Development of a triple bottom line stakeholder satisfaction model

  • Burhan Amarah

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Sustainable development is a goal of modern society, and to a large extent it is governed by the actions of business organisations in trying to improve value to their stakeholders. Enlightened businesses know that ‘stakeholder’ does not equal ‘shareholder’, and there is more to value than financial returns and profits. Social and environmental value is also important. Using a triple bottom line philosophy, it is possible to strike an effective balance between economic, social and environmental objectives to release outcomes that are sustainable in the wider sense. To date, the quantification of these outcomes as a single decision metric has been problematic, given there is no common unit to integrate performance.
This thesis combines a review of underpinning literature on the relationship between sustainable development and stakeholder satisfaction with an explanation of quantification models and a detailed case study of a stakeholder-driver approach to the procurement of sustainable built infrastructure for Energex in Brisbane. Using grounded theory, a conceptual framework is developed from these sources to not only integrate the various stakeholder perspectives of sustainability success, but to also measure this success in an objective way. The framework is a six-point star rating scheme to assess stakeholder satisfaction in terms of economic, social and environmental criteria to measure organisational decision-making performance.
This framework is validated by an expert panel using focus group discussion and together with subsequent analysis a number of improvements are recommended. The refined framework reflects a stakeholder satisfaction model (SSM) that has commercialisation potential. It is found that the SSM can be used to assess the sustainable procurement of built infrastructure, such as a high performance green building, with four of the six stakeholder groups considered as generic and applicable to any sustainability initiative. The remaining two groups (namely “staff” and “environment”) will need a modified assessment strategy for non-built environment initiatives.
This research makes a contribution to knowledge through presentation of a model, grounded in practice, that can assess the economic, social and environmental performance of organisational decision-making from a stakeholder satisfaction perspective. It is acknowledged that there are a number of metrics that can be used to assess the star rating of each stakeholder group, although the ones chosen in this research are drawn from existing tools developed and validated by others. The final stage, which is beyond the scope of this thesis, is to commercialise the SSM in the construction and property industry in Australia.
Date of Award18 Jun 2016
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsEnergex Australia
SupervisorC A Langston (Supervisor)

Cite this