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Implementing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in international business

Ivan Montiel (), Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra (), Junghoon Park (), Raquel Antolín-López () and Bryan W. Husted ()
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Ivan Montiel: The City University of New York
Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra: Northeastern University
Junghoon Park: The City University of New York
Raquel Antolín-López: University of Almeria
Bryan W. Husted: Tecnológico de Monterrey

Journal of International Business Studies, 2021, vol. 52, issue 5, No 11, 999-1030

Abstract: Abstract Building on the concept of externalities, we propose an explanation of how multinationals can contribute to the enactment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as part of their ordinary investments. First, we suggest grouping the 17 Sustainable Development Goals into six categories based on whether they increase positive externalities – knowledge, wealth, or health – or reduce negative externalities – the overuse of natural resources, harm to social cohesion, or overconsumption. Second, we propose placing these categories within an extended value chain to facilitate their implementation. Third, we argue that multinationals’ internal investments in host-country subsidiaries to improve their competitiveness contribute to addressing externalities in host-country communities, while external investments in host communities to solve underdevelopment generate competitiveness externalities on host-country subsidiaries.

Keywords: externalities; international business; multinationals; grand challenges; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); sustainability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1057/s41267-021-00445-y

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