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Balanced Scorecard in an OHS Management System through Imprecise Ratio Statements: a case study Suárez, Anaa, Krzemień, Alicjab, Iglesias, Francisco Javiera, Riesgo, Pedroa a University of Oviedo, Department of Business Administration, Independencia 13, 33004 Oviedo, Spain, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com ; b Technical University of Silesia, Department of Mining Management and Safety Engineering, Akademicka 2, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland, firstname.lastname@example.org
1. INTRODUCTION This paper describes a case study of implementing a Balanced Scorecard focused on an OHS Management System according to the OHSAS 18001:2007 standard in a group of 15 companies belonging to an industrial corporation present on the international market, specialized in the execution of turnkey projects for the energy and industrial sectors, as well as in the manufacture of capital goods.
Firms’ ability to measure, consistently and continually, the performance of the fundamental processes in their OSH Management Systems developed following these specifications is critical to achieve a situation of continuous improvement, but is seriously in doubt if managers only consider the content of the procedures explained by it.
Although the standard recommends qualitative measures, there is an imbalance between short- and long-term objectives, between measures directly related to the OHS Management System and those that are not, between provisional and historic indicators, and between external and internal perspectives. Moreover, the results required in the review process do not allow the adoption of strategic decisions based on a long-term view. Consequently, managers lack a clear list of key performance indicators.
From its introduction, Kaplan & Norton’s (1992) Balanced Scorecard has rapidly become a central management system in firms around the world. Kaplan & Norton (2001) argue that the Balanced Scorecard is a dynamic tool that translates the organisation’s strategy and mission into a large number of performance measures.
2. METHODOLOGY We defined and weighted the perspectives and the indicators used in the model on the basis of the results of a survey and interviews with the staff of the OHS Departments in each of the participating firms. Previously, we defined the strategic objectives with the participation also of managers from the Human Resources area of the group of firms.
We computed the relative weights of the different performance measures using the WINPRE software (Hämäläinen & Helenius, 1998), a decision-support program that was developed using techniques based on the propagation of imprecise preference statements through the Analytic Hierarchy Process (Salo & Hämäläinen, 1992).
3. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES AND PERSPECTIVESThe first step was to establish, in agreement with the parties involved, the strategic priorities: to “Guarantee the staff’s safety and protect their health”, to “Create an effective preventive culture” and to “Increase the value of the service for the owners and customers”. The performance measures were organised on the basis of four perspectives that together reflect the strategic priorities and their preventive culture.
3.1 Business Perspective There is a lack of straightforward financial indicators measuring the economic consequences of past actions, so we opted to measure essentially quantitative data to monitor the performance of the management systems from the perspective of the group’s overall business, following Gallagher et al.’s (2001) approach. Measures of sick leave due to incidents, accidents and professional illnesses can in fact be regarded as a proxy for financial indicators. They indicate whether the firm is achieving its goals efficiently, that is, minimising costs. From the economics perspective, then, it is logical to measure the level of compliance with the budget, as well as how well the budget is managed, which would be equivalent to developing a productivity strategy that includes the effective execution of operational activities that support existing customers, and that is based on cost reductions and efficiency and consistent with the strategic priority “Increase the value of the service for the owners and customers”.
3.2 Customer Perspective Since this perspective constitutes the firm’s value proposition to its customers, we needed to include a unique mix of product, service, relationship and image that the firm, as provider, offers to its customers. Remaining therefore in the same strategic priority as in the previous perspective, that is, “Increase the value of the service for the owners and customers”, the value proposition finally chosen was “Relationship with the customer”, following Treacy and Wiersema’s (2000) description. This value proposition involves putting maximum effort into the quality of the relationships and into ensuring that the solution the customers obtain is total, with a view to building lasting relationships.
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3.3 Internal Process Perspective This perspective includes the critical processes in which the organisation must be excellent in order to, in the words of the first strategic priority, “Guarantee the staff’s safety and protect their health”. For this we defined a complete value chain of the internal processes in the OHS Departments, developed on the basis of the firm’s Occupational Health and Safety management system model.
3.4 Worker’ Perspective This perspective identifies the structure that the firm should build to create improvement and growth in the long term, since the firm is highly unlikely to be able to achieve its long-term objectives for its internal processes, customers and business using only its current capabilities. This perspective includes the critical processes in which the organisation must be excellent in order to “Create an effective preventive culture”.
4. MEASUREMENT OF STRATEGIC SUCCESS
4.1 Indicators of Business Perspective A set of five indicators were built to translate part of the strategic priority “Increase the value of the service for the owners and customers”: “Accidents”, “Illnesses”, “Incidents”, “Legal” and “Efficiency”.
The first three indicators aim to summarise the economic consequences of actions already carried out, although without quantifying them economically given the extreme complexity of that process, as mentioned above. The indicator “Legal” is designed to measure the risk of suffering sanctions from the labour authorities, although it simultaneously measures how good the management system is in terms of its compliance with the requirements of the relevant legislation. Finally, “Efficiency” measures the efficiency with which the operational objectives established are met.
The methodology used to weight each of the indicators was to carry out a graphical weighting starting from one of them settled as a reference based on the average of the opinions of the OHS Departments in each of the participating firms. In this case the “Accidents” indicator was set as the reference, and using the graphical interface of the WINPRE program the other four indicators were compared with it. The resulting graphical weighting appears in Figure 1.
4.2 Indicators of Customer Perspective A set of three indicators was built to translate part of the strategic priority “Increase the value of the service for the owners and customers”: “Satisfaction”, “Coordination” and “Benchmarking”.
Since the value proposition chosen was “Relationship with the customer”, which involves putting maximum effort into the quality of the relationships and into ensuring that the solution customers obtain is total in order to build lasting relationships, the aim of the first two indicators is to measure the compliance with this objective. “Benchmarking” is considered in the monitoring and control measures corresponding to the Checking and Corrective Actions stage proposed by OHSAS 18002:2008.
4.3 Indicators of Internal Process Perspective In the translation of the strategic priority “Guarantee the staff’s safety and protect their health” on the basis of a definition
of a complete value chain of the internal processes in the OHS Departments, five indicators were identified:
“Management”, “Inspections”, “Drills”, “Operations”, and “Specialties”.
The indicator “Management” measures the level of compliance with the objectives and goals in Occupational Health and Safety set in the Annual Plan of Preventive Activity. The indicators “Inspections” and “Drills” measure the results in the safety inspections and in the drills programmed in the Emergency Plans. Finally, “Operations” and “Specialties” measure the number of deviations or non-conformities detected in the monitoring activities of Operational Control and in Hygienic, Ergonomic and Health Surveillance Control. “Operations” does not include the Coordination of Business Activities, which, because of its importance, has an indicator in its own right in the Customer Perspective.
4.4 Indicators of Worker’s Perspective Finally, five performance measures were designed for the critical processes in which the organisation must be excellent in order to “Create an effective preventive culture”: “Suggestions”, “Training”, “Committee”, “Culture”, and “Incentives”. The indicators “Suggestions” and “Committee” measure the number of resolutions adopted based on suggestions coming from the workers and from the firm’s Health and Safety Committee, respectively. The aim is to quantify the level of commitment of these two groups. The indicator “Training” measures the number of day’s training the employees receive and their perception of the training quality. “Culture” refers to the firm’s level of preventive culture according to the perception in the external audit. Finally, the aim of “Incentives” is to measure the extent of application of the policies of incentives based on the performance outcomes in the area of OHS.
Figure 2 shows the Balanced Scorecard developed during the current research work.
5. CONCLUSIONS The OHSAS 18001:2007 standard simply states that the firm’s OHS policy should be consistent with its vision of the future. Thus the Balanced Scorecard proposed here, since it takes the firm’s strategic objectives into account, constitutes a dynamic tool that translates the firm’s strategy and mission in this area into a set of performance indicators and so provides the structure that that management system needs.
We have not regarded Kaplan and Norton’s (1992) four perspectives as a straitjacket but as a point of reference, but nevertheless the perspectives developed here seem to fit the OHS Management System perfectly. In place of the Financial Perspective we use the Business Perspective, and in place of the Learning and Growth Perspective we use the Workers’ Perspective. The aim behind these two changes is simply to reflect the characteristics of this particular system more closely.
The perspective with the greatest weight is the Workers’ Perspective, which is consistent with the strategic priorities defined and with the ultimate aim of an Occupational Health and Safety Management System.
Finally, the indicator with the highest weight in this Balanced Scorecard is “Benchmarking”, which reflects the need to make comparisons with the rest of the firms in the sector to be able to determine how good the firm’s management system and its results are.
6. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors would like to thank all the staff at Auditores del Noroeste 2000, for their help and interest while we carried out this research.
7. REFERENCES Hämäläinen, R.P. & Helenius, J. (1998). Workbench for Interactive Preference Programming (WINPRE) Decision Support Tool [Software]. Available from http://www.sal.tkk.fi/en/resources/downloadables/winpre Kaplan, R. & Norton, D. (1992). The Balanced Scorecard - Measures that Drive Performance. Harvard Business Review, 70 (1), 71-79.
Kaplan, R. & Norton, D. (2001). The Strategy-Focused Organization. How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
National Occupational Health and Safety Commission. (2001). Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems: A Review of their Effectiveness in Securing Healthy and Safe Workplaces. Sydney, Australia: Gallagher, C., Underhill, E. & Rimmer, M.
Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS 18001). (2007). Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Requirements. London: British Standards Institution.
Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS 18002). (2008). Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Guidelines for the implementation of OHSAS 18001:2007. London: British Standards Institution.
Salo, A. & Hämäläinen, R.P. (1992). Preference Assessment by Imprecise Ratio Statements”. Operations Research, 40 (6), 1053-1061.
Treacy, F. & Wiersema, M. (2000). The Discipline of Market Leaders: Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market. London, UK: Addison-Wesley Longman.
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