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International Journal of Innovative and Applied Finance, 2013

Available at http://cls.irp.edu.pk/index.php/ijiaf/editor/issueToc/19

International Journal of Innovative and Applied Finance

Balanced Scorecard as a Spontaneous Performance Measurement Tool: A
Case of Insurance Companies in Pakistan
Nadia Hanif
Hailey College of Commerce, University of the Punjab Lahore, Pakistan
Email: nadiahanif77@yahoo.com
Zafar Ahmad
Hailey College of Commerce, University of the Punjab Lahore, Pakistan
Email: zafarahmad79@gmail.com
Sadia Farooq
Hailey College of Commerce, University of the Punjab Lahore, Pakistan
Email: sadianoor53@yahoo.com
Hasan Farid
Hailey College of Commerce, University of the Punjab Lahore, Pakistan
Email: hassaan1013@gmail.com

The purpose of this research was to identify about the implementation of Balanced
Scorecard in the insurance companies of Pakistan. Additionally, this study was conducted to
answer various queries such as relative importance of the four perspectives of the Balanced
Scorecard, relationship between experience of the employees and knowledge about the Balanced
Scorecard, relationship between the age of the employees and knowledge about the Balanced
Scorecard, measures used by the insurance companies for each perspective of the Balanced
Scorecard etc. This study was conducted at the managers and non-managers level. To achieve
these purposes, a sample of 23 out of total 36 insurance companies was taken. Total number of
respondents was 120.

Balance Scorecard Pakistan, Insurance, performance Management

In an economy subjugated by physical assets financial measures were sufficient to record
investment in plant, inventory, equipment and property. The expanses related with the usage of
physical assets could also be captured on the income statement to generate the profit and
revenue. But todays economy calls for the devices that define the value creating strategy and

knowledge-based assets , which are the intangible assets and have become the major sources of

Nadia Hanif, Zafar Ahmad, Sadia Farooq, Hasan Farid / International Journal of Innovative and Applied
Finance, 2013

competitive advantage. Companies have come across difficulties in managing what they could
not measure or describe due to lacking such intangible devices. In recent years many associated
management frameworks have been developed for organizations to manage effectively a wide
range of organizational activities. In management the balanced scorecard is one of the latest
innovations. Some measures from these originated from the movement of TQM such as
ISO9000, Six Sigma, Baldridge and European Quality models. Walter Shewhart advanced the
notion of the P.D.C.A Cycle. . W. Edwards Deming with the help of well-known Quality
Management authority taken up and stimulated the PDCA cycle very successfully from the
1950s and consequently the PDCA cycle is recognized as the Deming Wheel'. Keegan, Eiler
and Jones in 1989 developed Performance Measurement Matrix. Performance Measurement
Questionnaire was developed by Dixon ,Nanni and Vollman in 1990. In 1991 Fitzgerald,
Johnston, Brignall, Silvestro and Voss developed the Results and Determinants Framework.
Performance Pyramid was recognized by Lynch and Cross in 1991 and the pyramid relates an
organizations day-to-day operations with its strategy. In 1993 the Government Performance
and Results Act passed by the US Govt. Malcolm Baldrige established the Baldrige National
Quality Program and the associated award in 1987 by the National Quality Improvement Act.
The performance was assessed on the basis of number of rejects in traditional performance
measures such as customer satisfaction.
The most widespread and current Performance Management and Measurement Strategy
is the BSC. The traditional performance measures are also retained by the balanced scorecard but
the traditional measures state the story of past dealings whereas BSC provides drivers for long
term competitive and financial performance. It facilitates the organizations to interpret strategy
into action. The balanced scorecard is a comprehensive measurement framework in a short
document that summarizes concisely and comprehensively a set of lagging and leading
performance indicators which are assembled into four dissimilar Perspectives. It provides a
positive linkage of long-term strategic goals with short-term functioning actions of an
organization and for new strategic management system considered as a cornerstone (R. S.
Kaplan & Norton, 1996b).
BSC as a device of strategic control is created by Kaplan and Norton in their book The
Balanced Scorecard published in 1996. According to theR.S. Kaplan and Norton (1996).
Managers have availability of different instrumentation with the use of balanced
scorecard which is prerequisite to navigate to prospect competitive success.
The Balanced Scorecard expresses the organizational performance from the following four

Financial Perspective
Customer Perspective
Internal Business Process Perspective
Learning and Growth Perspective

Financial Perspective
Financial perspective puts emphasis on shareholder satisfaction, key objectives and
measures here generally include residual income, (net and/or gross) profitability, economic value
added, sales growth, return on capital employed, market share and position, cash flow etc. but
Kaplan and Norton providemeasures which are mainly related to the corporate unit for example,
research and development expenditures and sales for a pharmacy division/ revenues per worker
for a sales unit.

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Finance, 2013

Customer Perspective
It provides strategy for differentiation and value creation from the view point of
customers. BSC pick measures for the Customer Perspective depends on two bases: the value
that the organization provides to their customers and the type of desired customers. Customer
perspective permits the organization to give attention on the target customers and to create
strategies which are consistent with the kind of customers they intend to attract. Customer
perspective measures are to which extent customers are gratified with the products and services
of the business. It may be explained through two measures.
Customer retention: Customer retention includes the current customers. It can be
calculated through comparison of the total number of standing customerswith the old number of
customers. If the standing customers are retained by the company it shows the level of
fulfillment of the customers satisfaction.
Acquisition of customer: It is the marketing and sales procedure of winning new
customers in the business pool. The process of converting current prospects into new customers
also includes in acquisition ofcustomer.
Market share: In a definite market it represents the percentage of sales of a particular
product with total sales of that product. Sales revenue, number of customers and sales volume
are the indicators to measure the market share.
The Internal Business Process Perspective
The internal business process perspective contains strategies to create shareholders and
customers satisfaction and to prioritize various business procedures and processes. It contains the
processes that must be developed by an organization and to be skilled them to be progressive.
Many organizations will focus on element as such delivery, product development, order
processing and manufacturing. This perspective mainly focused on customer perspective in order
to keep the customers satisfied.R.S. Kaplan and D.P. Norton (1996a) stated three basic internal
business process perspective elements:
Innovation processes: In order to modify the manufacturing operation for the production
of chosen product innovation process targets at seeking the customers priorities. Through a
market survey customer priorities can be searched and measured by the number of times market
survey is conducted.
Operation processes: operation process initiates with the reception of an order and ends
on the delivery of the suppliers, ordered by the customer. It comprises the initial information
about the product, when the product is in process, response to the customer queries and in time
delivery etc. The significant measurers include number of un-attended demands specified by the
customers and the number of in time deliveries etc.
When the product is supplied to the customer the relationship between the organization
and its customer is in continuity and does not end. This is basically the commencement of the
second stage which deals with the repair and warranty events.
Learning and growth perspective
It measures that how much human capital is proficient for achieving the future needs.
According to this perspective if the companies are willing to attain their long term financial goals
they must invest in human resources. This perspective attempts to fill the gap amid existing and
required aptitudes.

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Finance, 2013

R.S. Kaplan and D.P. Norton (1996) states that in learning and growth metric of balanced
scorecard valuation of employee satisfaction, retention and productivity is a quantitative
Periodic surveys can be used to measure employee satisfaction; employee retention can
be measured through labor turnover and per employee sales revenue is a suitable measure for
employee productivity.
The number of training sessions, lectures, workshops and seminars can be viewed as
investment in the human resources by an organization.
These perspectives denote three of the major stakeholders of the business that are
shareholders, customers and employees. For each perspective of the balanced scorecard, the
measurers are defined and goals are set.
Literature Review
Management accountant used to give attention on the financial measures such as residual
income, (net and/or gross) profitability, economic value added, sales growth, return on capital
employed, market share and position, cash flow etc. and these measures puts emphasis only on
shareholder satisfaction and does not emphasize on stakeholders satisfaction like customers and
employees etc.
As R. S. Kaplan (1983) stated problems with the traditional performance measurement
that:These measures may be too dimensional, too late and too aggregated, may be incomplete,
narrow in focus and historical in nature and are of short term.
The problematic factors which prevent the effective valuation of non-financial assets
First of all, the intangible assets produce indirect value, some other assets have direct
impact on profit and revenue such as knowledge and technology, improvements of intangible
assets create cause and effect relationships in order to affect financial outcomes, the value of
intangible assets rest on organizations strategy and structure. Organizational processes would
not be detached from this value because these processes translate intangibles into financial and
customer outcomes and usually intangibles must be rushed themselves with other tangible and
intangible assets but seldom intangible assets themselves would have value.
Whereas, the problems with non-financial measures be present as follows:
It was problematic to choose selected important tools from a large number of nonfinancial measures, non-financial measures might be ambiguous and problems in interpreting the
non-financial measures into financial production.
Kaplan and Norton established Balanced Scorecard (BSC) in 1992 and reformed it in
1993 and 1996 in order to provide performance measurement framework. The traditional
financial measures were effective in industrial era but these were least effective in todays
competitive world. No single measure could be considered sufficient to measure the performance
of an organization. Kaplan and Norton were of the view that by concentrating on the operational
measures, we could have obtained the required financial results. The Balanced Scorecard is a
combination of the financial and non-financialmeasures which are the drivers of the future
performance. BSC stresses on leading measures instead of lagging measures. The strategy and
vision of the organization are used to derive the measures and objectives of the scorecard.
Kaplan and Norton stated that the organizations long term profitability depend on the nonfinancial measures such as investment on customers, clients, workers training, suppliers,
technology, research and development, processes and innovations.

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Finance, 2013

Financial Perspective
In order to bring larger returns on the basis of capital financed in the long- term goals,
financial perspective represents the financial measures which include elements such as sales
growth, revenue per sales and profitability as traditional methods of analyzing the organizational
success. Financial measures contain strategy for enhancement of profitability, growth and risk
management from the customers perspective.In order to determine success, although the BSC
emphasized on the requirement to integrate additional measures but still the requirement of
financial measures are quiet strong component to determine success.
Customer Perspective
Companies want to enhance and focus at competitive product selection, product pricing,
product quality, in time delivery and lead time. For understanding of customers, organizations
must concentrate on the superiority of its customers relationship, by providing suitable and
complete solutions to its customers and in providing exceptional services. For leadership strategy
of product, organizations require to stress on the features, functionality, presentation and
performance of their services and products.
After the identification of the financial and customers perspectives the organization can
determine the ways and processes through which it will attain the productivity improvements for
financial objectives and differentiated value proposition for customers. The internal business
perspective can be divided into four upper level processes. Construct the franchise: penetrate
customer segments and new markets and through innovations, developing new products and
services. Increase customer value: to expand and deepen relationships and dealings with current
customers. Attain operational excellence: through internal processes, resource capacity
management, asset utilization and supply chain management etc. Grow into a good corporate
citizen: through maintaining and creating active relationship with internal and external
Learning and Growth Perspective
In this perspective organization define corporate climate required to support a strategy,
employee skills and capabilities and technology. It can contain such issues as number of
employee suggestions implemented, employee satisfaction, hours of employee training and
alignment of employee skills with jobs.
In management the balanced scorecard is one of the latest innovations. BSC as a device
of strategic control is created by Kaplan and Norton in their book The Balanced Scorecard
published in 1996.
According to Kaplan and Norton (1996) the BSC targets to solve the problems of the
accounting systems which are associated with the historical nature of the financial measures. It
can be done by integrating in the cause and effect relationship to the non-financial and financial
strategic measuring variables.
The BSC has been applied in hundreds of organizations and companies with usually
effective results, while formerly designed for profit seeking concerns, but the technique is
enough flexible for each type of organization, comprising colleges and universities.
In the early years of this era, practical implementation rates of balanced scorecard, which
were stated for large size companies in the throughout Europe and USA, varied amid 40 to 60
percent (Speckbacher, Bischof, & Pfeiffer, 2003).

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Finance, 2013

The BSC has been applied in hundreds of organizations and companies with usually
effective results, while formerly designed for profit seeking concerns, but the technique is
enough flexible for eachtype of organization, comprising colleges and universities (Dumond,
1994; R. S. Kaplan & Norton, 2001).
Forty one (41) companies involved in BSC implementation according to the study
conducted by Braam and Nijssen (2004) on Dutch companies.14 branches of a USA bank
involved in the study of BSC by Davis and Albright (2004).On the topic of BSC 17 Finland
companies involved in the study of Malmi (2001). Data from 42 companies in Switzerland and
43 companies in Austria has been taken by Speckbacher et al. (2003) .
The following six elements has been given by Richardson (2004) for the success of
Balanced Scorecard,
1) Make a strategy for your company.2) Encompass the high-ranking management in the
developing course of the balanced scorecard. 3) Develop your balanced scorecard which
agreeing to your organizational vision and also define your BSCs vision. 4) Apply the balanced
scorecard all over and everywhere in your company. 5) Communicate everyone about the aims of
the balanced scorecard and teach your entire workforce about it. 6) Practice scorecard in a way
that it could be adjusted mechanically in harmony with daily variations.
For successful implementation of BSC the following list of enablers is provided by
(Chan, 2004):
1) Upper managers commitment; 2) Existence of a performance excellence culture; 3)
Keeping and making the BSC easy to understand and use; 4) Clarity of vision and unambiguous
strategy and outcome; 5) Middle managers and employees participation; 6) Education and
training in the organization; and Links with resources, incentives to implement the BSC.
According to R.S. Kaplan, Norton, and Corporation (2004) a systematic development
plan can be followed by companies like rock water to establish the balance scorecard and inspire
the senior and mid-level managers for commitment to the scorecard:
First of all the organization needs to identify the organizational unit for which a highestlevel of scorecard is suitable. Generally, a business unit for which a scorecard is suitable should
have its own production facilities, distributions channels, customers and measures for financial
Interviews (first round)
In the organizational unit each senior manager normally between 6 to 12 executives
collects background data related to the balanced scorecard as well as collection and reading out
internal booklets that define the mission, vision, plan and strategy of the company.
The senior managers are interviewed by the balanced scorecard organizer to obtain their
feedback on the companys tentative proposals and strategic objectives for balanced scorecard
Executive Workshop (first round)
In order to undertake the process of developing the scorecard, the upper management
team is sit in meeting together with the organizer. During the meeting, the group discusses the
future mission and strategy statements till harmony is reached.

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Finance, 2013

After identifying the main achievement factors, the group frames introductory balanced
scorecard covering operating measures for the planned aims. Often, for each perspective the
group recommends more than (4) four or (5) five measures.
Interviews: Second round
The output obtained from the above first round executive workshop, meetings and
conversations conducted from each high-ranking executive about the faltering balanced
scorecard is evaluated, consolidated and documented by the organizer. The organizer also seeks
views about problems involve in implementation of the scorecard.
Executive workshop (second round)
In second workshop a debate is conducted on the statements of strategy, vision, and the
faltering scorecard of the organization and in this meeting senior management team, their direct
subordinate, and a greater number of middle managers are involved. The members, working
within groups, remark on the expected measures and start to make an implementation plan.
Executive workshop (third round)
The high-ranking executive team comes to an ultimate agreement on the objectives,
vision and measurements established in the above major two workshops. In this phase the team
advances flexible objectives for each measure on the scorecard and to define initial action
programs to accomplish the objectives. The team must approve on an application of scorecard
program, comprising assimilating scorecard into a philosophy of management, communicating
the scorecard to employees and emerging an information system for the provision of the
A new team is formed to develop an implementation strategy for the selected scorecard.
The team links the measures to information systems and data base, communicate the BSC to all
over the organization, and for decentralized units encourage the enlargement of second-level
Periodic review
A blue book of material on the Balanced Scorecard measures is arranged after each
quarter or month for both managers considerations of decentralized departments and divisions
and also for top management review. The matrics of the balanced scorecard are reexamined
yearly for purpose of the tactical planning, resource allocation process and goal setting.
A wholly developed balanced scorecard must not only comprise strategic aims but
likewise define cause and effect associations and performance harmony on the level of single
McCunn (1998); Olve, Roy, and Wetter (1997) and Williams (2004) also provided the
same lists for the BSC implementation requirements.
Whereas according to Forgione (1997)due to multidimensionality of the BSC in seizing
the non-financial aspects of performance (Aidemark, 2001; Bilkhu-Thompson, 2003), and also it
is useful in the public sector and BSC clearly pinpoint restricted number of KPIs that suggest a
strong emphasis for attaining strategy of organization regardless of a multifaceted working
environment (Chow, Ganulin, Haddad, & Williamson, 1998; Modell, 2004).
Armitage and Scholey (2004) effectively implemented the BSC to a certain master
degree program in technology, private enterprise and business.

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Finance, 2013

Research Methodology
Purpose of Research
This study was conducted to give solution to the subsequent questions.
What is the role of balanced scorecard, an empirical study? Secondary data was collected
to complete this part of study through literature review. A number of books and different articles
are accessed to complete this part.Whether there is any association present amidexperience and
understanding about balanced scorecard?This purpose was accomplished by obtaining primary
data through filling questionnaires of the salesmen and managers and from some other people
working at different levels. For that objective 120 respondents were asked to fill questionnaire.
Whetherrespondents know regarding balanced scorecard? This objective iscompleted by asking
the questions relating to balanced scorecard included in the questionnaire from the respondents.
The managers and the salesmen were asked what they knew regarding the Balanced Scorecard.
At what level the insurance companies are applying the balanced scorecards four perspectives?
This purpose was achieved through the analysis of the primary data. More than one question was
tested to judge to the level of usage of the four perspectives of the BSC. What is the comparative
rank of the four perspectives of the balanced scorecard in insurance industry? This purpose was
accomplished through analysis of the primary data. For the achievement of this purpose, facts
were gathered to identify the relative importance of the number of perspectives of the Balanced
Scorecard. Which measures areapplied by the insurance companies to evaluate the customer
satisfaction, financial performance, learning and growth of the employees and internal process
efficiency? This purpose was completed through analysis of the primary data. The respondents
were requestedto tell about the measures their companies were applying to evaluate thecustomer
satisfaction, financial performance, learning and growth of the employees and internal process
Research Design
The basic research design was the survey and literature review. A questionnaire was
prepared which contained 16 close ended and open ended questions. It took 20 minutes an
average to fill this questionnaire and each respondent was requested to fill it. Mainly the
questions were asked about:
Performance indicators
Ranking of Balanced Scorecard four perspectives
Familiarity of Balanced Scorecard
Practicality of Balanced Scorecard
Adequacy of Balanced Scorecards four perspectives
Financial measures used by the insurance companies List of measures to know
employees and customers satisfaction level
List of measures to know the level of training and growth of employees
List of measures to know the level of innovations and developments of
companys products and services
The comprehensive questionnaire is shown in annexure I at the end.
Sample Design
A sample of 27 insurance companies was taken randomly. These insurance companies
included public insurance companies such as State Life Insurance, National Insurance Company
Ltd and private companiessuch as Premier Insurance Limited, Alpha Insurance Company Ltd,

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Finance, 2013

Universal Insurance Co Ltd, , United Insurance Co Pakistan Ltd, Premier Insurance Limited ,
Jubilee General Insurance Ltd, IGI Insurance company Ltd and Islamic insurance company like
Pak-Qatar Family Takaful Ltd etc. The number of the respondents varies from one insurance
company to the other. The list of the insurance companies comprised in this study is shown in
table 3 of chapter 4.
Data Collection
The data composed for this thesis was a mixture of secondary and primary data. The
secondary data were taken from several research journalssuch as Google scholar, JStor, Science
Direct and Emerald etc.andbooks. At the end of the thesis a list of the references is given. For the
primary data collection a questionnaire was distributed to 120 respondents working as managers,
sales men and others in many disciplines in the insurance companies in Pakistan.
Data Analysis
The filled questionnaires were entered in SPSS and after data analysis the results were
attained in the form of diagrams and tables. Further analysis was done by applying different
statistical techniques such as percentages, frequencies, and correlation.
Table 1. Demographic characteristics of respondents


A sample of 23 insurance companies was taken out of 36 insurance companies on

convenience base sampling. These insurance companies included public insurance companies,
private companies Ltd and Islamic insurance companies. . The number of the respondents varies
from one insurance company to the other. The number of respondents in this study was 120. Out
of 120 respondents 112 were male and 8 were female whereas 51 respondents were masters, 29
were Graduate and the same number of respondents had qualification in other category and only

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Finance, 2013

one respondent was of matriculation. The experience of respondents was 1 to 52 years and 70
respondents were non-managers while 50 respondents were managers.
Table 2.Comparative analyses of the four perspectives of the balanced scorecard
Four Perspectives
Of the BSC
Financial Measures
Customer Satisfaction
Innovation of Products or
Training of employees

N Important Important Important Important Mean


Table 2 above displays the mean value for each perspective. What is happing in the above
table? from the table it can be concluded that the customer satisfaction is rated by respondents as
the most important perspective with mean value 1.28 which is closest to 1 and 1 in questionnaire
stood for most important, financial perspective as an important with mean value 1.74, internal
process as less important with mean value 2.32 and finally learning and growth as the least
important perspective with 2.39 mean values of the Balanced Scorecard. From this analysis we
can concluded that customer perspective is the most important perspective of the Balance
Scorecard which is a non-financial measure.
Empirical Results
Ninety seven (97%) of the respondents identified that their insurance companies used the
financial measures to judge their performance, at the same time only 3% of the respondents were
of the opinion that financial measures alone were sufficient for the continued existence of the
insurance companies and 85% of the respondents stated that financial measures were long term
measures.97% of the respondents stated that their insurance companies used measures to identify
customers satisfaction level. 90% of the respondents stated that their insurance companies used
measures to know innovation of services and products.79% of the respondents were of the
opinion that their insurance companies used measures to evaluate the growth& learning of their
workforces.53% of the respondents think financial measures as the most important whereas 32%
stated these measures as important.79% of the respondents considered customer satisfaction as
the most important perspective, 17% described customer satisfaction as important perspective.43
% of the respondents reported innovation of products and services perspective as important, 28%
of the respondents stated this perspective as less important.37% of the respondents indicated that
growth andlearning perspective was important whereas 24% most important and the same
number is given to least important.Among all of the four perspectives of balanced scorecard,
customer satisfaction is the most important perspective with mean value 1.28 out of 4. Only 17%
of the respondents said that they had knowledge about the Balanced Scorecard. Only 15% of the
respondents thought that balance scorecard was a valuable and useful measurement technique.
Out of 20 respondents who had knowledge about the balanced scorecard, 17 were either 40 or
below and 16 respondents had experience of 17 years and below. There came weak positive
correlation between the age and knowledge about the balanced scorecard and the same
relationship found between experience and knowledge about balanced scorecard.

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Finance, 2013

Figure 1.
Most of the respondents do not have knowledge about balanced scorecard. All the
insurance companies were unknowingly using all the four perspectives of the balanced
scorecard. The reason might be that it is natural for a company to apply all the four perspectives
of balanced Scorecard. It strengthens the literature where LaPointe (1999) and Ahmad, Zulfqar,
Ishfaq, and Nawaz (2010) stated that the organizations used Balanced Scorecard even without
knowing it or they might use Balanced Scorecard with some other name.Those who had
knowledge about balanced scorecard stated the four perspectives are sufficient but they also
consider some other factors such as leadership and corporate social responsibility etc. This
finding strengthens the view point ofRhom (2004) who stated that the organizations might use
Balanced Scorecard with some change and this change might be in the form of an additional
perspective. Financial measures should be mixed with some other non-financial measures such
as employees satisfaction, customer satisfaction etc. Respondents said that only financial
benefits are not enough for the retention of employees. It can be because individuals are very
sensible regarding their self-respect, working conditions, growth and health etc. Respondents
revealed that to achieve higher commitment from employees there should be training, growth
opportunities, awards distributions, tours, self-respect and more important is promotions and
incentives for employees.
Recommendations for Further Research
This study has been conducted on the insurance companies of Pakistan including private,
public, general, life and Islamic parts of insurance. Further research can be conducted on other
sectors of Pakistan such as Telecommunications, Textile, Electronics, Colleges, Small and
Medium enterprises and non-profit organization.
Ahmad, Z., Zulfqar, A., Ishfaq, A., & Nawaz, M. (2010). Balanced scorecard: Is it a spontaneous
Performance measurement tool. Interdisciplinary Journal Of Contemporary Research In
Business Vol, 2.

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Finance, 2013

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