A balanced scorecard is a measurement system for management that provides real insight into the status of a business or some part of it. Developed by Kaplan and Norton in the early 1990s, balanced scorecards provide a control system that helps ensure the right balance between different, and often times conflicting, perspectives. For example, an insurance company may increase profitability by offering incentives to claims assessors for taking a tough stance on payout, but will soon find dissatisfaction among its clients that may lead to lost business. Scorecards help ensure this balance and are an improvement over more traditional single dimension approaches that tend to be based purely on expense management and business growth.
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