecard
  • 23% consider that internationalization has made it more difficult to identify values without including the intellectual capital

Assessment of the current system and BSC

  • 30% agree the current system used does not fulfill the company’s current needs, while 45% are satisfied with the system
  • 80% agree that BSC can meet the requirements of being a suitable tool for the company, while 6% regard it as totally unsuitable

Source: adapted from Nielsen and Sorensen (2004)



  • Nielsen, S. & Sorensen, R. (2004), Motives, diffusion and utilisation of the balanced scorecard in Denmark, International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2004, pp. 103-124.

BSC in practice : By country


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