Publication Details

Huang, K., Pepper, M. & Bowrey, G. (2011). Implementing a sustainability balanced scorecard 'dashboard' approach to assess organisational legitimacy. 10th CSEAR Australasian Conference (pp. 1-31). Launceston Tasmania: University of Tasmania.


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify and determine the contributing factors which influence the contents of a firm‟s sustainability reporting through combined social and environmental accounting and management perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper analyzes the disclosed sustainability indicators of a major Australian financial institution, Westpac, through the application of the research method content analysis. The theoretical framework will be shaped by the consideration of legitimacy theory and the Balanced Scorecard approach.

Findings: The results indicate that the four perspectives of a traditional Balanced Scorecard are related to the main sources of influential inputs to Westpac‟s sustainability reporting – existing frameworks, stakeholder engagement mechanism, employee involvement and traditional shareholders‟ financial information needs. It also reinforced the argument that the focus of organisational legitimacy is a key resource of organisation survival.

Originality/value: This research contributes to the literature on social and environmental disclosures including the research of Do, Tilt and Tilling (2007) and Baxter, Chua and Strong (2010) which was based on the sustainability management and reporting of Westpac.