Assessing an organization’s social sustainability activities for its workforce, customers, and community

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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In today’s world, companies have faced a significant demand to address sustainability issues within their operations. Even though there has been a vast amount of research concerning corporate sustainability, social sustainability has gotten less attention than the other dimensions of sustainability, environmental and economic sustainability. Nevertheless, social sustainability is seen as a fundamental pillar for organizational success, and therefore considering social sustainability issues is critical for organizations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the social sustainability procedures of a case company towards its three different stakeholders: workforce, customers, and community. Due to the large scope of the topic, the social sustainability activities were evaluated through a proposed social sustainability framework, which includes issues of workforce satisfaction, workforce health and safety, workforce diversity, workforce training, customer satisfaction, and community relations and charitable activities. This paper was carried out as an assignment requested by a case company, and therefore the study was conducted as a case study. The research data was collected through an analysis of the case company’s social sustainability related documents, which was followed by semi-structured interviews with nine different professionals within the case company. The data analysis was done through thematic analysis based on the categories of the proposed social sustainability framework, and therefore the established themes were placed under the framework’s categories. This study provides a deep evaluation of the case company’s current procedures towards its workforce, customers, and community, concerning the categories of the proposed social sustainability framework. The results of this study highlight the importance of considering different stakeholders in organizational social sustainability practices. This study suggested two relevant development proposals for the case company’s current procedures, including diversity training for supervisors and a corporate volunteering program.
Thesis advisor
Gloukhovtsev, Alexei
social sustainability, corporate sustainability, sustainability assessment, sustainability
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