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A stakeholder perspective on process improvement behaviours: delivering the triple bottom line in SMEs

Matthews, Rupert L., Tse, Ying Kei ORCID:, O'Meara Wallis, Matthew and Marzec, Peter E. 2019. A stakeholder perspective on process improvement behaviours: delivering the triple bottom line in SMEs. Production Planning and Control 30 (5-6) , pp. 437-447. 10.1080/09537287.2018.1501809

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The primary focus of operations management is to add value through operational processes. Considerable attention has been given to using process improvement (PI) techniques to reduce costs and time, in order to develop a competitive advantage for the wider organization. However, this narrow definition of value at times overlooks the triple bottom line (TBL) which can result in a number of unintended consequences, specifically issues related to environmental and social measures of performance. To address this, a stakeholder theory lens will be used to analyze PI activities within the context of small and medium-sized enterprises. The TBL will be used to complement the stakeholder perspective, to interpret the benefits that are realized from PI activities. This article highlights both the direct benefits from PI as well as more indirect benefits realized by involving a selection of salient stakeholders in PI. It will show how a developed view of PI can provide an important mechanism for delivering improvements to a firm’s TBL. The work concludes by highlighting the contributions made to both PI practice and stakeholder theory, while acknowledging the need for more research on PI, both from a stakeholder perspective and how it impacts a firm’s TBL.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0953-7287
Date of Acceptance: 27 November 2017
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2022 09:58

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