The American balanced scorecard versus the French tableau de bord: the ideological dimension

A. Bourguignon, V. MALLERET, H. Norreklit

Management Accounting Research

2004, vol. 15, n°2, pp.107-134

Departments: Accounting & Management Control

Much attention is currently given to strategic measurement systems, the balanced scorecard being by far the most highly profiled among them. The balanced scorecard has not, however, received a particularly warm welcome in France, where the tableau de bord has been used for at least 50 years. This paper investigates the ideological assumptions of the two methods, the aim being to explain the differences between them and investigate the extent to which the ideological assumptions are coherent with the local ideologies of American and French society, respectively. The paper concludes that the main differences between the balanced scorecard and the tableau de bord may be explained in terms of ideological assumptions, which means that, to a large extent, these management tools are coherent with the local ideologies in the countries of origin. In addition, this analysis provides some insight into the more general question of the transferability of management methods and the appropriateness of globalising management theories