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Past Issue • Jul-Sep 2013

The Benefits of Sustainable Practices: A Study of Brazilian Multinationals

Since the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), commonly known as the Brundtland Commission, coined the term “sustainable development” in 1987, the sustainability agenda has been widely debated in very different arenas. From a strategic management point of view, a key underlying question is how firms’ social and environmental practices relate to their economic performance, and to what extent adopting sustainability principles leads to the development of competitive advantage. This paper aims to discuss the role of stakeholder management and sustainability practices in the process of internationalisation.

Managing stakeholders abroad is critical to the success of multinational corporations (MNCs), and this has been considered especially true when MNCs establish themselves in countries with different regulator y frameworks, institutional environments and socio-cultural contexts. Effective stakeholder management contributes to risk minimisation and can also give MNCs access to unique opportunities, for example, by developing new products to meet specific demands of local consumers or by having access to strategic resources. While most studies related to sustainability have highlighted the importance of stakeholder management for MNCs from Europe, United States and Japan, we still lack clarity on whether the issue of stakeholder management is equally relevant to MNCs from emerging economies.

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