Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Business Administration

Advisor

Bob Miller

Abstract

The performance metrics embedded in sustainability management control systems (SMCS) provide organizational leaders the ability to affect the implementation and continual improvement of sustainability strategies. Leaders in oil sands companies lacking adequate information on the efficacy of the sustainability performance metrics and their use to enhance their SMCS could be at a competitive disadvantage. Guided by stakeholder theory, the purpose of this single case study was to explore strategies Alberta-based oil sands company leaders use for critical planning, developing, and implementing SMCS performance metrics. The target population comprised of 20 oil sands company leaders from an Alberta, Canada, organization who had experience with sustainability and SMCS performance metrics. Data collection occurred through face-to-face, semistructured interviews. Participant observation and document review were secondary data sources. Data were open coded and organized into categories with supporting software to identify patterns and prevalent themes. Member checking was employed to validate themes and strengthened the trustworthiness of interpretations. Findings suggested the importance of organization strategy and leadership, SMCS maturity development, stakeholder influence, management review, and performance metric definition and data. These key factors could assist oil sands company leaders to influence social change by assuring effective and efficient management control to improve sustainability performance and sustainability strategy integration, reduce operational risk to physical assets, and enhance employee health and safety.