Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More PowerPoint... and some Balanced Score Card

Kaplan. Strategy and PowerPoint : an inquiry into the epistemic culture and machinery of strategy making.

I'm not sure what's in this paper but I sure like the references. We have all the PowerPoint stuff, Glaser and Strauss, Heidegger, the boundary object crew, Bechky, Vincenti, Weick, etc. It should be good.

The abstract might contain enough:

"Results from a genre analysis of PowerPoint use suggest that is should not be characterized simply as effective or ineffective as current PowerPoint controversies do. Instead, I show how the affordances of PowerPoint enabled the difficult task of collaborating to negotiate meaning in an uncertain environment, creating spaces spaces for discussion, making recombinations possible, allowing for adjustments as ideas evolved and providing access to a wide range of actors. These affordances also facilitated cartographic efforts to draw boundaries around the scope of a strategy by certifying certain ideas and allowing document owners to include and exclude certain slides or participants."

The paper gives quite a good review of the importance of objects to practice. The author tells the tale of how standardizing presentations became a signficant undertaking to the extent that decisions were about the deck, and not about the actual business ideas or proposals. Ownership and control of the deck also became a significant issue.


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Free, Qu (2011). The use of graphics in promoting management ideas : an analysis of the Balanced Scorecard, 1992-2010. Journal of Accounting and Organizational Change, 7(2): 158-189.

The title is good. I'm a sucker for visual representations. They were key for patronage cycles during the baroque era. So how could things be different with the BSC?

The analysis is... okay. It turns out that graphics and representations are rhetorically important. We do get some interesting details. Articles are about 10 pages long and never longer than 15. Almost 40% of the pages have graphics. In the books, about 30% of the pages have graphics. Case studies are important and they have to include graphics (about 50% of pages)!

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