The presence of bureaucracy in the balanced scorecard

Helena Costa Oliveira, Lucia Lima Rodrigues, Russell Craig

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Despite being widely pilloried, bureaucratic processes are present in many organizations as a form of neo-bureaucracy. In this paper, we analyse whether a technique used in Management Accounting Systems (MAS), known as the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), represents a bureaucratic order. We propose the following set of concepts to identify a bureaucratic order: authority, jurisdiction, professional qualifications, knowledge, rationality, discipline, accountability, systematization and transparency. We discuss the presence of such a set of concepts in the design and implementation of the BSC and conclude that the BSC is an example of a neo-bureaucratic order. Another important finding is that the BSC shows the value of bureaucracy in attaining good MAS. The theme we explore is overlooked in the accounting literature. This paper can be a starting point for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-224
Number of pages7
JournalRevista de Contabilidad
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Bureaucracy
  • Evolution
  • Management Accounting
  • Organizations


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