Multinational enterprises and the Sustainable Development Goals: An institutional approach to corporate engagement
Jan Anton van Zanten () and
Rob van Tulder
Additional contact information
Jan Anton van Zanten: Erasmus University
Rob van Tulder: Erasmus University
Journal of International Business Policy, 2018, vol. 1, issue 3, 208-233
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.
Keywords: corporate sustainability; sustainable development; Sustainable Development Goals; institutional theory; cross-sector partnerships; corporate social responsibility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1057/s42214-018-0008-x Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pal:joibpo:v:1:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1057_s42214-018-0008-x
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of International Business Policy is currently edited by Sarianna Lundan, Ari Van Assche and Anne Hoekman
More articles in Journal of International Business Policy from Palgrave Macmillan
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().