Triple Bottom Line Research Papers

Triple Bottom Line Research Papers-84
Despite some researchers’ resistance to this concept, to whom the concept is impossible to be put into operation (Norman and Mc Donald, 2004; Macdonald and Norman, 2007; Hubbard, 2009; Smith and Sharicz, 2011), the TBL has gradually been accepted among organisations (Elkington, 1998).Some studies reinforce this movement (Ho and Taylor, 2007; Hubbard, 2009).According to Elkington (1998), the TBL approach could lead an organisation to perform economic prosperity, environmental quality and social justice simultaneously.

Despite some researchers’ resistance to this concept, to whom the concept is impossible to be put into operation (Norman and Mc Donald, 2004; Macdonald and Norman, 2007; Hubbard, 2009; Smith and Sharicz, 2011), the TBL has gradually been accepted among organisations (Elkington, 1998).Some studies reinforce this movement (Ho and Taylor, 2007; Hubbard, 2009).

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Some authors explored BSC through statistical analysis, assessing the validity and reliability of the model (Bouliane, 2006; Henri, 2009).

In one of these studies, Henri (2009), investigating 383 top management teams of Canadian manufacturing firms, establishes a set of 20 indicators that would be representative of a typical BSC composition.

In some sense, performance measurement has been noticed as a fundamental key to the managerial control process in any business (Olson and Slater, 2002).

One point of departure for measuring organisation’s – whether sustainability-oriented or not – performance is the use of indicators.

The GRI is a network with experts and representatives from various sectors of society present in over 40 countries around the world, and it has been determining the guidelines to sustainability reporting with the participation of several important stakeholders (GRI, 2008).

Table II presents the social and environmental aspects defined by the GRI guidelines.Accordingly, many studies that aim to study sustainability and performance in organisations use TBL as their conceptual basis, mentioning Elkington’s proposal as their conceptual reference (e.g.Cinelli , 2014; Deng, 2015; Ekins and Vanner, 2007; Krajnc and Glavič, 2005; Pádua and Jabbour, 2015).Later, Lacy (2009) reinforce the importance of TBL as the main proxy to represent and measure sustainability in organisations.In the search for a consensus, among countless definitions and terminologies, the three-pillar approach called the TBL has been a widely accepted perspective for sustainability not only by scholars but also by society and organisations (Lacy , 2010), although the TBL has not been exempt from criticism and contention (Norman and Mc Donald, 2004; Macdonald and Norman, 2007).Outcome measures without performance drivers do not communicate how the outcomes are to be achieved”.Simons (2000) also stresses that a well-designed BSC should allow a balance between short and long-term objectives and outcome (lagging) and process (leading) measures, besides establishing both objective and subjective measures for firm’s performance.In this fashion, this paper aims to propose a minimum set of indicators to be measured by industrial companies to represent their performance according to the TBL approach.To do so, the instrument for data collection was threefold: for the economic dimension, we used 20 BSCs typical indicators, according to Henri (2009); 9 and 22 indicators from Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) (2008) for environmental and social dimensions, respectively.Table I presents these indicators, according to Henri’s (2009) proposal, used as a proxy for representing economic indicators in this study.The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Reporting Framework is intended to perform as an accepted framework for reporting on an organisation’s economic, environmental and social performance (GRI, 2008).

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