Balanced Scorecard is a management tool that encapsulates the strategy of the business and provides feedback on the success of the strategy in four perspectives: Financial, Customer, Internal Business Process, and Corporate Learning and Growth. Properly constructed, the Balanced Scorecard identifies and communicates the cause and effect relationships between the strategic objectives, the outcome measures (lagging indicators) and the performance drivers (leading indicators). It also makes clear the assumptions behind the strategy and the cause and effect relationships and enables the continual validation of these assumptions. (Kaplan & Norton).
For a description of the history of the balanced scorecard see The Balanced Scorecard: Historical Development and Context (Knapp, 2001).