The effects of an implementation timeline, strategy buy-in, experience, and affect on balanced scorecard based performance evaluations and bonus allocations
The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a strategic planning and management system that causally links actions and subsequent financial and nonfinancial outcomes. The primary goal of the BSC is to motivate actions that are congruent with the organization's long-term strategy. A secondary purpose of the BSC is to facilitate the performance evaluation of managers charged with advancing the corporate strategy. To serve this second purpose the BSC must include a time dimension. Specifically, the strategic plan must recognize time lags between actions taken, lead outcomes (often nonfinancial in nature) and lagged outcomes (usually financial success measures). If an evaluator is not provided with timeline information a subordinate may be evaluated based on inappropriate performance metrics; that is, a subordinate may be held accountable for an outcome beyond the subordinate's time span of control. This study evaluates the effect on performance evaluations and bonus allocations when evaluators are provided (or not provided) with a strategy implementation timeline. This issue has not been previously examined in the literature. This study also examines the moderating effect of experience, management buy-in to the corporate strategy, and affect on performance evaluations and bonus allocations. Results from an experiment conducted with evening MBA students show that inclusion of a strategy implementation timeline leads to more normatively correct performance evaluations, but only for experienced participants. Higher levels of both positive and negative affect were found to result in choice avoidance behavior. Buy-in to the corporate strategy was not found to have an effect.