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UNGC principles and SDGs: perception and business implementation

Marina Mattera (Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Carmen Alba Ruiz-Morales (Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 27 July 2020

Issue publication date: 8 March 2021



The purpose of this study is to analyze the perception of CSR policies and the implementation of UNGC management model in firms operating at a national and an international level. Specifically, in the framework of stakeholder theory, this work explores the relation between internationalization and the usage of UNGC management model in the design and implementation of successful CSR strategies. By doing so, new insights on CSR management to gain competitive advantage are provided.


The present study analyzes impact of internationalization in their sustainability performance, as well as the relationship between the usage of the UNGC management model and the firm's sustainability performance. To achieve this goal, the Spanish firms subscribing to the UNGC were evaluated following the tenth anniversary of the Spanish UNGC Chapter's inauguration. Both internationalized companies and companies only operating at a national level were evaluated, first through a survey, followed by a focus group and lastly a qualitative analysis of their CSR performance reports.


Findings show that perception of CSR performance and relevance allocated to CSR matters is consistent with the firms' practices. However, internationalization does not hold a relation with the companies' performance in sustainability matters as expected due to a series of factors. Similarly, the implementation of the UNGC management model does not correlate to the firm's perception and performance. The virtuous cycle can be created by honoring the social contract, yet the tools and management models shall be further tailored to ensure an effective win-win situation.


This study evaluates a company's perception and strategic involvement in sustainability, considering the UNGC 10 principles and SDG. Specifically, the role of internationalization and usage of the UNGC management model are evaluated. Consequently, researchers studying business strategy can incorporate the findings in strategic planning. Practitioners can learn the implications of CSR strategic planning using the UNGC management model and the limitations of this tool, to ensure sustainable growth of their firms. Moreover, work illustrates corporate results in sustainability matters after the first decade of the UNGC management model implementation in a specific UNGC Chapter.



Mattera, M. and Alba Ruiz-Morales, C. (2021), "UNGC principles and SDGs: perception and business implementation", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 39 No. 2, pp. 249-264.



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