Customers’ perceptions of implementing the balanced scorecard model in Small – Medium Enterprise operations

Authors: Marien Madura, Dr. Happyson Bimha and Primrose Z.J. Bimha

1 Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU), Harare, Zimbabwe
2 Department of Business Administration, University of Eswatini, Kwaluseni Campus, Eswatini
3 Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Cape Town, South Africa.


The balanced scorecard measures company performance based on financial performance, customer satisfaction, internal processes’ performance and learning and growth. Its usage in Small- Medium Enterprises is fairly new. This research surveyed 74 domestic and 11 corporate customers of a Zimbabwean Small- Medium Enterprise that implemented the balanced scorecard in 2016. Customers were asked to share their perceptions about implementing the balanced scorecard. The domestic customers have a negative view of performance after implementing the balanced scorecard while corporate customers have a positive view. Domestic customers cited poor service delivery, negative treatment by staff and said they were not satisfied and unwilling to do business with the company anymore. Corporate customers felt they got better treatment, satisfaction with service delivery and were willing to continue doing business with the company. The financial measures perspective showed that financial performance after the balanced scorecard was negative, assets declined from 2016 to 2019, and return on capital employed declined for both segments. The study concluded that the balanced scorecard does not bring about positive results in all situations. Assessment of its contribution should also be based on non-standardized instruments owing to the fact that different stakeholders have different perceptions and opinions about performance issues.