Performance measurement: Incorporating sustainability practices in a performance measurement structure : A qualitative case study of Atlas Copco
In order to fulfill stakeholder requirements whilst aspiring for long term competitiveness, industrial firms are aiming for increased incorporation of sustainability practices in their operations, set up by lean practices. At the same time, there is a potential inconsistency when working in accordance to lean practices whilst applying a sustainable approach, given e.g. the end-user focus of lean and post-consumption focus of sustainability (Machado et al., 2014). With performance measurement being the tool for evaluating the impact of sustainability practices, the purpose of this study is to increase the knowledge of performance measurement for incorporating sustainable practices in a lean production organization.
With the intention of fulfilling the objective, the research is based on empirical evidence gained through a single case study of a leading product company in the industrial tools and equipment industry. The case study comprised multiple sources of data collection methods (e.g. interviews and observations), for identifying variables and conflicting interests among priorities, processes and people.
It was found that the performance measurement structure does not support the incorporation of sustainable practices in operations in some of the dimensions studied due to i) misalignment between organizational placement of the measure and the power of the resources, ii) supplier feedback neglecting and iii) limited maturity level regarding the differences between sustainability and lean practices.
The contribution to research and practitioners accentuates that while there are differences between lean and sustainability practices in some performance dimensions, some of the differences have limited impact on the performance measurement level, but more on a performance management level given their strategic prominence.
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