Defining Organizational Context for Corporate Sustainability Assessment: Cross-Disciplinary Approach
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonSustainability. 2017, 9 (12), . 10.3390/su9122365
Extensive research has already been conducted on the technical aspects of a Sustainability Assessment (SA) at a company level, i.e., Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). However, previous research paid little attention to the context in which an assessment takes place, i.e., the conditions within the organization that facilitate or inhibit the effectiveness of CSA as a decision support tool. This study seeks to shed more light on the organizational context for CSA. Since the research in this topic is limited within the SA discipline, the knowledge from the Performance Measurement (PM) discipline is used. Using a cross-disciplinary approach, factors that define the organizational context for CSA were proposed. Furthermore, they were ranked by 104 sustainability professionals using online survey. The survey results revealed that the top five factors are “leadership commitment”, “sustainability strategy”, “data collection capabilities”, “understanding of purpose and benefits of SA” and “focus on continuous improvements”. The practical application of the result of this study was illustrated using a multiple case study, in which the readiness to implement CSA by four manufacturing companies was evaluated.