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Integrated sustainable performance management systems: A case study on Italian benefit corporations

Sciprofile linkGiorgia Nigri, Mara Del Baldo, Armando Agulini
Published: 22 January 2020
Corporate Ownership and Control , Volume 17, pp 65-76; doi:10.22495/cocv17i2art6

Abstract: Today, to integrate sustainable development goals into business, an overall integrated sustainable performance management system — to implement and measure these global goals — is needed. In a short timeframe, the benefit impact assessment (BIA) — elaborated by B Lab, utilized by benefit corporations (a new and emerging hybrid type of prosocial business) and adopted by the United Nations — became the most comprehensive indicator to evaluate company practices against SDGs. Italy was the first sovereign country to insert the benefit corporation legislation after the US and analyze the effectiveness of the BIA. This prompted us to address our attention to the integration of benefit-driven indicators, adopted by Italian B Corps into their performance management systems, and to analyze if these indicators are used by managers to support internal decision-making. To achieve this goal, cross-sector semi-structured interviews were conducted in seven Italian certified benefit corporations. Relevant to both researchers and practitioners, our review provides a useful snapshot of how the BIA is developing as an assessment and how value-based organizations are moving toward an integrated sustainable performance management system.
Keywords: Decision making / Italian / goals / BIA / performance management systems / benefit corporations

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