"The Balanced Scorecard and the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Business Excellence Model are tools that use measures of an organisation’s performance to drive organisational improvement – generally by highlighting current shortfalls in performance – in areas of particular concern / or interest – to management teams. Both have been widely adopted in recent years and benefit from the support of powerful advocates in the form of current users, consultants, and software suppliers. The purpose of this paper is to compare the two tools. We show that despite superficial similarities, the two approaches come from very different backgrounds and are designed and used using different processes. We also show how the different approaches have a fundamentally different epistemological basis and in turn, how this suggests a contingency, which should inform decisions about the choice of either approach."