The Balanced Scorecard Combined with an Alternative Costing System

An Effective Contribution to Governance

  • Alasdair McNab Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
  • Chris Carr University of Edinburgh
  • Falconer Mitchell University of Edinburgh


This project investigated whether a strategy framework such as the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), linked to a Performance Management System (PMS), would, compared to a more standard model of strategic planning, improve focus and research output by botanic gardens worldwide. The focus of the project shifted as the opportunity arose to develop an objective costing system linked to the related PMS, which allowed the researchers to posit that the BSC framework could provide a more effective contribution to governance. The research output was based on an in-depth case study at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh employing documentary analysis and innovative action research techniques adopting a constructive approach. This paper has been adapted for Sibbaldia having previously been published by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Research Project R220 (Macnab et al., 2010).

Author Biographies

Alasdair McNab, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Director of Corporate Services
Chris Carr, University of Edinburgh
Falconer Mitchell, University of Edinburgh


Ansoff, H.I. (1979). Strategic Management. Macmillan, London.

Chandler, A.D. (1962). Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the Industrial Enterprise. M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, MA.

Grant, R.M. (2008). Contemporary Strategy Analysis. Blackwell, Oxford.

Innes, J. & Mitchell, F. (1998). A Practical Guide to Activity-Based Costing. Kogan Page Ltd., London.

International Federation of Accountants (IFAC ) & Chartered Institute

of Management Accountants (CIMA) (2004). Executive Summary Enterprise

Governance – Getting the Balance Right. Available online: (accessed June 2010).

Johnson, G. & Scholes, K. (1999). Exploring Corporate Strategy. Pearson Education Ltd., Harlow.

Kaplan, R.S. & Norton, D.P. (1996). Translating Strategy into Action: The Balanced Scorecard. Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.

Kaplan, R.S. & Norton, D.P. (2004). Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into

Tangible Outcomes. Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.

Lorsch, J.W. (2002). Smelling Smoke: Why Boards of Directors Need the Balanced Scorecard. Balanced Scorecard Report (September–October), 9.

Macnab, A., CARR, C. & Mitchell, F. (2010). Garden designs to improve the line of sight: Implementation of the balanced scorecard and an alternative costing system at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Research executive summary series, 6(7).

Marr, B. (2009). Managing and Delivering Performance. Elsevier, Oxford.

Mintzberg, H. (1994). The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning. Prentice Hall, New York & London.

NIVEN, P.R. (2003). Balanced Scorecard: Step-By-Step for Government and Nonprofit Agencies. John Wiley and Sons Inc., New York.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (2010). Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Corporate Plan 2010/11–2014/15 Available online: (accessed June 2010).

How to Cite
McNab, A., Carr, C., & Mitchell, F. (2010). The Balanced Scorecard Combined with an Alternative Costing System. Sibbaldia: The International Journal of Botanic Garden Horticulture, (8), 97-109.