Balanced scorecard in SMEs: Effects on innovation and financial performance

Ricardo Malagueño, Ernesto Lopez-Valeiras, Jacobo Gomez-Conde

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77 Citations (Scopus)
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Empirical research on the consequences of the use of the balanced scorecard (BSC) has mostly been conducted in large firms. Previous findings are not easily applied to the small business literature, and assumptions about the benefits of BSC for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not based on quantitative empirical evidence. We investigated the effects of SME’s use of BSC in terms of financial performance and innovation outcomes. Our arguments are based on the efficiency gains and potential flexibility losses associated with formalizing managerial practices in SMEs. We propose that the developmental stage of the firm may influence this trade-off. Based on a survey of 201 SMEs in Spain, we found that firms using BSC for feedforward control obtained better financial performance and presented higher levels of exploitative innovation. We also found that the positive effect of BSC on perceived and attained financial performance is stronger in more established SMEs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221–244
Number of pages24
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number1
Early online date2 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Balanced scorecard
  • Financial performance
  • Innovation
  • Small business
  • Efficiency Flexibility

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