Title: A multi-dimensional criticism of the Triple Bottom Line reporting approach

Authors: Kaushik Sridhar

Addresses: Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University, 122, Culloden Road, Marsfield, NSW 2122, Australia

Abstract: While the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) approach has triggered a sense of shift in ways companies think about sustainable reporting, there are still many limitations within TBL. The fundamental roots of TBL are ingrained in a quantitative framework and have no sense of integration or a systemic approach to viewing problems. The main purpose of this paper is to provide a critical review of the TBL approach and its weaknesses. The paper provides a detailed literature review of the evolution of TBL, and then shifts towards the limitations of TBL especially in terms of measurement and the lack of systemic thinking.

Keywords: triple bottom line; TBL; 3BL; people planet profit; three pillars; organisational measurement; institutional theory; sustainable reporting; multi-dimensional criticism; quantitative frameworks; integration; systemic approaches; viewing problems; compliance; systems thinking; CSR; corporate social responsibility; environmental sustainability; corporate reporting; social sustainability; metaphors; sustainable development; business governance; business ethics; emerging markets.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2011.037606

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2011 Vol.6 No.1, pp.49 - 67

Published online: 20 Dec 2010 *

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