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Multinational enterprises and the Sustainable Development Goals: An institutional approach to corporate engagement

Published on Dec 1, 2018
· DOI :10.1057/s42214-018-0008-x
Jan Anton van Zanten1
Estimated H-index: 1
(EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam),
Rob van Tulder19
Estimated H-index: 19
(EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam)
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Abstract
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be achieved without the contributions of multinational enterprises (MNEs). However, extant international business research hardly covers the private sector’s role in achieving international policy goals. This article conceptualises the SDGs as a goal-based institution. Building on institutional theory, it develops propositions that help explain MNEs’ engagement with SDGs. Exploratory survey results from 81 European and North American Financial Times Global 500 companies indicate that MNEs engage more with SDG targets that are actionable within their (value chain) operations than those outside of it, and more with SDG targets that “avoid harm” than those that “do good”. Differences in SDG engagement based on MNEs’ home- and host-countries and their industrial sectors are also explored. We draw policy conclusions for a more pro-active involvement of MNEs in sustainable development, and we define avenues for future international business research. In particular, cross-sector partnerships deserve further attention.
  • References (117)
  • Citations (7)
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References117
Newest
#1A. Kolk (UvA: University of Amsterdam)H-Index: 52
#2Miguel Rivera-Santos (Babson College)H-Index: 13
Last.Carlos Rufín (Suffolk University)H-Index: 7
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Cited By7
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#1Masayoshi Ike (Swinburne University of Technology)H-Index: 2
#2Jerome D. Donovan (Swinburne University of Technology)H-Index: 6
Last.Eryadi K. Masli (Swinburne University of Technology)H-Index: 3
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#1Max Abrahms (NU: Northeastern University)H-Index: 13
#2Luis Alfonso Dau (NU: Northeastern University)H-Index: 9
Last.Elizabeth M. Moore (NU: Northeastern University)H-Index: 2
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#1John Luiz (University of Sussex)H-Index: 18
#2Brian Ganson (Stellenbosch University)H-Index: 2
Last.Achim Wennmann (HEI: Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies)H-Index: 5
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#1Shameen Prashantham (China Europe International Business School)H-Index: 17
#2Julian Birkinshaw (LBS: London Business School)H-Index: 52
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