Quantifying the social dimension of triple bottom line: Development of a framework and indicators to assess the social impact of organisations

Miller, Evonne, Buys, Laurie, & Summerville, Jennifer A. (2007) Quantifying the social dimension of triple bottom line: Development of a framework and indicators to assess the social impact of organisations. International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 3(3), 223 -237.

PDF (82kB)

View at publisher


Triple bottom line (TBL) reports, outlining the economic, environmental and social impact of organisations, are increasingly viewed as a business requirement. Unfortunately, with no one established standard against which to evaluate or assess the social dimension, current social reporting is often disparagingly described as a public relations exercise with limited accountability, consistency or comparability. Global sustainability frameworks, whilst providing a valuable outline, do not provide quantifiable indicators or specific questions that enable the measurement and comparability of social impacts. The lack of valid, comparable and quantifiable social indicators diminishes the importance and value of the social dimension, with businesses able to make vague and unsubstantiated comments about their social value and impact. This article outlines the development of a generic TBL social impact framework and questionnaire designed to quantify an organisation’s social impact. Based on valid pre-existing measures appropriate for organisations in the industrialised world, the proposed framework and questionnaire offers a comparable and objective social impact assessment tool for organisations. The aim is to prompt informed debate and discussion about current organisational social impact reporting, whilst providing organisations with a tool which enables the identification, quantification, and comparability of social impact reporting.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

1,570 since deposited on 07 Feb 2008
111 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 12350
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: social dimension of triple bottom line reporting, quantitative indicators, corporate social responsibility, sustainability reporting
DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2007.014314
ISSN: 1477-9048
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Applied Sociology Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment (160801)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Institutes > Institute for Sustainable Resources
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Inderscience
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 07 Feb 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:35

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page