Implementing Sustainability : An Exploratory Study of the Controller’s Possibilities to Incorporate Sustainability within the Company’s Controlling Process
The existing research around sustainability has traditionally had a reporting focus with less attention towards the controlling of a company. As more research has directed its attention towards the controlling perspective, the human interaction has not been substantially considered. In order to increase the understanding around sustainability implementation the purpose of this study is to investigate how controllers develop management control systems in order to incorporate sustainability within the company’s controlling process. By conducting an exploratory study with interviews of seven controllers with experience from sustainability implementation, rich empirical data is collected and analysed. The study is able to show how sustainability is being implemented through a basis of three fundamental parts: the person, the package and the process. The study has several findings; controllers try to deal with sustainability proactively, controllers implement sustainability differently depending on their background and sustainability is easier implemented if being treated like regular data. The study is contributing both practically as well as academically as it is able to identify and exemplify how Swedish controllers are implementing sustainability within the controlling process.
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