Can the balanced scorecard supported by strategic objective costing improve the governance of public sector bodies such as Botanic Gardens?
MacNab, Alasdair James
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The research study set out to establish whether the balanced scorecard suitably adapted and supported by a relevant costing system could improve the focus on outputs and thereby improve governance processes of public sector bodies. What was established from this review was that strategic planning has a role to play in achieving the agreed strategy but without engaging all of the stakeholders in the formulation process there was little chance of success. Moreover, it was indicated that frameworks would encourage greater coherence of planning effort and staff alignment and could be of significant benefit to the formulation processes. The solution developed in this case study involved novel managerial constructions which significantly adapted the Balanced Scorecard specifically for the RBGE. Lessons were taken from the literature review, paying particular attention to the identified weaknesses. The RBGE scorecard’s perspectives were not only adapted but a fifth perspective (the principal external stakeholder: Scottish Government) was included. A new accounting model (Strategic Objective Costing and Budgeting) was developed which identified staff effort allocated to completing activities that directly supported the strategic objectives. The key attribute required of management is strong leadership if these constructions are to be implemented successfully. The constructive approach to management accounting research was strengthened by including a literature review to inform analysis of the identified problem in the framework and by engaging external knowledgeable audiences to test the ideas being developed for the constructs. The constructions passed the “weak market test” and therefore were validated as suitable models.