The Link between Performance and Reporting

How does the abstract become concrete?

The model for implementing sustainability depicts the interconnectedness among three aspects:

  • what an entity believes (its values);
  • what an entity does (its performance); and
  • what stakeholders demand and expect.

For example, a corporation (or government, individual, or agency) develops its vision and mission from its beliefs and principles, which are played out through its performance. The corporation’s performance as well as its beliefs must be line with its stakeholders’ demands and expectations (as well as the broader society) or the corporation will not be considered sustainable. A corporation must interpret sustainability in a way that is consistent with its operating context or conflicts and tensions will result.

– Source: Based on the works of Blau and Scott (1962); Zenisek (1979).

How does an entity ensure that the arrows between the ideology, performance, and stakeholders are strong and involve two-way communication?

– Source: Based on the works Blau and Scott (1962); Zenisek (1979).

    • The entity’s beliefs and related policies are linked to performance through a social management system (SMS) or environmental management system (EMS) with performance data feedback to evaluate periodically if beliefs are linked to performance.


    • Performance is reported to stakeholders through some form of accounting, such as a sustainability report with feedback from stakeholders (society) as to areas for performance improvement.


  • Stakeholders’ (society’s) demands and expectations are voiced through membership both by the entity and its stakeholders so the entity can stay connected to society’s demands and expectations.