Pursuing Sustainability with the Balanced Scorecard: Between Shareholder Value and Multiple Goal Optimisation
Centre for Sustainability Management, Working Paper Series
35 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2012
Date Written: June 2012
A rising awareness about the limitations of measuring organisational success merely with financial metrics has motivated researchers and practitioners to call for more holistic performance management and measurement systems. The balanced scorecard (BSC) as proposed by Kaplan and Norton is maybe the most popular framework which aims at a balance between multiple performance dimensions and objectives. Moreover, the increasing strategic importance of environmental and social aspects have led to the suggestion of a so called sustainability balanced scorecard (SBSC), which promises the consideration of even further performance dimensions. More specific, the SBSC aims at balancing financial objectives with environmental and social objectives. However, the SBSC approaches proposed strongly differ in the way they deal with managing multiple objectives. Against this background, we conduct a systematic review of the research field dealing with the SBSC in order to advance the knowledge on managing multiple corporate objectives. As part of our results, we first give a brief description of the research field using bibliographical analysis. Second, we derive a typology of generic SBSC architectures showing that the architecture is contingent on the value system the organisation chooses to operate in (profit driven, care driven, systemic driven) and the corporate sustainability strategy opted for (defence, accommodation, proaction). We further show that the architectures can generally be applied by various types of organisations (public listed, large private, and small and medium-sized companies), but that some combinations are more likely than others. Implications for management and research are also derived.
Keywords: Sustainability Balanced scorecard (SBSC), Sustainable development, CSR, Corporate Sustainability, Strategic management, Performance measurement, Indicators, Literature review
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