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A Critique Of The Use Of The Balanced Scorecard In Multi-enterprise Family Farm Businesses

Business strategy is very important to small and medium family businesses as many are both fragile and vulnerable; strategy provides a solid foundation for survival. Various studies have identified that businesses that engage in strategic management outperform those that do not. Despite this knowledge the uptake of many aspects of strategic management by farm businesses has been slow. Although the development of business plans is now common there is often a disconnect between monitoring and strategy. The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) was applied to case study farms during both the planning process and as they implemented and controlled their strategic choices to determine areas of difference that restrict or enhance it as a management tool for both family and farming businesses. The BSC was immediately applicable in the strategic management process for those businesses with current business plans. It could be used to test the degree of balance between the goals already identified in their plans. It was able to be used to critique the control measures they had in place and to determine how well they could be used to derive the causal chain from the operational level to family goals. In some instances either outcome or driver measures were recognized as being missing, in others the wiring within the balanced scorecard revealed some strategic measures without linkages. The identification of the cause and effect linkages allowed the strategic measures that require improvement to achieve superior performance to be identified.
New Zealand

Author(s): Beeby N. (1), Brier B. ( 1), Gardner J.W.G. ( 1), Shadbolt N.M. ( 1)

Organization(s): AgFirst Consultants (1), IFNHH Massey University (2), INR Massey University (3), Meat New Zealand (4)

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