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School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | International Business | 2012
Thesis number: 12883
Modeling the sustainability of corporate strategies - An assessment framework for multinational corporations
Author: Riikkinen, Rilana
Title: Modeling the sustainability of corporate strategies - An assessment framework for multinational corporations
Year: 2012  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; strategia; strategy; yhteiskuntavastuu; corporate responsibility; kestävä kehitys; sustainable development; arviointi; evaluation
Pages: 101
Key terms: Sustainability, corporate responsibility, multinational corporation, assessment method,: Kestävä kehitys, yritysvastuu, monikansallinen yritys, arviointimenetelmä
This thesis presents a model for the environmental and social sustainability assessment of multinational corporations’ (MNC) corporate strategies. In order to develop this, a variety of sustainability and MNC literature are reviewed followed by case studies, and concluded by a meta-analysis.

Although corporate responsibility and sustainability are widely discussed, means for assessing and comparing the respective engagement appear to cover only parts of corporate performance. Thus, although different metrics assess a variety of aspects pertaining to the sustainability of corporate performance are available; particularly MNC-specific aspects appear to be out of the scope. Therefore, location, corporate-structure and the respective industry are further considered in this study.

The literature review presents the most significant developments in sustainability and corporate responsibility as well as MNCs. Additionally a variety of assessment methods and metrics are identified in the course of this review. In conclusion of the chapter a preliminary model evolves from a bottom-up review of various assessment means for different business units.

Thereafter, the empirical analysis addresses those determinants and factors that cause the adoption and integration of corporate responsibility to the corporate strategy. Interviews with representatives of four MNCs as well as their secondarily available information contribute to this. These MNCs have been internationally acknowledged for their sustainable performance. Thereafter, a meta-analysis that reviews 36 applicable studies identifies further relationships and weights for the development of a final model.

This study is limited through the novelty of the research field that limits the number of published studies. Moreover, the review of 36 studies in the meta-analysis does not guarantee that all valid research has been identified. Additionally, due to the topical nature of this research, there may be significant changes and developments in the means for assessing sustainability.

Nonetheless, this study considers all relevant aspects pertaining to sustainability and MNCs and uses a triangulation method to reach its goal. Based on this, a model that can be easily applied to an MNC is developed. As the model utilizes information that is externally obtainable information, it allows companies to determine their competitive positioning through application of the model.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.