What are the benefits and drawbacks of introducing and operating the Balanced Scorecard for an organisation such as SSL?

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Assessmrent Component: Coursework
Assessment Brief

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Business Background:
Assessment Instructions

Topic: The Balanced Scorecard
Part 1:
Sheffield Surgical Ltd (SSL) is a SME which manufactures high quality stainless-steel and titanium surgical instruments for use in general surgery, dental surgery and veterinary surgery.   The company started manufacturing high quality surgical instruments back in Sheffield, in 1970, the home of quality stainless steel and engineering in the UK. The company originally started manufacturing instruments for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. The business gradually expanded and widened their markets with the move into dental and veterinary surgical instruments. Due to their reputation of manufacturing high quality surgical instruments and accessories for use within the modern operating theatre environment, the company has expanded significantly in the last ten years and are now a global supplier. In the past ten years turnover has increased from just over £4 million to £24 million in the last financial year, also staff numbers have grown from 32 in 2011 up to 112 in 2022. However, in the last 2 years sales have stagnated whilst operating costs have continued to increase. 

It is now June 2023 and you have recently joined the company after achieving your first-class degree in Business and Management. During your interview you discussed your interest in a number of management theories including the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). The interview panel, which included the Managing Director found your discussions both relevant and engaging. This is why the Managing Director has called you to his office to discuss possible significant future developments for the organisation.
At the meeting the Managing Director explains that he feels the current performance indicators used by the company do not meet the requirements of the modern-day business environment and are entirely finance focused. He goes on to explain that he recently attended a conference where performance measurement systems were discussed, and one of the theories discussed was the BSC,
He then explains the reason for the meeting, he understands that the business needs to adapt and introduce a new performance measurement system which is relevant to all areas of the business operations. He feels that a significant part of this process could be achieved through the concept of ‘The Balanced Scorecard’. He therefore tasks you with writing a report which will be presented to the directors at the next board meeting.

Part 1 - Requirements:
Kaplan and Norton (1996) created the Balanced Scorecard to provide managers with a better performance measurement system, one that was linked to the organisation’s strategy.
Prepare a business report for the benefit of the directors on the concept of a Balanced Scorecard that also analyses its usefulness for a business such as SSL.

The report should be a maximum of 1,200 words and written in a style suitable for a General Manager to read. This is not an essay and therefore we would expect it to have a clear structure with appropriate sub-headings.
When structuring your business report please address the following points:

  • What is the concept of the Balanced Scorecard?
  • How could the Balanced Scorecard be introduced into the operations of an organisation such as SSL?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of introducing and operating the Balanced Scorecard for an organisation such as SSL?
  • Any other aspect of the Balanced Scorecard which you feel is relevant to an organisation such as SSL.

You are also expected to make reference to any academic research which may support the information you provide within your report. (1,200 words)

Part 2 - Requirements:
You are required to research and select two academic articles on the use of the Balanced Scorecard within a university/higher education environment and write a short review that critically compares and contrasts the two articles. Essay format is required. (800 words)

Marking Criteria:
The following criteria will be used in evaluating this assessment:

Overall Coursework:


Use of proper referencing


Presentation of work in accordance; structure, use of sensible headings, sentence construction and use of English, logical flow within the report.


Part 1 – Business Report:


Report format


Students will be expected to provide a comprehensive identification and clear demonstration of familiarity with relevant information sources. 


A good student would provide a critical assessment of the usefulness of the Balanced Scorecard in a hospital environment based on secondary information sources.  A good student would demonstrate a depth of analysis and synthesis of information sources.


Part 2 – Critical comparison of two articles:
The review should contain some background on each article. In addition students may compare the research methods used by the articles and identify any limitations. In addition, a good student would compare the findings of the two articles and use other sources to support their comparison.



  • The maximum word count is 2,000 words, 1,200 words for part 1 and 800 words for part 2, beyond which nothing will be read or marked.
  • The word count must be clearly and correctly stated on the title page of the assignment with the module name and number and the student number for each member of the group.
  • All work should be word processed in 12-point font Arial, Tahoma or Verdana with 1.5 line spacing.   
  • For part 1 the report must be in a professional business format. The pages of the group report should be numbered sequentially (e.g. 1, 2, 3,etc. or page 1 of 12, etc.) and sections and subsections should also be numbered sequentially (e.g. 1.0, 1.1, 1.1.1, 1.2, 2.0, 2.1, 2.1.1 etc.).
  • For part 2 an essay format is required.

Word Limit:
The word limit for this coursework is 1,200 words (part1) and 800 words (part 2). Therefore part of the requirement is the ability to express all of your ideas in a relatively small number of words.  Please do bear this in mind and don`t fill with unnecessary words. Make each word count.

  • You should not include an executive summary or appendices.
  • Word count includes everything in the main body of the text (including headings, tables, citations, quotes, lists, etc.).
  • The references, bibliography and footnotes (provided footnotes only include references) are NOT included in the word count.
  • There is no direct penalty for exceeding the word count but the marker WILL stop reading once the word limit has been reached and nothing further will be taken into account in the allocation of marks.

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