Original Research

Leveraging effects of triple bottom lines business model on the building and construction small and medium-sized enterprises’ market performance

Boniface Okanga, Darelle Groenewald
Acta Commercii | Vol 17, No 1 | a457 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v17i1.457 | © 2017 Boniface Okanga, Darelle Groenewald | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2016 | Published: 30 June 2017

About the author(s)

Boniface Okanga, Department of Business Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Darelle Groenewald, Department of Business Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: Embracement of triple bottom line reporting as a driver of a firm’s sustainability is a paradox puzzling most contemporary business executives.
Research purpose: The purpose of this research is to examine how effective alignment of the triple bottom line business model with building and construction operational activities leverages effective market performance of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the building and construction industry, so as to identify major paradoxes and the remedial business model that can be suggested.
Research design, approach and method: The study uses interpretivist research paradigm and exploratory qualitative research method to explore the opinions and perceptions of 30 judgementally drawn participants comprising managers and supervisors from 30 building and construction SMEs in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. Thematic analysis was used in the evaluation and interpretation of the interview data collected using a semi-structured interview guide.
Main findings: A seemingly greater preponderance to pursue profitability at the expense of people and planet bottom lines was found to be common among most of the SMEs during the initial stages of their establishments and growth because of the need to attain the usually essential initial financial sustainability. Even though on attaining financial sustainability, some of the SMEs strive to achieve all the three bottom lines, most of the undertaken initiatives are often only aimed at improving compliance with relevant building and construction legislations.
Managerial implications: The study suggests a modified triple bottom line business model that the SMEs in the building and construction industry can replicate to effectively apply triple bottom line reporting as an edifier for effective market performance.
Contributions: The study offers a new theory for measuring the leveraging effects of the triple bottom line business model on the building and construction SMEs’ effective market performance.

Keywords

Building and Construction Industry; Performance; SMEs; Triple Bottom-lines’ Business Model

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