The events that are occurring must be carefully observed in order to pinpoint the road to recovery and sustainable development.
Taking positive action in the face of crises. No small goal, then. Especially when confronted with situations that push us “to the limit”, such as that generated by the current Covid-19 pandemic. “Dalla crisi allo sviluppo sostenibile. Il ruolo dei sistemi di misurazione e controllo” (“From crisis to sustainable development. The role of measurement and control systems”), the article by Luciano Marchi which appeared in one of the latest issues of the journal Management Control, has its own goal: to provide a series of useful indications to enable us to interpret the economic impact of the current crisis caused by the pandemic (and similar crises that may arise in the future), along with information on the conditions required in order to enable sustainable development. In other words, what we can do to transform a desperate situation into one that lays the foundations for the recovery of development.
Marchi bases his arguments on a single observation: that it is necessary to move from the assessment of the crisis to the generation of economic value and sustainability, which in turn requires a new approach to corporate governance, in order to interact with the social and environmental context, integrating both the risk management and performance management of each production organisation. In other words, we must all act in a coordinated manner, with our focus in the same direction.
In addition to all this, Marchi adds that the sustainability of growth can be strengthened and reinforced through the adoption of a new theory of value created for all stakeholders, including suppliers, customers, employees, the local territory and the social community, but also for the environment and the company itself. This, in short, serves as a guarantee of fair and balanced remuneration, as well as a sense of balance for companies, too.
But the reasoning at the heart of Marchi’s article does not stop here: he goes on to affirm that in order to ensure long-term economic equilibrium along with social, environmental and corporate sustainability, the role of measurement and control systems is fundamental. As such, a greater focus should be placed on integrated accounting and financial statement systems, and on a “systemic” reading of the indicators, as opposed to an overly precise analysis of these. We must also look to ensure adequate remuneration for the productive factors in the supply network, with a view to increasing the value created inside this network, and, finally, to a “culture of sustainability” that should be disseminated and applied to the planning, control and incentivisation systems for staff (integrating financial indicators with sustainability indicators), and not only to external reporting systems.
Luciano Marchi’s contribution to the debate on what we should expect from now on from social and economic systems is worth a close read.
Dalla crisi allo sviluppo sostenibile. Il ruolo dei sistemi di misurazione e controllo(“From crisis to sustainable development. The role of measurement and control systems”)
Franco Angeli, Management Control, 2020, dossier 3