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Using Structural Equation Modeling in Causal Relationship Design for Balanced-Scorecards' Strategic Map

Authors: A. Saghaei, R. Ghasemi


Through 1980s, management accounting researchers described the increasing irrelevance of traditional control and performance measurement systems. The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a critical business tool for a lot of organizations. It is a performance measurement system which translates mission and strategy into objectives. Strategy map approach is a development variant of BSC in which some necessary causal relations must be established. To recognize these relations, experts usually use experience. It is also possible to utilize regression for the same purpose. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), which is one of the most powerful methods of multivariate data analysis, obtains more appropriate results than traditional methods such as regression. In the present paper, we propose SEM for the first time to identify the relations between objectives in the strategy map, and a test to measure the importance of relations. In SEM, factor analysis and test of hypotheses are done in the same analysis. SEM is known to be better than other techniques at supporting analysis and reporting. Our approach provides a framework which permits the experts to design the strategy map by applying a comprehensive and scientific method together with their experience. Therefore this scheme is a more reliable method in comparison with the previously established methods.

Keywords: BSC, SEM, Strategy map.

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