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In this article we aim to analyze the relationship between a set of organizational extrinsic and intrinsic factors and the adoption of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) by privately-owned Portuguese organizations (large companies and small and medium enterprises). These factors are related to companies age, the diversity of products and services, the nature of the ownership structure, the internationalization, and the organizational size. As a primary means of data collection was carried out a postal survey through a questionnaire sent to 549 privately-owned Portuguese organizations, with an overall response rate of 28.2%. The results indicate that the degree of diversity of the products/services of the organization, the ownership of foreign groups, and the organizational size are positively associated with the implementation of the BSC. Thus, we conclude that the BSC increases with the degree of diversity of the products/services of the organization, that the Portuguese organizations that use the BSC are mainly owned by foreign groups; and larger organizations are most likely to use this tool.
Empirical evidence obtained from work carried out regarding this subject has shown that the BSC dissociates from traditional systems of performance evaluation and control, considering the alignment between management indicators and the organization strategy, one of the keys to successful implementation (Hoque, 2014). Despite the theoretical and practical consolidation of the BSC, there is still no widely disseminated work on the determinant factors of the adoption of the BSC in Portuguese companies. In this sense, the main objective of this study was to analyze the relationship between a set of contextual factors and the adoption of the BSC in a sample of Portuguese companies in the private sector. To do so, six research hypotheses were established which posed the existence of a positive relationship between the adoption of the BSC and six organizational characteristics. In line with that indicated in the analysis of the results, we have obtained empirical evidence that confirms the association between the implementation of the BSC and three of the analyzed characteristics: the degree of diversity of the products/services of the organization, the ownership of the company by foreign groups and the organizational size. Thus, it is possible to conclude that: (1) implementation of the BSC increases with a greater degree of diversity of the products/services of the organization; (2) Portuguese companies using the BSC are especially those in which a large percentage of their capital is owned by foreign groups; and (3) larger Portuguese companies are more likely to use this tool. However, we did not obtain empirical evidence that would allow us to corroborate the possible relationship between the adoption of the BSC and the age of the organizations, the type of control (family/non-family) and the degree of internationalization. In our opinion, this result could be due to the characteristics of the sample under study and the researchmethodology chosen, in the sense that both aspects can distort the results.