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

Authors: Evonne Miller, Laurie Buys, Jennifer Summerville

Addresses: Centre for Social Change Research, School of Humanities and Human Services, Queensland University of Technology, Beams Rd, Carseldine, Brisbane, QLD 4034, Australia. ' Centre for Social Change Research, School of Humanities and Human Services, Queensland University of Technology, Beams Rd, Carseldine, Brisbane, QLD 4034, Australia. ' Centre for Social Change Research, School of Humanities and Human Services, Queensland University of Technology, Beams Rd, Carseldine, Brisbane, QLD 4034, Australia

Abstract: Triple Bottom Line (TBL) reports, outlining the economic, environmental and social impact of organisations, are increasingly viewed as a business requirement. Unfortunately, despite global frameworks, there is no one established standard against which to evaluate the social dimension. Thus, current social reporting is often disparagingly described as a public relations exercise with limited accountability, consistency or comparability. 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 preexisting 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.

Keywords: social dimension; triple bottom line reporting; quantitative indicators; corporate social responsibility; CSR; sustainability reporting; social impact; economic impact; environmental impact; social reporting; impact assessment; business governance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2007.014314

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2007 Vol.3 No.3, pp.223 - 237

Published online: 01 Jul 2007 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article