Corporate Social Responsibility strategies using the TQM - hoshin kanri as an alternative system to the balanced scorecard

Andrea Chiarini ( University of Ferrara Ferrara Italy )

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Publication date: 3 March 2016



The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the implementation of hoshin kanri as a novel alternative system to Balanced Scorecard (BSC) for deploying Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies. Hoshin kanri stems from the Total Quality Management (TQM) world and it is usually employed for strategies related to such fields.


This research is based on multiple case studies from private sectors. In particular, a qualitative inquiry among ten large manufacturing companies has been carried out. The inquiry is based on document review as well as unstructured interviews. The companies have implemented hoshin kanri for at least 5 years in all the plants.


The paper demonstrates the full suitability of hoshin kanri for CSR strategies. Hoshin kanri is more flexible than BSC and CSR objectives can be managed at the same level as financial and market ones. A particular hoshin kanri process called ‘catchball’ creates a large consensus and involvement of the staff and management. Moreover it has been found that managers and employee are supposed to manage CSR measures day-by-day with a strong sense of urgency when daily CSR measures do not perform well, reinforcing the value of pursuing an effective CSR implementation and performance measurement.

Research limitations/implications

This research is based on a limited sample of ten private case studies. Furthermore BSC analysis is mainly based on what other studies have investigated on it. TQM researchers should carry out a quantitative survey in order to understand if these results can be generalised and validated as hypotheses.

Practical implications

Practitioners are now informed and aware of the prospect of using a different system for deploying and managing CSR strategies; the discussion of the results shows them examples and a model in this sense.


For the first time a research has compared in the private sector two important strategic systems, BSC and the TQM hoshin kanri, regarding their suitability of use for CSR strategies. In particular there is no trace in the literature of an in-depth analysis of hoshin kanri applied in CSR context.


Chiarini, A. (2016), "Corporate Social Responsibility strategies using the TQM - hoshin kanri as an alternative system to the balanced scorecard", The TQM Journal, Vol. 28 No. 3.

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