African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4137

Full Length Research Paper

Managing sustainability with strategic planning tools: A longitudinal analysis of multiple case studies

Elisa Truant
  • Elisa Truant
  • Department of Management, University of Turin, Italy.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 17 February 2017
  •  Accepted: 21 March 2017
  •  Published: 28 April 2017


Over the last few years, laws concerning the waste sector have changed considerably. The European and national laws apply strict rules to companies in order to protect the environment and quality of life. The issue of sustainability is receiving increasing attention, and many organizations have implemented environmental and social management systems in order to manage and control sustainability-related issues. This paper examines whether sustainability-oriented goals have been identified and managed through appropriate strategic planning tools in several Italian state-owned waste companies. This question is examined using a business model highlighting the cause-and-effect relations among key success variables, according to social and environmental patterns. The empirical analysis uses multiple case studies conducted through interviews with managers holding key positions within organizations and an investigation of internal documents. The results show a high diffusion of social and environmental goals although their management through advanced managerial systems is still limited. This work has important theoretical and practical implications because it extends the existing literature on sustainability and strategic planning tools in public utility companies and provides a guide for further reflections on this topic.

Key words: Waste sector, public utility, sustainability, strategic planning tool, strategy map