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Through Thick and Thin? How Self-determination Drives the Corporate Sustainability Initiatives of Multinational Subsidiaries

Kalim Shah and Surendra Arjoon

Business Strategy and the Environment, 2015, vol. 24, issue 6, 565-582

Abstract: Multinational corporation (MNC) subsidiaries implement corporate sustainability initiatives (CSIs) if they are self-determined to do so (based on intrinsic motivation) or when urged on by circumstances and pressures (based on extrinsic motivation). Such differences in self-determination are derived from underlying corporate psychological needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness, and are manifested in the governance choices of making, allying or buying CSIs. In this study of oil and gas MNC subsidiaries in the developing country context of Trinidad and Tobago, four distinct types of firm are identified based on their levels of self-determination and corporate governance tendencies. These groups are identified as trail blazers, marching soldiers, sharp shooters and fire fighters, and their distinctive characteristics are described. These findings are useful to corporate sustainability strategists seeking to select, design and implement CSIs that satisfy MNC headquarter directives but balance subsidiary objectives of maintaining good relations and access to operate in developing countries. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment

Date: 2015
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