Robert S. Kaplan

24 Results


How Should We Pay for Health Care?

Improving provider incentives and reimbursement must become a central component in health care reform. Payments need to align with the value delivered to patients: better health outcomes delivered at lower costs. Today, however, deeply‐flawed reimbursement approaches actively discourage providers from delivering value to their patients. In this paper the authors argue that reimbursement through bundled payments is the only approach that aligns providers, payers, and suppliers in a healthy competition to increase patient value. The authors describe the principles of value‐based bundled payments, how such bundles should be constructed, and why they believe this reimbursement method best aligns everyone's interests around value. They show how recent improvements in measuring patient's outcomes and the cost of care are overcoming the past barriers to wider adoption of bundled payments. They conclude by describing how bundled payments can transform competition in health care, and the longer‐term implications for providers, payers, employers, and health care delivery systems. Read More

The Long-Term Fix to US Competitiveness

Participants at a Harvard Business School event were urged by professors Michael Porter and Jan Rivkin to chart a new path forward to improve US competitiveness. Open for comment; 6 Comments posted.

Accounting Scholarship That Advances Professional Knowledge and Practice

Accounting scholars generally do a fine job of analyzing how we process accounting data, but they ought to spend more time looking at how that data is produced, says Harvard Business School professor Robert S. Kaplan. In this paper—in response to a newly minted professor who sought his advice—Kaplan reminds young scholars that accounting is more of a professional discipline than an academic subject. To that end, he advises them not just to teach their students the common body of accounting knowledge, but also to advance that body of knowledge by bridging the gap between scholarship and practice. Read More

Conceptual Foundations of the Balanced Scorecard

This article documents the precursors of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) strategic performance management tool and describes the evolution of the BSC since its introduction in 1992 in the Harvard Business Review. During the last 15 years, the BSC has been adopted by thousands of private, public, and nonprofit enterprises around the world. HBS professor Robert S. Kaplan, who created the concept and tool with David Norton, explains the roots and motivation for their original article as well as subsequent innovations that connect it to a larger management literature. Read More

Sharpening Your Skills: Leading Change

Nothing like a global recession to test your change-management skills. We dig deep into the Working Knowledge vault to learn about building a business in a down economy, motivating the troops, and other current topics. Read More

Business Summit: Enterprise Risk Management

Risk management is a key to sustained firm growth, says professor Robert S. Kaplan. Key ingredients to a successful risk management program include the proper culture, clear parameters, discipline, measurement, and accountability. Read More

Strategy Execution and the Balanced Scorecard

Companies often manage strategy in fits and starts, with strategy execution lost along the way. A new book by Balanced Scorecard creators Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton aims to make strategy a continual process. Read More

Adding Time to Activity-Based Costing

Determining a company's true costs and profitability has always been difficult, although advancements such as activity-based costing (ABC) have helped. In a new book, Professor Robert Kaplan and Acorn Systems' Steven Anderson offer a simplified system based on time-driven ABC that leverages existing enterprise resource planning systems. Read More

The Demise of Cost and Profit Centers

The Balanced Scorecard has proven to be a general and powerful performance management framework for units previously treated as profit and investment centers. The management control literature, however, identifies other organizational forms for decentralized units, including standard cost centers, revenue centers, and support units treated as discretionary expense centers. Starting from the example of a classic teaching case, Empire Glass Company, Kaplan explains how strategy maps and the Balanced Scorecard transform cost, revenue, and discretionary expense centers into strategic business units in their own right. Read More

Managing Alignment as a Process

"Most organizations attempt to create synergy, but in a fragmented, uncoordinated way," say HBS professor Robert S. Kaplan and colleague David P. Norton. Their new book excerpted here, Alignment, tells how to see alignment as a management process. Read More

The Office of Strategy Management

Many organizations suffer a disconnect between strategy formulation and its execution. The answer? HBS professor Robert S. Kaplan and colleague Andrew Pateman argue for the creation of a new corporate office. Read More

When Benchmarks Don’t Work

Benchmarks have their virtues, but professor Robert S. Kaplan argues they should be saved for surveys of commoditized processes or services. From Balanced Scorecard Report. Read More

A Balanced Scorecard Approach To Measure Customer Profitability

Happy customers are good, but profitable customers are much better. In this article, professor and Balanced Scorecard guru Robert S. Kaplan introduces BSC Customer Profitability Metrics. From Balanced Scorecard Report. Read More

Creating the Office of Strategy Management

Organizations often fail to execute their strategy—failure rates may range as high as 60 to 90 percent. Successful companies align their key management processes for effective strategy execution. Creating a new corporate-unit level, the Office of Strategy Management (OSM), may help align management processes to strategy. The authors explain, among other topics, OSM core processes, desirable OSM processes, integrative processes, and positioning the OSM. Read More

Rethinking Activity-Based Costing

Activity-based accounting looks great in the classroom, but too often fails in the field. In this Harvard Business Review excerpt, HBS professor Robert S. Kaplan along with Steven R. Anderson suggest a way around the obstacles. Read More

Mapping Your Board’s Effectiveness

To be effective, board members must understand their company’s strategy. Professor Robert S. Kaplan offers methods for using the Balanced Scorecard and strategy maps to increase board power. From Strategy & Innovation. Read More

Mapping Your Corporate Strategy

From the originators of the Balanced Scorecard system, Strategy Maps is a new book that explores how companies can best their competition. A Q&A with Robert S. Kaplan. Read More

Improving Corporate Governance with the Balanced Scorecard

The authors review the key roles of corporate boards and recommend a Balanced Scorecard approach to help boards work smarter, not harder. Kaplan and Nagel recommend a three-part Balanced Scorecard program: Part 1: An Enterprise Scorecard that includes enterprise-wide strategic objectives, performance measures, targets, and initiatives; Part 2: A Board Scorecard that defines and clarifies the strategic contributions and requirements of the board, and provides a tool to manage the board's performance; Part 3: Executive Scorecards, which define strategic contributions of top management and are used to select, evaluate, and reward senior executives. Read More

Boards and Corporate Governance: A Balanced Scorecard Approach

HBS professors Robert S. Kaplan and Krishna G. Palepu discuss a Balanced Scorecard approach to how companies can create shareholder value through more effective governance. Read More

Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing

Activity-based costing (ABC) has become popular in business writing and management circles. (An example of an activity would be process customer complaints.) However, calculating baselines for activities, developing the model, and retesting the model once it is implemented is time-consuming and costly. Kaplan and Anderson developed improvements in the process through what they call time-driven ABC. Time-driven ABC decreases the amount of data needed, and only requires estimates of two things: (1) the practical capacity of committed resources and their cost, and (2) unit times for performing transactional activities. Read More

Keeping Your Balance With Customers

Using the Balanced Scorecard approach, Robert S. Kaplan, of Harvard Business School, and David P. Norton analyze the four essentials of customer management: customer selection, acquisition, retention, and growth. Read More

Expensing Options Won’t Hurt High Tech

Will expensing stock options harm the competitiveness of start-ups? Not likely, say Zvi Bodie, Robert S. Kaplan, and Robert C. Merton in this Harvard Business Review excerpt. Read More

Partnering and the Balanced Scorecard

Created in 1992, the Balanced Scorecard has become an effective tool for managing strategy. Now authors Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton propose using it to communicate values and vision to employees and partners. The payoff? Better strategic relationships with partners. Read More

The Strategy-Focused Organization

In the ten years since it was introduced, Robert Kaplan's and David Norton's Balanced Scorecard has become not just a measurement tool but a means of putting strategy at the center of a company's key management processes and systems. Read More