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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Andrea B. Coulson

The purpose of this paper is to constructively critique KPMG’s “True Value methodology” which seeks to quantify in financial terms the value companies create or reduce for society.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to constructively critique KPMG’s “True Value methodology” which seeks to quantify in financial terms the value companies create or reduce for society.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on a review of documents produced by KPMG detailing its methodology and corporate reports in the public domain of the True Value methodology applied in practice. The critique is divided into two sections. The first section reviews KPMGs methodological view of a bounded economic reality and offers potential starting points and limitations for a conceptual framing of the “methodology”. Practical insights on applying the methodology are offered in the second section.

Findings

The True Value methodology helps its producers understand the potential risk to future earnings posed by current externalities being internalised. KPMG’s socio-economic framing of future scenarios and financial valuation of environmental and social impacts is limited to a standardised commercial viewpoint. Potential opportunities exist for producers to involve stakeholders in the application of the methodology to form a more inclusive and pluralist conception of risk and values for social and environmental impacts.

Practical implications

This paper offers timely insights for companies using and considering the use of the “True Valuemethodology and stakeholders considering their engagement in the application process and/or use of its findings.

Originality/value

The study is a constructive critique of this contemporary, financial practice of accounting for externalities developed by KMPG.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Bernd Hendriksen, Jeroen Weimer and Mark McKenzie

This paper aims to present an approach to quantify in financial terms the value that companies create and reduce for society, based on the KPMG true value methodology

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an approach to quantify in financial terms the value that companies create and reduce for society, based on the KPMG true value methodology. This methodology was developed to quantify the socio-economic and environmental value created and reduced by businesses in a format that can easily be understood and used by business leaders to affect key business decisions based on quantitative data. The paper looks at the business drivers for the development of the methodology and the implications and initial results for companies adopting it.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a brief introduction of the methodology, and the factors leading up to its development, this paper will present three recent cases of companies that have applied the methodology, their motivation for using it and what some of the initial results have been. The authors led the development of the KPMG true value methodology and have been involved in the application of the methodology across various sectors and companies. Other consultants involved in the implementation of the methodology within the companies in the case studies (below) were also interviewed for this paper.

Findings

The three cases above represent very different companies from various sectors. Although the approach and implementation of the KPMG true value methodology was similar across all three companies, the results, application of the results and subsequent benefits to the company in question were divergent. To date, only a handful of corporations have measured and publicly disclosed their societal value creation, but momentum is building, and, in this age of internalization, more and more companies will likely follow suit. Corporations that choose a methodology and apply it in a consistent fashion can only stand to benefit from the insights the experience brings.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides insight into the KPMG true value methodology and how it has been applied within several large companies from different sectors. Because of confidentiality issues, the companies have been anonymised, and some specific quantitative data have been omitted. This paper does not look in detail at how indicators are calculated, because of space limitations. Given the fact that the methodology has only relatively recently been introduced, long-term results are not yet available. As the methodology further develops over time, there will be considerable opportunities for academic research around the methodology, for example, looking at how the creation of value for society relates to shareholder value or environmental, social and governance performance over time.

Practical implications

This paper provides examples of how companies have integrated socio-economic and non-financial metrics with standard financial metrics and some of the implications this can have on corporate decision-making processes.

Originality/value

The KPMG true value methodology was introduced in 2014 with the publication of the 2014 KPMG report “A New Vision of Value: Connecting corporate and societal value creation” (available on-line). This paper is one of the first publications in an academic journal on this topic. In writing this paper, the authors do not assume that readers have previous knowledge of the methodology, and, as such, have borrowed extensively from “A New Vision of Value” in explaining the methodology. This paper, however, goes on to highlight and reflect on the experiences of some of the first companies from different sectors to use the methodology since its launch more than two years prior.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Nick Barter

This paper is a review of KPMG’s true value methodology. It highlights how a positive for the methodology is its advance of a systemic perspective, with the challenge…

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1355

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is a review of KPMG’s true value methodology. It highlights how a positive for the methodology is its advance of a systemic perspective, with the challenge being its furthering of an agenda of corporate centricity, where money is the mediator for societal decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on existing literature to develop its arguments.

Findings

The paper highlights how the true value methodology has merit for furthering a move towards the embrace of a more systemic thinking by business leaders; for example, how organisations are nested in society, not separate from society. However, the methodology is a cause for concern, because, for “true value” (ibid, p. 3) to be identified, albeit the notion of true value is one that stuns with its hubris, there is a need to monetise all exchanges and have corporations make societal well-being decisions based on monetary calculations as opposed to moral or ethical considerations. Thus, the methodology is advancing a corporate centric and narrowly defined perspective on what constitutes societal progress.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is a review of the methodology with some critique and implications for management, leadership and culture discussed.

Practical implications

The arguments presented highlight how the methodology furthers a particular perspective, and thus it should, like all tools, be used with an understanding of its limitations.

Social implications

A key social implication brought forward in the paper is a corporate-centric perspective on societal progress. This corporate-centric perspective ensures that although a more systemic perspective is taken, society is viewed as a little more than a servant of the corporation.

Originality/value

In drawing on existing literature, the originality lies in the combination of arguments brought together to realise the central claims.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Christine Cooper and Daniela Senkl

Through a feminist lens, this study aims to provide insight into the ability of KPMG’s true value approach to include “the other” in the corporate value creation process…

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1230

Abstract

Purpose

Through a feminist lens, this study aims to provide insight into the ability of KPMG’s true value approach to include “the other” in the corporate value creation process and into its potential to introduce a more “multiple” form of accounting. Additionally, this study seeks to set up the true value approach within its broader social, economic and political context.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses an interpretative analysis of KPMG’s document “A New Vision of Value; Connecting corporate and societal value creation”.

Findings

The KPMG document uses a language of fear of an external threat to promote its true value approach. It is suggested in this study that the concern of the KPMG approach is to include “the other” in their valuation model if it has an impact on corporate earnings. However, stakeholder actions or governmental regulations could be problematically attenuat by the document’s use of a language which suggests integration of “the other” and which might be perceived as socially progressive. It is argue that the increase in societal or environmental value set out in the KPMG document depends upon “excessive” commodity production which uses up scarce environmental resources.

Research limitations/implications

The implication of this research is that the daunting problems of inequality and environmental destruction cannot be solved by initiatives such as the KMPG true value technology.

Practical implications

The paper argues that a feminine management or reporting framework would not need to fulfil the aim of managing the other in the sense of measurement and control, as it is not based on the fear of loss. It would instead be an approach of giving and caring. A feminine alternative, however, is difficult to express in phallogo-centric language. The ability to bring about change requires the capacity to understand the prevalent symbolic order and the willingness to challenge it.

Social implications

The feminist perspective used in this paper to critically reflect on KPMG’s true value approach and the neo-liberal economy in which it is embedded aims to create public awareness of the prevalent phallocentric symbolic order. Recognising the invisible power of the symbolic order is essential to be able to see how the new “integrative” management and reporting approaches are only slight modifications of the existing management and reporting tools. The paper highlights that these “alternatives” create the impression that business is dealing with the greatest global threats and can potentially be used to silence critics.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to existing critiques of integrated or shared value approaches by taking a feminist view. Even though corporate claims of “win-win situations” (in which environmental degradation and inequality can be solved as business opportunities) have been critiqued in the literature, this study adopts a rather unusual perspective (in accounting). This approach argues that initiatives grounded in the phallogo-centric symbolic order are incapable of overcoming the current problems of our society; but they bear the risk of making the situation worse by creating a public impression that “someone is dealing appropriately with serious social and environmental issues”.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2018

Liming Fan, Xiyuan Kang, Quan Zheng, Xiaojun Zhang, Xuejun Liu, Zhoushan Geng and Chong Kang

This paper aims to focus on the tracking of a moving magnetic target by using total field magnetometers and to present a tracking method based on the gradient of a…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on the tracking of a moving magnetic target by using total field magnetometers and to present a tracking method based on the gradient of a magnetic anomaly. In the tracking, it is assumed that the motion of the target is equivalent to a first-order Markov process. And the unit direction vector of the magnetic moment from the gradient of the magnetic anomaly can be obtained. According to the unit direction vector, the inverse problem is turned into an optimization problem to estimate the parameters of the target. The particle swarm optimization algorithm is used to solve this optimization problem. The proposed method is validated by the numerical simulation and real data. The parameters of the target can be calculated rapidly using the proposed method. And the results show that the estimated parameters of the mobile target using the proposed method are very close to the true values.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors focus on the tracking of a moving magnetic target by using total field magnetometers and present a tracking method based on the gradient of a magnetic anomaly.

Findings

The paper provides an effective method for tracking the magnetic target based on an array with total field sensors.

Originality/value

Comparing with a vector magnetic sensor, the measurement of the scalar magnetic sensor is almost not influenced by its orientation. In this paper, a moving magnetic target was tracked by using total field magnetometers and a tracking method presented based on the gradient of a magnetic anomaly.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2020

Souâd Taïbi, Nicolas Antheaume and Delphine Gibassier

The purpose of this paper is to first empirically illustrate the construction of accounting for sustainable development tool (Bebbington and Gray, 2001) and, second, to…

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729

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to first empirically illustrate the construction of accounting for sustainable development tool (Bebbington and Gray, 2001) and, second, to discuss the operationalization of accounting for sustainable development (Bebbington and Larrinaga, 2014).

Design/methodology/approach

This research is based on a unique intervention-research approach, the main author having worked part-time for four years on the development of the tool for a business organization in the organic food sector.

Findings

This paper proposes an operationalization of sustainable development within an accounting tool and presents the results of the calculations. It also touches briefly upon the organization’s decision not to adopt the tool. The research concludes on the difficulty of operationalizing the economic, social and environmental capitals while proposing results that demonstrate “unsustainability”.

Practical implications

This research in operationalizing sustainable development paves the way for future potential use of the tool described, and future developments to address the model’s current shortcomings, notably in interconnecting social and economic capitals with natural capital.

Social implications

The non-adoption of the accounting tool raises questions about the acceptability among practitioners of visualizing the unsustainability of their own organization, in particular within “green” and “socially responsible” businesses. Moreover, it raises the question of growth and decoupling of the organization’s impact from its economic growth.

Originality/value

This paper makes three contributions to the current literature. First, it furthers the discussion on how to operationalize accounting for sustainable development, notably by trying to implement capital as a liability (a debt), placing its “maintenance” at the very heart of the design. Second, it offers an initial operationalization of “system thinking” within a tool to account for sustainable development. Finally, it contributes to the literature on “engagement research” through a four-year intervention-research project.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 11 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Jean Raar, Meropy Barut and Mohammad Istiaq Azim

The purpose of this paper is to re-kindle debate about finding a conceptual and pragmatic basis for accounting and accountability researchers and to incorporate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to re-kindle debate about finding a conceptual and pragmatic basis for accounting and accountability researchers and to incorporate biodiversity management into the internal practices, routines and communication of organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative interplay of theories, particularly structuration theory, applied to an interdisciplinary, communitarian and eco-centric perspective will be used to demonstrate the need for change: for researchers and practitioners to interact with other disciplines and adapt their professional, institutional and governance practices to incorporate biodiversity management and reporting within organizational structures.

Findings

Collective community action can be undertaken by aligning physical biodiversity and its setting with the interrelationship between external information structures, accountability and internal information structures, agent behaviour and the reporting of outcomes. This should assist in reducing the loss of species and richness triggered by unsound economic decision-making.

Practical implications

This is perhaps one of the few accounting studies which discuss theoretical frameworks for the integration of accounting/accountability systems and biological diversity information through a conceptual rethinking.

Social implications

This should assist in reducing the loss of species and richness triggered by unsound economic decision-making.

Originality/value

This paper re-opens the debate regarding the need for an alternative conceptual approach through which biodiversity management can be incorporated into the complexities of business interactions, and the social and natural systems, by using management accounting as a primary vehicle. This is perhaps one of the few accounting studies which discuss theoretical frameworks for the integration of accounting/accountability systems and biological diversity information through a conceptual rethinking.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Timo Arvid Kaski, Pia Hautamaki, Ellen Bolman Pullins and Heidi Kock

The purpose of this paper to explore the value creation expectations of salespeople and buyers for initial sales meetings and to investigate how such expectations align.

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2392

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper to explore the value creation expectations of salespeople and buyers for initial sales meetings and to investigate how such expectations align.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors applied expectancy disconfirmation theory and conducted a qualitative study among 12 B2B service salespeople and 12 buyers. The data includes 46 in-depth interviews collected during 2 separate interview rounds.

Findings

The authors discovered that buyers’ and sellers’ expectations differ and that buyers’ expectations are not reasonably satisfied. Buyers expect more business acumen, innovativeness, future orientation, long-term relationships and responsiveness to their specific situation from sellers. As salespeople´s salespeople´s expectations to create value for customers primarily stem from the solutions they sell as well as from their personal skills and behavior, there is need for sellers to focus on the gaps indicated in this study.

Research limitations/implications

The paper introduces expectancy disconfirmation theory to the B2B buyer-seller literature.

Practical implications

Identifying where expectations are being met and where they are being negatively disconfirmed can assist in hiring and training salespeople who are better able to meet, or exceed, buyer expectations.

Originality/value

The authors believe that these findings can benefit sales organizations in how they create value with new customers and how salespeople can align their actions with customers more effectively.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 13 January 2020

Silvia Ayuso, Pablo Sánchez, José Luis Retolaza and Mònica Figueras-Maz

This paper aims to explore how to quantify the social value generated by higher education from a social accounting perspective. The proposed approach is integrated social…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how to quantify the social value generated by higher education from a social accounting perspective. The proposed approach is integrated social value (ISV) analysis, a social accounting model that considers both the economic value and the social value created by an organisation for its stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

The ISV analysis has been applied to Pompeu Fabra University, following a participatory action research process with representatives of the university and its stakeholders.

Findings

The final ISV includes not only the social value created through the university’s economic activity – captured by economic and financial accounting indicators – but also the specific social value created for the different stakeholders by means of non-market relationships, which were monetised through the use of indicators and financial proxies.

Research limitations/implications

Like other social accounting methodologies, ISV analysis suffers from some limitations regarding data availability and economic pricing, that partly will be resolved with maturation of the methodology and increasing standardisation.

Practical implications

By using appropriate proxies, the non-market value of the university can be monetised and integrated with university’s market value. The social value results become a valuable tool for developing useful indicators for internal management and external communication.

Social implications

The process of measuring the social value created by universities provides a way to meet the rising demands for greater accountability and transparency and facilitates engagement with stakeholders on how these institutions are contributing to a sustainable society.

Originality/value

ISV is a recently proposed social accounting model that combines an organisation’s economic and social results into a single concept of value creation and thus contributes to advance the field of social accounting.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 25 June 2021

Silvia Ayuso, Xavier Carbonell and Laia Serradell

The purpose of this paper is to assess higher education institutions’ (HEIs) social sustainability by applying Integrated Social Value (ISV) analysis to eight universities…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess higher education institutions’ (HEIs) social sustainability by applying Integrated Social Value (ISV) analysis to eight universities belonging to the Catalan Association of Public Universities in Spain.

Design/methodology/approach

ISV analysis is a social accounting methodology that considers both the economic value and the social value created for all the organisation’s stakeholders through a participatory and systematic process.

Findings

The authors have shown that ISV analysis can be effective to assess the impacts on social sustainability of HEIs. The monetised results facilitate understanding about the valued impacts and allow integration with the universities’ financial data.

Research limitations/implications

The research advances the under-researched topic of social sustainability assessment in higher education.

Practical implications

Quantifying universities’ social impacts in monetary terms may help to transform conventional financial accounting and improve HEIs’ internal strategy and management according to sustainability principles.

Social implications

The process of measuring the social value created by universities provides a way to meet the rising demands for greater accountability and transparency and facilitates engagement with stakeholders on how these institutions are contributing to sustainable development.

Originality/value

ISV analysis represents an innovative approach to assess how HEIs create benefits for its internal and external stakeholders and contribute to solutions to social challenges.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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