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Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 545; doi:10.3390/su8060545

Sustainability Management with the Sustainability Balanced Scorecard in SMEs: Findings from an Austrian Case Study

Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz, Merangasse 18/1, Graz 8010, Austria
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Academic Editor: Giuseppe Ioppolo
Received: 26 March 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 10 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

Given the economic importance of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and their need for strategic sustainability management, this paper examines the concept of Sustainability Balanced Scorecard (SBSC) with respect to SMEs. This case study describes the development of an SBSC in a middle-sized Austrian brewery. The existing methods used in SBSC creation were adapted to suit the company’s specific needs. The findings show that when developing an SBSC it is important to take specific SME characteristics into account and apply methods that allow for adaptation to the prevailing conditions, such as strategic management, organizational structure and resources. In the case study special attention was paid to strategy analysis and thereby the creation of a solid basis for the SBSC. Furthermore, the results show SBSC development is not a process of distinct consecutive steps, as it is often suggested in the literature, but rather that it is a complex process marked by iterative steps. Moreover, the paper highlights the supporting factors and challenges experienced. Whereas top management support, the presence of a project team and high employee involvement were identified as key supporting factors, a lack of specific resources and blurry strategy formulation exert negative influence on the development process. The results presented here should help other SMEs in their development of an SBSC. The paper stimulates scientific discourse on sustainability and strategic management by highlighting the relevant supporting factors and challenges. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sustainability Balanced Scorecard; SMEs; case study; sustainability management Sustainability Balanced Scorecard; SMEs; case study; sustainability management
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Falle, S.; Rauter, R.; Engert, S.; Baumgartner, R.J. Sustainability Management with the Sustainability Balanced Scorecard in SMEs: Findings from an Austrian Case Study. Sustainability 2016, 8, 545.

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