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Exploring the influence of environmental and social standards in integrated management systems on economic performance of firms

Jeniffer de Nadae (Department of Production Engineering, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)
Marly M. Carvalho (Department of Production Engineering, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)
Darli Rodrigues Vieira (Research Chair in Management of Aeronautical Projects, University of Québec in Trois-Rivières (UQTR), Trois-Rivières, Canada)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Article publication date: 26 April 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of the integration of management systems that include economic, social and environmental standards on economic performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology consists of analyzing reports of certified companies and secondary data on economic performance indicators. Two sample groups of companies were compared against each other. The core group is composed of companies that have integration of certification on each triple bottom line (TBL) dimensions, economic, environmental and social (ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001). The control group is composed of companies of the same size and sector (mirror sample) but without standards related to social and environmental dimensions. The comparative analysis of both core and control groups was performed based on non-parametric methods, such as the mood median test and structural equation modeling.

Findings

Several economic performance indicators of both groups were statistically analyzed and compared. The results show that companies with integrated management systems (IMS) (core group) on a TBL perspective showed better economic performance compared to other companies of the control group. Moreover, this study shows that the industry sector influences this relation, particularly in the energy, chemical and petrochemicals, services and transportation sectors.

Practical implications

For executives and managers, the results suggest that the amount invested in IMS in a TBL perspective increases the economic performance of companies, resulting in profitability, increased equity and sales growth. It reinforces the win–win perspective on sustainability in companies instead of the mindset on negative trade-offs on economics.

Originality/value

This research sheds light on controversies, discussed in the literature, concerning the positive vs negative effects on the economic performance of IMS, with social and environmental standards. The results show that economic performance is improved in companies of the core group.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq), and Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)

Citation

Nadae, J.d., Carvalho, M.M. and Vieira, D.R. (2019), "Exploring the influence of environmental and social standards in integrated management systems on economic performance of firms", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 30 No. 5, pp. 840-861. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMTM-06-2018-0190

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited