Bridging social and economic sustainability

This research focuses on the possible relationship between the different pillars of sustainability, in particular the relationship between social and economic sustainability. This research is theory-developing as it is concerned with the ambiguity regarding sustainability concepts. This research is theory-testing as it tests the predominant views on sustainability. Specifically, to determine the relationship between social sustainability and economic sustainability this research establishes social sustainability dimensions, the impact on economic sustainability is then tested through interviews and analysed based on transcript coding. 

This research found definitions for sustainability in business organisations.The adopted definition of social sustainability in this research is: "Socially sustainable companies add value to the communities within which they operate by increasing the human capital of individual partners as well as furthering the societal capital of these communities (Dyllick and Hockerts, 2002)." Additionally, this research found ten works guiding business organisations in their sustainability endeavours. The works guiding the sustainability endeavours in the business organisation consist of indicator frameworks, governmental and European works, international standards and guidelines, and SRI indexes. Finally, this research found six social sustainability dimensions in ethical behaviour, fair work and employee development, diversity and inclusivity, health and safety, community cohesion, and product responsibility.

The study population in this research was evaluated to determine the perceived impact of the six social sustainability dimensions on economic sustainability. The dimension of health and safety was unanimously found to impact economic sustainability. The other social sustainability dimensions were predominantly found impactful. The social sustainability dimension of ethical behaviour is considered a precondition to exist. Finally, attracting, retaining, and developing the workforce is contemporaneously relevant.

It can be concluded that all six social sustainability dimensions are recognised and to a degree perceived as impactful on economic sustainability. To further substantiate the exact impact of social sustainability on economic sustainability business organizations must prioritize conceiving KPIs. The establishment of KPIs allows for guided, transparent, and measurable reporting on a variety .of social sustainability endeavours. 

Keywords: social-economic sustainability, triple bottom line, sustainability dimensions, sustainability elements, sustainability impact, sustainability valuation</div

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