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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2020

Raine Isaksson and Apollo Buregyeya

The purpose of this paper is to describe sustainability of hollow and solid blocks in sub-Saharan Africa.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe sustainability of hollow and solid blocks in sub-Saharan Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

Indicators of stakeholder value are proposed for measuring block sustainability based on comparisons of user building value price and carbon emissions. Block manufacturing processes in Tanzania and Uganda are described and assessed in this context.

Findings

The results from Uganda indicate that there are economic and environmental advantages in using hollow blocks as long as they are produced to statutory compliance levels. However, where blocks are not produced to standard requirements, the results indicate that it is better to use solid blocks. This surprising result seems to indicate that blocks prepared using low additions of cement might have sufficient functional quality for simple residential building applications even though they might not meet current standard strength requirements and have low cement productivity. These results also indicate that the improvement potential indicated previously cannot be realised when hollow blocks are used for simple construction needs.

Research limitations/implications

Clear benchmarks for the best practical level of cement block sustainability seem to be missing. The first reasons is that the lowest acceptable compressive strength has not been defined since standard requirements might not be relevant in the studied context. The second one is that the lowest possible practically achievable cement content with acceptable cement productivity has not been established.

Practical implications

Understanding sustainability can be very difficult and substantial work needs to be done to introduce operational sustainability indicators.

Originality/value

The results contribute to the discussion of understanding, defining and measuring sustainability.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 30 September 2022

Raine Isaksson, Swaminathan Ramanathan and Max Rosvall

A key issue to manage sustainability is to be able to operationalise it. Relevant indicators require an appropriate definition of sustainability and sustainable development for…

1846

Abstract

Purpose

A key issue to manage sustainability is to be able to operationalise it. Relevant indicators require an appropriate definition of sustainability and sustainable development for the studied organisation. A common problem is inadequate understanding of what sustainability is from an organisational perspective. The purpose of this paper is to propose how to understand, define and measure diagnosing of sustainability from an outside-in perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The building, health care, education and tourism value chains are studied. Based on interpreted stakeholder sustainability needs the stages of understanding, defining and measuring of diagnosing are reviewed, and interpretations proposed. This is with focus on identifying the vital few sustainability impacts in the studied value chains.

Findings

The resulting definitions and proposed performance indicators for the chosen areas indicate that the approach works resulting in proposed definitions and indicators for sustainability and sustainable development based on stakeholders need focus. Having clear definitions and performance indicators will support working effectively with sustainable development.

Research limitations/implications

The resulting definitions and proposed performance indicators for the chosen areas indicate that the approach works. Further, proposed definitions and indicators for sustainability and sustainable development based on stakeholder needs focus is useful. Having clear definitions and performance indicators will help an organisation engage with sustainability and be sustainable within an organisational context.

Practical implications

The proposed approach enables using quality management for sustainable development.

Social implications

Social sustainability is viewed from a poverty and affordability perspective.

Originality/value

Results indicate that there is a value in using an outside-in approach with focus on stakeholder needs in connection with a process-based approach. The approach is in contrast with the customary way of defining sustainability which mostly is based on an inside-out approach identifying several indicators and then adding these to a measure of sustainability.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 35 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 April 2019

Raine Isaksson

Sustainability reports (SRs) could be viewed as organisational measurements of sustainability performance. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how well SRs are measuring and…

1026

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainability reports (SRs) could be viewed as organisational measurements of sustainability performance. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how well SRs are measuring and communicating sustainability and how reporting could be assessed and improved by presenting a maturity grid based on quality management principles.

Design/methodology/approach

Quality management students have assessed publicly available SRs. A total of 55 student assessments have been analysed by the author and used to indicate how understandable reports are. Quality management principles and input from the student assessments have been used to propose a maturity grid for sustainability reporting quality.

Findings

The indication is that SRs are not easy to interpret. The word sustainability aspect used should be replaced with impact on vital stakeholder needs. Guidelines for analysing reports could be improved by using process focus to clearly describe scope of reporting as the entire value chain.

Research limitations/implications

Results are limited to assessing how sustainability is measured. How sustainable the organisations are is not assessed. The research is ongoing, and the proposed matrix is preliminary needing validation and further modification.

Practical implications

The proposed maturity grid for sustainability reporting forms a good basis for further development of SRs and the critical review of them.

Social implications

Results indicate a need to report sustainability in the entire value chain and to focus more on vital stakeholder needs such as poverty and climate change.

Originality/value

The paper discusses a field of synergies between quality and sustainability management, which is important but still sparingly researched.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 September 2016

Raine Isaksson

Visualising change needs could be complex. One way of sense-making is to use process-based system models. Global warming requires major changes in many fields and especially for…

Abstract

Purpose

Visualising change needs could be complex. One way of sense-making is to use process-based system models. Global warming requires major changes in many fields and especially for cement manufacturing, which represents a growing portion of man-made carbon emissions. The industry has proposed measures for change, but it is difficult to assess how good these are and more sense-making is needed to clarify the situation. The purpose of this paper is to visualise opportunities and threats for global cement manufacturing in the context of global warming, using a process-based system model.

Design/methodology/approach

Available data for cement manufacturing and for carbon emissions are combined both historically and as predictions based on chosen key performance indicators. These indicators are related to a chosen process-based system model.

Findings

The results indicate that the global cement industry does not have a viable plan to reduce carbon emissions sufficiently to comply with the objectives of maintaining global warming below 2°C. The application of the process-based system model indicates that it has the ability to visualise important opportunities and threats at the level of global processes.

Practical implications

The challenges of the world cement industry with reducing carbon emissions are highlighted. This information could be useful as a driver for change.

Originality/value

The paper provides insights into process-based improvement work related to cement industry carbon emissions.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Gunnar Dahlin and Raine Isaksson

The purpose of this paper is to study how the expression “integrated management systems” is interpreted in literature, what it means to have an integrated management system (IMS…

1632

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study how the expression “integrated management systems” is interpreted in literature, what it means to have an integrated management system (IMS) and what the results of this are.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was conducted based on Scopus using the search term “Integrated Management Systems.” In the chosen articles, effects of integration, scope, level and extent of integration and if the approach is inside-out or outside-in, have been analyzed.

Findings

Most articles on IMS conclude that integration is beneficial regarding cost saving, operational benefits and improved customer satisfaction. The general approach in the articles, describes an inside-out approach with focus on integrating existing management standards. The scope of integration covers typically management systems for quality, environment and occupational health and safety.

Practical implications

An IMS is found to be a system that integrates existing management standards based on an inside-out approach. This indicates possibilities for both practical improvement and research in exploring how integrated stakeholder needs could be managed, possibly as process-based IMSs.

Originality/value

This paper sheds light on the ambiguous interpretation of the IMS concept.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 13 September 2022

Swaminathan Ramanathan and Raine Isaksson

This paper explores quality science and quality management as a potential pathway to resolve the challenges of corporate sustainability reporting (CSR) by establishing the need…

5524

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores quality science and quality management as a potential pathway to resolve the challenges of corporate sustainability reporting (CSR) by establishing the need for a common understanding of sustainability and sustainable development.

Design/methodology/approach

Secondary research on key documents released by regulatory institutions working at the intersection of sustainability, corporate reporting, measurement and academic papers on quality science and management.

Findings

Existing measurement frameworks of CSR are limited. They are neither aligned nor appropriate for accurately measuring a company's ecological footprint for mitigating climate change. Quality for sustainability (Q4S) could be a conceptual framework to bring about an appropriate level of measurability to better align sustainability reporting to stakeholder needs.

Research limitations/implications

There is a lack of primary data. The research is based on secondary literature review. The implications of Q4S as a framework could inform research studies connected to sustainable tourism, energy transition and sustainable buildings.

Practical implications

The paper connects to CSR stakeholders, sustainability managers, company leaderships and boards.

Social implications

The implications of sustainability on people, purpose and prosperity are a part of World Economic Forum's stakeholder capitalism.

Originality/value

This paper fills a research gap on diagnosing and understanding the key reporting challenges emerging from the lack sustainability definitions.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 35 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2001

Rickard Garvare and Raine Isaksson

This paper presents an example of how to integrate the values of sustainable development in a business excellence model. It discusses definitions and measures of sustainable…

5387

Abstract

This paper presents an example of how to integrate the values of sustainable development in a business excellence model. It discusses definitions and measures of sustainable development, integrating values of total quality management with global human and environmental stakeholder interests. Requirements, core values, main criteria and different concepts of measures for sustainable development are examined, discussed and defined. Existing methods and strategies for quality and business excellence are compared with definitions of sustainable development. Indicators for sustainable development in an organisational and business context are discussed and a rough framework is presented.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Raine Isaksson

To highlight possible synergies between total quality management (TQM) and sustainable development (SD).

7411

Abstract

Purpose

To highlight possible synergies between total quality management (TQM) and sustainable development (SD).

Design/methodology/approach

These synergies are viewed based on a management system framework consisting of values, methodologies and tools. Based on common values the methodology of process management is identified as a good base for describing organisational synergies of TQM and SD. Also, process management for improved sustainability is reviewed. Here, organisational sustainability is viewed as performance based on the triple bottom line (TBL) of economy, environment and social responsibility.

Findings

Findings were that process models can be used to structure the large number of indicators used to describe the TBL. This should improve the system understanding. To integrate TQM and SD, quality indicators should be added to the economic dimension. The system‐based process models can be used to describe synergies between TQM and SD. The proposed framework forms a basis for further research of the possible synergies of TQM and SD.

Research limitations/implications

The research on synergies is limited on organisational sustainability.

Practical implications

Important practical implications are to introduce the process view into sustainability reporting and to include quality indicators in the economic dimension.

Originality/value

The paper highlights good possibilities for synergy in combining theory from TQM and SD which should have both a research and a practical interest.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Raine Isaksson

Breakthrough improvement requires management decisions, which indicates that making sense of existing opportunities is important. This is a particular challenge when the…

Abstract

Purpose

Breakthrough improvement requires management decisions, which indicates that making sense of existing opportunities is important. This is a particular challenge when the improvement is a possibility and not a problem. The purpose of this paper is to propose the practice of doing an Opportunity Study as the way to create a sense of management urgency for realising dormant possibilities.

Design/methodology/approach

A process-based Opportunity Study is presented consisting of a Diagnosing-Analysing-Solving (DAS) approach. Benchmarks are defined and compared with the actual performance resulting in a quantifiable improvement potential (D). Main causes are analysed (A), which leads to proposed solutions (S). The Opportunity Study practice is applied to a cement milling process, a cement plant and a supply network for cement-based building products.

Findings

Results indicate that applying DAS methodology highlights realisable opportunities in all of the studied cases. This seems to be a necessary, but not sufficient criterion to create a sense of urgency for facts based change.

Research limitations/implications

The results indicate that there is need for further research for looking at the process of sense making and to what extent facts alone can drive change initiatives.

Practical implications

Results indicate that by a simple review, focusing on what a system can do instead of which the problems are, valuable opportunities for improvement could be detected.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the value of focusing on opportunities.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Raine Birger Isaksson, Rickard Garvare and Mikael Johnson

Sustainability can be assessed in the dimensions Profit, Planet and People. A problem with the approach is that these dimensions cannot be added. Another problem is that…

5432

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainability can be assessed in the dimensions Profit, Planet and People. A problem with the approach is that these dimensions cannot be added. Another problem is that performance seldom is related to global system boundaries. The purpose of this paper is to study the “what” of sustainability by linking this to global boundaries and proposing “how” the authors could manage change toward sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

Sustainability definitions are reviewed to identify main stakeholders. People value defined as utility is compared to Planet harm as carbon emissions and People harm as prices of products. This approach is examined in business studying the global processes of housing, transporting, providing food and cement manufacturing.

Findings

The relative indicators with focus on People utility compare to Planet and People harm seem to be relevant for measuring the level of sustainability. The Crippled Bottom Line of People value/Planet harm and People value/Planet harm is proposed as the “what” to measure and the change process of “understanding-defining-measuring-communicating-leading change” is proposed as the “how” to change.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on identifying the main stakeholders based on sustainability definitions and from that point mostly on deductive reasoning.

Practical implications

The practical implications are that organizations could define sustainability indicators with objectives that are linked to global limits.

Social implications

Advocating the use of price as a social indicator could have social implications.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the discussion of how to link global limits to organizational measurements and targets.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 64 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

1 – 10 of 17