Measuring Business Impacts on Well-being: A Goal Oriented Approach

M. Delmas, R. Durand

While there is increasing interest in evaluating the impact of business on well-being, there is not yet a standardized approach to measure this impact. Governmental organizations and the private sector are offering different approaches to measure well-being. As a result of the lack of standardization, the performance of businesses in areas of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Sustainability, as well as other dimensions of well-being, remain hard to examine and learn from, and many business leaders are still trying to figure out what this means for their companies. The consequence is that most firms are still far from being engaged with measuring well-being. In this paper, we identify the two main logics that prevail in the frameworks proposed to measure the business impact on well-being, and stress their convergent vision but also important differences. Drawing on the academic literature on goal settings, we propose a dual approach to enhance convergence between states’ policies regarding SDGs and firms’ strategies associated with ESGs and well-being indicators. This approach can help firms develop material well-being goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely (smart). We emphasize that this approach need to be guided and supported by both intergovernmental organizations, rating experts and the research community.

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