The Balanced Scorecard is a tool that has been widely used by companies, nonprofit organizations, and governments to determine their objectives and develop a strategy that enables them to successfully improve their performance. Moreover, the Balanced Score card does not stop after developing the strategy but also involves the implementation of the strategy and an avenue to measure performance periodically. Previously, companies focused on their financial perspective and left it at that. The Balanced Scorecard provides non-financial metrics to the company that enables a balanced view on its performance. Since its inception by Kaplan & Norton, companies to translate their goals and objectives into reality, while at the same time enabling them to streamline internal processes to improve performance have adopted it. The Balanced Scorecard allows a company to create a market brand name for itself, since after performance evaluation they strive to be better, therefore attracting customers (Sasikala, Anbalagan & Anbalagan, 2011). Businesses do not exist solely, and for this matter, the Balanced Scorecard measures the external outcomes and factors that affect the business, which gives the management a direction of decision-making.
Challenges of strategic media management and Research Aim
The Balanced Scorecard needs to be tailored according to a companys individual strategy since goals and objectives vary from company to company. Identification of challenges facing the media industry is essential in developing a balanced scorecard for the industry. The media industry involves enterprises that generate information and distribute it, with the aim of making a profit. The media industry is highly competitive and involves television, books, magazines, films and internet. Sharjah city exudes a rich media environment, as there are many media stations in the city. Al Khaleej is the largest Arabic-language newspaper in the UAE and is based in Sharjah city. There are numerous local and regional television stations, a large printing base in books and journals, and popular radio stations. Despite the rich media footprint in the city, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have established free media zones, which threaten the competitiveness of Sharjah in the media industry. The balanced scorecard would need to be tailored to increase the competitiveness of the media industry in the United Arab Emirates. Since the standard balanced scorecard does not clearly outline the specific needs and objectives of the media industry, we need to develop one that meets the requirements of the media industry.
Advancement of technology has changed the media industry with the emergence of the internet, which enables viewers to access information just by the click of a mouse. Change is inevitable in the media market because for any media firm to sustain its share of the market, they have to adapt with the changing technology. The mode of media delivery by media companies needs to change with the change in technology. For example, some time back Facebook and YouTube were not widely common, but presently they are used by media outlets. Many media outlets have incorporated the social media platforms to gain popularity and increase competitiveness in the sector. The media companies have to make use of limited resources regarding finances to produce quality content and increase their productivity. The media companies aim to maximize profits from limited resources leading to the need for integration of the balanced scorecard. It would help them to lower their costs while at the same time increasing revenues. Globalization is also a key issue that faces the media industry. The world has become one small village, as some people would term it. This means that the content that is released in the UAE is viewed by people in the Arab countries as well as people from other continents all over the world. Therefore, due to globalization, media companies need to adapt to meet the expectations of the international media. Although Sharjah is an Arabic country, the media companies need to tailor their content to avoid any information that would seem to be biased to some cultures or against Islamic or Christianity laws.
This study aims at developing a Balanced Scorecard, which will identify objectives and goals of media companies and develop an implementation plan to achieve them, leading to successful management of the companies. Identification of objectives that specifically meet the media industry is done after which performance measures are formulated and presented on the Balanced Scorecard. A case study is conducted on one of the media companies in the city so as to have relevant factual data while coming up with the Balanced Scorecard. After identification of the strategy to ensure the success of the media industry, key aspects have to be considered that are necessary for the implementation of the strategy. The financial aspect of the business is one of the four aspects that require the companys attention. Although the Balanced Scorecard was developed to incorporate the non-financial aspects of a company that was not in the previously used traditional methods that were used to improve the success of business, the overall goal of a company is maximized profits. As such, identification will be made on the financial objectives of the media company under research, such as what are the estimated profits or expected percentage increase in turnover. The second aspect is the customer aspect. Customers in the case of media industry refer to the audience of the information that is released. Customer satisfaction will lead to customer loyalty, which increases profits. The more the viewers, readers, or listeners of the companys content, the higher the profit returns. Thirdly, the internal activities and processes that are carried out by the company are identified. There are processes such as procurement and planning, which are carried out to ensure that the audience of the media company receive information on time and accordingly. Promotion services such as advertisements by the media company are some of the activities carried out to meet the set targets. Fourthly, the innovative objective, which involves creative changes and new technology acquisitions by the media company to implement the strategy, is identified.
Research questions will give a lead to the study of the media company so that we know what we are looking for during the research. Question one, what are the objectives of media companies based on the current performance in the industry? Question 2, what is the relationship between the objectives identified and how are they interrelated? Question three, what are the key business aspects that affect implementation of the strategy? Question four, what are the performance measures that can measure the progress of performance in the key aspects. By answering these questions, the media company will be able to develop and Balanced Scorecard. The answers to the questions will provide a practical way forward for media companies to improvise their set standards and strategy. After the research, we will develop a Balanced Scorecard and present our findings, which will be used by media companies at the moment or can be used in the future for reference in further studies. Other media companies can use the Balanced Scorecard that we will come up with widely rather than the one researched because it is specifically made for the media industry.
Literature Review of BSC and media specific objectives
The Balanced Scorecard gives the management of a company a thorough analysis of the companys performance, not just the financial aspect (Irala, n.d). Usually, the overall objective of the company is to maximize profits and minimize costs. Nevertheless, management that dwells entirely on the financial aspect of the company does not last long but make profits only for a limited period. Key aspects of the performance of a company are the customers and the employees. It would be right to state that they are critical determinants of the success of the business.
The Balanced Scorecard provides key objectives of the company from its strategy and vision. It also provides performance measures to monitor the performance of each of the key objectives (John. W. George. (2005). The key objectives of the business are interrelated and have to simultaneously perform in the right way for the company to be successful. The media companys strategy and vision have to be synchronized so that it succeeds. They are broken down to key objectives and analysis made on each one of them to determine the cause and effect on each other. Since the Balanced Scorecard differs according to business operations, a specific one is created for the media industry in this study.
There have not been so many studies carried out on the development of a Balanced Scorecard in the media industry. As such, this study will contain well-analyzed data that will be supported by empirical data and can, therefore, be referred to in the future. The study will delve into previous studies that have been carried out to gain insight of what others found in their study. The universal goal for any company is the maximization of profits. With the inclusion of this universal goal, the Balanced Scorecard also has to represent other specific objectives of the media company (Allan, W. R. (2012). Media companies are influenced by technology, public policy, employees and growth, and diversification. The Balanced Scorecard has to determine how each variable affects the media company and the effect they have on one another. Scientific analysis of the data that will be collected and use of previous studies will be used to answer the research questions, and enable the development of the Balanced Scorecard.
Methodology: Identifying and structuring objectives to develop a Balanced Scorecard
The development of a Balanced Scorecard requires that objectives of the media company be identified and empirical evidence provided for the collection of the set goals. Scientific analysis will then be applied to the objectives so that they will be translated, so that performance measures are created. In the case of any errors or lack of focus in this process, it destroys the whole Balanced Scorecard since it would not be a true reflection of the companys expectations or key aspects of the business. We need to identify other objectives, rather than the four key objectives that were stated in the previous chapter. The Balanced Scorecard should ensure that the company is operating on a positive economic ladder. Any business process or activity that does not contribute to the economical positivity of the company should be eradicated. Identification of cost drivers and their manipulation should ensure that the financial aspect of the business is satisfactory (Balanced Scorecard and Strategic Initiatives, 2015).
A systematic, step-by-step process is required, such that objectives are obtained and performance measures developed in a consistent manner. The study employs value-focused thinking, which was coined by Ralph Keeney and is a method of decision-making, which focuses on the objectives, which give decision making its meaning rather than focusing on fixing the problem. It differentiates between objectives that are fundamental to the implementation of the firms strategy and objectives that are not basic, but rather support others. The interrelationship of objectives is determined to answer question two of the research questions. Usually, the weight of an objective is measured by the decision making question at hand. Value-focused thinking technique has been used previously successfully to guide decision-making (Kunz, Siebert & Mutterlein, 2016). The study employs value focused thinking and undertakes five steps to develop a Balanced Scorecard for the media in...
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