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Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020386

Ambiguity in the Attribution of Social Impact: A Study of the Difficulties of Calculating Filter Coefficients in the SROI Method

Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economics and Business, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, UNED, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
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Abstract

In order to analyse, manage, and compare social projects we need, among other things, to be able to measure their impact. One of the methodologies currently used to measure and manage social impact is Social Return on Investment (SROI). However, not all the results calculated by the SROI method are directly attributable to the project, and, therefore, to determine the real impact it is necessary to filter out the changes that the project has not produced. Filter coefficients perform this function. However, the theoretical logic on which the chain is constructed that converts the outputs into impacts is ambiguous. In this study, we will analyse twenty-five real cases where SROI was used to measure social projects. We will identify the difficulties of isolating and measuring impacts by performing a comparative study of the procedures that entities develop to calculate the filters. This allows us to calculate the impacts from the outputs. We will then propose the improvements needed to overcome these shortcomings. View Full-Text
Keywords: social return on investment (SROI); social impact measurement; accountability social return on investment (SROI); social impact measurement; accountability
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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Solórzano-García, M.; Navío-Marco, J.; Ruiz-Gómez, L.M. Ambiguity in the Attribution of Social Impact: A Study of the Difficulties of Calculating Filter Coefficients in the SROI Method. Sustainability 2019, 11, 386.

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