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Client/customer or stakeholder focus? ISO 14000 EMS as a construction industry case study

Derek H.T. Walker (Derek H.T. Walker is based at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.)

The TQM Magazine

ISSN: 0954-478X

Article publication date: 1 February 2000



Issues such as “the triple bottom line”, which focuses on company profit performance being balanced by demonstrated performance on delivering value to society while improving the ecological environment, have recently emerged as a pressing, indeed crucial management issue. The 1998 Shell Report raised interesting challenges to the management teams of those companies that operate today and wish to do so into the third millennium. Apart from financial accounting, which has developed agreed, if not wholly supported, standards, two other standards of accountability have been identified to demonstrate sustainable business practices. These are environmental accounting and social and ethical accounting. Takes a construction industry perspective and argues that taking a wider view of the customer that encompasses stakeholders, indeed those in the community who are directly affected by projects, makes good marketing and business sense. Provides examples of construction firms taking this approach. Uses a short case study of an Australian project to illustrate how perceptions of the client/customer has shifted from “the paying customer” to “the stakeholder”. Offers some implications for practice and further research.



Walker, D.H.T. (2000), "Client/customer or stakeholder focus? ISO 14000 EMS as a construction industry case study", The TQM Magazine, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 18-26.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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