The aim is of this paper is to conduct an exploratory study into the use of Balanced Scorecards as an approach to implementing Best Value in UK local government. Furthermore, a participant-observation method is used to study the development into a Balanced Scorecard within local government. There is a need to critically evaluate approaches to implementing Best Value so that local government can determine how to achieve the service performance levels laid down in the framework. There is a paucity of systematic studies exploring and critiquing the effectiveness of using the Balanced Scorecard in Best Value implementation. The paper describes an exploratory multiple case research study followed by longitudinal participant-observer research on Balanced Scorecard development in a Best Value context. The findings show that the Balanced Scorecard can play a key role in Best Value implementation. Moreover it is also useful in linking other improvement initiatives. However, the Balanced Scorecard process must be informed by organizational and environmental information that is both accurate and adequate. The audit functions of the Business Excellence Model go some way to providing this information.
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