Journal of Business Ethics 150 (4):937-952 (2018)

Abstract
In a recent systematic review of the Sustainability Balanced Scorecard literature in this journal, we developed a typology of architectures as a basis for the process of SBSC design, implementation, use, and evolution. This paper addresses a comment by Hahn and Figge designed to stimulate further research. We argue that the existing literature demonstrates that the SBSC management tool can play an important role in corporate sustainability. The SBSC architectures—as representations of goals and priorities—form an integral and iterative part of the corporate sustainability strategy-making process and therefore cannot be isolated from it. However, the concept as such should not be overloaded. In this paper, we first reflect on the potentials and constraints of the SBSC in relation to radical or transformational change and measuring performance outcomes on the level of human–earth systems. Second, we discuss the importance of SBSC architecture concerning how it enables the integration of sustainability into business organisations; how both strictly hierarchical cause-and-effect chains and less hierarchical designs can allow companies to seek inclusive profits; and the contingency-based use of generic architectures in contrast to its use as a diagnostic tool.
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-017-3531-5
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