Robert S. Kaplan

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Not to be confused with Robert Steven Kaplan.

Robert Samuel Kaplan (born 1940) is an American accounting academic, and Emeritus Professor of Leadership Development at the Harvard Business School, known as co-creator, together with David P. Norton, of the balanced scorecard.[1][2]


Kaplan obtained his BS in Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also obtained his MS in Electrical Engineering. For his graduate studies he moved to the Cornell University, where he obtained his PhD in Operations Research. Since the 1990s he has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Stuttgart in 1994, the University of Lodz in 2006, and the University of Waterloo in 2008.[3]

After his graduation Kaplan started his academic career at Tepper School of Business at Carnegie-Mellon University in 1968, and served as its dean from 1977 to 1983. In 1984 he moved to the Harvard Business School, where he was appointed Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development.[3]

In 2006, Kaplan was named to the Accounting Hall of Fame. In the same year he also received the Lifetime Contribution Award from the Management Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association.


Balanced scorecard[edit]

Kaplan and David P. Norton created the balanced scorecard, a means of linking a company's current actions to its long-term goals. Kaplan and Norton introduced the balanced scorecard method in their 1992 Harvard Business Review article, The Balanced Scorecard: Measures That Drive Performance.

This method has been endorsed by companies such as Mobil and Sears. The balanced scorecard envisages executives as pilots with a range of controls and indicators in front of them, based upon which they make decisions and develop strategies. He has also published in the fields of strategy, cost accounting and management accounting. Prior to Harvard, Kaplan was on the faculty and was Dean of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. He is a co-founder, with David P. Norton, of ESM Software Group, formerly known as the Palladium Group, Inc. and before that, Balanced Scorecard Collaborative.[4]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Cooper, Robin, and Robert S. Kaplan. The design of cost management systems: text and cases. Prentice Hall, 1999.
  • Kaplan, Robert S., and David P. Norton. Strategy maps: Converting intangible assets into tangible outcomes. Harvard Business Press, 2004.
  • Kaplan, Robert S., and David P. Norton. The strategy-focused organization: How balanced scorecard companies thrive in the new business environment. Harvard Business Press, 2001.

Articles, a selection:

  • Johnson, H. Thomas, and Robert S. Kaplan. "The rise and fall of management accounting." Engineering Management Review, IEEE 15.3 (1987): 36-44.
  • Kaplan, Robert S., and David P. Norton. , "The Balanced Scorecard: Measures That Drive Performance," Harvard Business Review, Jan.–Feb. 1992
  • Kaplan, Robert S., and David P. Norton. "The balanced scorecard: translating strategy into action." Harvard Business Press, 1996.
  • Kaplan, Robert S., and David P. Norton. "Using the balanced scorecard as a strategic management system." Harvard business review 74.1 (1996): 75-85.


  1. ^ Delone, William H., and Ephraim R. McLean. "The DeLone and McLean model of information systems success: a ten-year update." Journal of management information systems 19.4 (2003): 9-30.
  2. ^ Johnson, Gerry, Kevan Scholes, and Richard Whittington. Exploring corporate strategy: Text and cases. Pearson Education, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Robert S. Kaplan profile at Harvard Business School. Accessed 10.02.2015
  4. ^ "About Section in ESM Software Group website". ESM Software Group. Retrieved 12 September 2016. 

External links[edit]