BSC in Academia


One of the areas in which the Balanced Scorecard concept has found its application is the educational sector.  Though, the literature documenting the Balanced Scorecard implementation in the academia is not so rich, as opposed to the literature existent on the BSC subject in private sector (Nistor, 2009),  several research works and case studies in the area can be outlined.


BSC in Academia – research work

Amaratunga and Baldry (2000), cited in Nistor (2009) tested the relation between performance measurement and performance quality in the higher education sector by using a Balanced Scorecard model. Umanshankar and Dutta (2007) cited in Nistor (2009) used the Balanced Scorecard concept in order to discuss how it would be applied to the higher education system in an Indian context. While Nayeri et al, (2008) cited in Nistor (2009) pursue the purpose of developing a Balanced Scorecard model in order to evaluate the strategic business environment of the higher education in Iran.


BSC in Academia – case studies

Several universities and other academic institutions have been documented to be using the Balanced Scorecard up to date. Nistor (2009) acknowledges that a tradition of using the Balanced Scorecard was particularly established in the Anglo-Saxon universities from Finland, United States or Australia.


Bond University, Australia

One example of an academic institution, using a Balanced Scorecard is Bond University from Australia. Bond University is a fairly new academic institution in Australia, being established in 1987. As it represent the private sector which provides only  round 3,5 percent of the total student load involved in higher education in Australia, Bond University strives to differentiate itself by  its emphasizes on small class sizes, personal attention and close contact between staff and students.


 In order to stay competitive in a sector dominated by public higher education institutions, Bond University adopted a culture of performance excellence by implementing a Balanced Scorecard performance management system (Cribb and Hogan, 2003). Through its Balanced Scorecard, the university aims to monitor its current performance and efforts to provide teaching, learning and research activities, to improve customer services, streamlined key processes, keep employees motivated and prepared and enhance the information system (Cribb and Hogan, 2003).


Initially built at the corporate level, the Balanced Scorecard was then rolled out to all main departments of the university. One interesting aspect about the BSC at Bond University is its structure. Though it is a private organization, the BSC framework adopted by the university followed the designed promoted by Kaplan and Norton (2001) for the public and nonprofit organization structures. In this model, the customer perspective comes at the top of the scorecard while the financial perspective goes down. This is one way for the University to emphasize its commitment to deliver high educational services to its students.


St Paul’s School Brisbane, Australia

Another example of academic institution using a Balanced Scorecard is St Paul’s School Brisbane. The Balanced Scorecard built round the Kaplan and Norton’s four perspectives BSC is supported by a strategy map in which 26 crucial objectives are identified. The strategic objectives are clustered under 5 overarching goals or strategic themes:

  • Goal 1: To maintain a student centered environment that instills Anglican and personal values
  • Goal 2: To nurture a global community that takes a global perspective, incorporate new technologies, aligns personal and school goals and leads in curriculum development
  • Goal 3: To encourage members of the school community who work in support of the school to achieve their goals
  • Goal 4: To expand market community and enhance leadership in a competitive market economy
  • Goal 5: To maximize the school financial strength, maintain economic viability and utilize assets wisely through prudent financial management (William Buck, 2004)


Richmond Public Schools, United States

A third case of an academic institution using a Balanced Scorecard is Richmond Public Schools.  According with the Richmond Public Schools (RHS) division authorities the purpose of the Balanced Scorecard implemented was to clearly define where the institution is heading down for the future by laying a challenging set of tasks to perform and keeping everyone accountable for achieving the targets. It was also noted that the Balanced Scorecard implemented is a dynamic instrument, in that the strategies, measures, and targets established may be adjusted as appropriate over time to reflect the changing needs and accomplishments of the RHS division.


In order to implement the scorecard, the Richmond Public Schools authorities recognized the need for a culture change in order to increase the ability to deliver on the promises in the scorecard. A Plan Management Oversight Committee was established in order to lead the implementation of the Balanced Scorecard and manage it afterwards.


Though strategic objectives, measures and targets were identified for all the four major Balanced Scorecard perspectives: Customer, Financial, Internal processes and Learning and Growth, they were clustered in the Balanced Scorecard round the 5 major strategic themes (goals) RHS pursues:

  • Goal 1: Improve students achievements
  • Goal 2: Promote a safe and nurturing environment
  • Goal 3: Provide strong leadership for effective and efficient operations
  • Goal 4: Enhance capacity building through professional development
  • Goal 5: Strengthen collaborations with stakeholder
  • Goal 6: Increase parent and community satisfaction ( Richmond Public Schools, 2010)



  • Cribb, G. & Hogan, C. (2003), Balanced Scorecard: linking strategic planning to measurement and communication, Information Service Paper, Bond University, Australia, available at:
  • Kaplan, R. & Norton, D. (2001), The strategy focused organization. How Balanced Scorecard companies thrive in the new business environment, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.
  • Nistor, C. S. (2009), An empirical research about the possibility of implementing Balanced Scorecard in Romanian Universities, Munich Personal RePEc Archive, No. 13208, available at:
  • Richmond Public Schools (2010), Balanced Scorecard: Strategic Objectives, Measures and Projects – A new direction: illuminating the path from competence to excellence, available at:
  • William Buck (2004), Building a Balanced Scorecard Performance Measurement System for St Paul’s School, Bald Hills, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, ISCA.

BSC in practice : By industry


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