Interest

Interest among directors and managers in performance management as a tool for delivering strategic objectives is well-established in the management literature. However, this interest has been heightened in recent years by several factors.

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First, the rise of the Total Quality Management movement drew the attention of managers to the importance of focusing on the customer and to providing quality products and services as a means of maintaining competitive advantage.

Second, Johnson & Kaplan’s work on the alleged failings of conventional management accounting drew attention to over-dependence on financial numbers by managers schooled in the Dupont and similar systems. Many commentators have argued that the traditional financial and accounting measures, reputedly used by a large number of companies, provide an inadequate and insensitive tool for decision making as they were developed for regulatory and financial reporting requirements rather than to run businesses. Moreover these measures are designed to report on the stewardship of the money entrusted to management rather than on the strategic direction of the business.