Feasibility of a responsive business scorecard - a pilot study

K.F. van der Woerd, T.W.M. van den Brink

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Several authors have pointed at opportunities to develop the well-established Business Balanced Scorecard into a Scorecard that enables companies to integrate sustainability into their strategy. Recent case studies and research experiences show that social and environmental targets are more widely recognized as strategic drivers for management. However, experiments also show that the traditional Scorecard has its limits when it comes to e.g. stakeholder management and product chain management. The European Corporate Sustainability Framework (ECSF) program distinguishes several ambition levels for Corporate Sustainability/Corporate Responsibility. The traditional Balanced Scorecard is suitable for companies that aim for Compliance-driven CS/CR or for Profit-driven CS/CR, where the financial bottom line is the ultimate indicator for success. More ambitious companies want to balance economic, social and ecological targets in a Community-driven CS/SR or Synergy-driven CS/CR. For ambitious companies, we propose a format of a Responsive Business Scorecard (RBS). The Responsive Scorecard enables companies to score at Profit, People and Planet, at the same time to integrate stakeholder demands into internal programs to improve performance. The RBS includes five Perspectives: Customers & Suppliers, Financiers & Owners, Society & Planet, Internal Process and Employees & Learning. We assessed the practical feasibility of a Responsive Scorecard in food and tourist industries. In the food industry, we analyzed whether existing business priorities of Italian companies can adequately fill a Responsive scorecard. Our conclusion is that traditional topics like finance, customers and employees are readily filled, but that sustainability topics like chain management (suppliers) and environmental performance (planet) need further elaboration. The tourist sector is dominated by Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. We investigated whether existing eco-labels for camping-sites and marinas can be developed into Responsive Scorecards. Our conclusion is that such a sector specific development of a Responsive Scorecard is possible. Further research has to show what is the value added of the new scorecard for companies in the tourist sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-186
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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