A revisited fuzzy DEMATEL and optimization method for strategy map design under the BSC framework: selection of objectives and relationships

Héctor López-Ospina*, Daniela Pardo, Alejandra Rojas, Ricardo Barros-Castro, Katherine Palacio, Luis Quezada

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a quantitative method for the selection of strategic objectives and causal relationships to be included in a strategy map of a Balanced Scorecard. A strategy map usually contains the strategic objectives of an organization, grouped into four perspectives: (a) finances, (b) clients, (c) internal processes, and (d) growth and learning, all of them linked through cause-effect relationships. The use of quantitative tools, such as multicriteria decision making, has been proposed to model a strategy map and to select the causal relationships to be included. However, no work has been found in the literature to select the strategic objectives to be incorporated into the map. This is the gap that is addressed in this paper. To overcome this gap, the proposed method incorporates a fuzzy multicriteria method known as DEMATEL (decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory) with an optimization model to choose the strategic objectives and their causal relationships. DEMATEL is used to set priorities to the components of the strategy map, whereas the optimization model selects those to be included by producing the appropriate balance between conflicting goals that appear in building a strategy map (minimum amount of relationships among strategic objectives, maximizing the weight of the relationships/objectives selected). As an illustrative case, the method is applied to a higher education institution where expert judgment in this field provided validation of the strategy map designed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6619-6644
Number of pages26
JournalSoft Computing
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Héctor López Ospina wishes to acknowledge the support of project 4.148: of Fundación para la Promoción de la Investigación y la Tecnología. Banco de la República. Colombia.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Fuzzy DEMATEL
  • Optimization method
  • Strategy maps


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