Relevance of a New Perspective of Social Responsibility and Sustainability in the Balanced Score Card: An Analysis of the Perception of University Students

Relevance of a New Perspective of Social Responsibility and Sustainability in the Balanced Score Card: An Analysis of the Perception of University Students

Nydia Consuelo Hernandez-Mora (Politecnico Grancolombiano, Colombia), Rocio Vargas (Politecnico Grancolombiano, Colombia), Mauricio Martinez (Politecnico Grancolombiano, Colombia), and Sergio Miguel Borja (Independent Researcher, Colombia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5216-5.ch012
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Since Norton and Kaplan developed the balanced scorecard in 1992, most companies worldwide have applied it as a monitoring and control tool in business management. However, since then various social and cultural factors have changed the way of thinking in society. The SDGs and the social inequalities highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic suggest that business management cannot be seen from the four traditional perspectives of finances, customers, internal processes, and growth and learning. It is necessary to develop a fifth perspective focused on social responsibility and sustainability. This document explores the importance of inclusion in this new perspective. It does a documentary review of research related to concepts such as social responsibility, shared values, and inclusion.
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In the last decades, the sustainable development goals (SDGs) have led governments’ agenda across the globe. Therefore, awareness of developments from the perspectives of social responsibility and the environment with inclusion has been increasing. However, well-known business frameworks like the balanced scorecard (BSC) do not include these concepts in their structures. Moreover, the social inequalities showed by COVID-19 highlight the need for proposing a fifth perspective within the balanced scorecard that considers social responsibility, sustainability, and inclusion as fundamental axes of modern business management.

(Lucianetti, Battista, & Koufteros, 2019) state that the main failure in the adoption of BSC is its implementation with an integration of the strategy and operational objectives with communication with employees. Other relevant aspects in the implementation of BSC are the experiences of those with responsibilities and resource allocations (Banchieri, Campa-Planas, & Sánchez-Rebull, 2016). Organizations that want to internalize environmental, social, and community objectives in their strategies (Kaplan, 2012), can align their strategies using an impact model such as shared values in relation to increased competitive capabilities, human development, synergy, growth, inclusive development, and business sustainability (Faghat, Khani, and Alemtabriz, 2020).

We conducted a literature review related to BSC, social responsibility, and shared values and inclusion, followed by exploratory research in which we used a survey involving students of business management at the Politecnico Grancolombiano University in Colombia. We asked them about their perceptions in favor of including social responsibility and sustainability as the fifth perspective in the balanced scorecard. They were also asked what important elements about inclusion should be included in this new fifth perspective. The survey covered 262 students.

This study found that the respondents considered the perspective of sustainability and social responsibility in the balanced scorecard to be important in business management. They also considered labor inclusion as a fundamental element in this new proposed perspective. The results show that the populations that should be taken into account in terms of labor inclusion are mothers who are heads of households, women from the perspective of gender equality in organizations, and people with disabilities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Shared Values: Seek the development of businesses that incorporate one or several interest groups in their value chains in such a way that the economic activity of the business has a social or environmental impact on the community.

Balanced Scorecard: A business management tool that based on a corporate strategy allows implementing to implement and monitoring business performance from four perspectives: finance, customers, internal processes, and growth and learning.

Ethnic Minorities: Group of people with common characteristics but who have historically suffered some kind of exclusion from the rest of society which has limited their economic and social development.

Victims of the Armed Conflict: People who have suffered the consequences of the armed conflict in Colombia with negative experiences such as forced displacements, kidnappings, extortion, sexual violence, and relatives’ murders.

LGBTI Population: Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transsexuals, and Intersexuals. Brings together all people with sexual orientations or gender identities encompassed in these five terms.

Social Responsibility: Moral duty of the company to repay part of its economic benefits to the community.

Mother Heads of Households: Women who have the economic responsibility of a family nucleus. This family nucleus can be made up of children without the support of the father, or parents or siblings who are not in a position to earn an income.

Labor Inclusion: Provide employment opportunities to populations that are traditionally excluded or who, due to their social, ethnic, economic, or health characteristics, are not on equal terms with other members of the community.

Disabled Persons: Persons who medically have some physical or intellectual limitations that reduce their ability to function normally in daily life.

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