To read this content please select one of the options below:

Addressing the Complexities in Implementing SDGs in International Business

Simone Carmine (University of Padova, Italy)
Valentina De Marchi (University of Padova, Italy)

International Business and Sustainable Development Goals

ISBN: 978-1-83753-505-7, eISBN: 978-1-83753-504-0

Publication date: 31 July 2023


A number of multinational corporations are striving to implement the sustainable development goals (SDGs) framework, aiming at addressing social, environmental, and economic goals. However, integrating the three aspects of sustainability across the 17 goals is very complex; multiple conflicts and tensions might arise when aiming at addressing such diverse elements at once, which in turn might prevent firms to effectively reach sustainability outcomes. Understanding the nature of such tensions and how to overcome them is therefore a key goal to ensure achieving the SDGs effectively. Given their very nature, multinational corporations are even more likely to experience such tensions on a daily basis than other firms – current international business (IB) literature, however, have overlooked the study of how sustainability-related tensions are experienced and overcome by multinationals. With the aim to address this gap, the authors propose how IB literature can be informed by paradox theory, which in recent years has become an established lens through which to investigate and theorize how sustainability tensions, conflicts, and contradictions are experienced and managed by multinationals. Accordingly, this chapter aims to advance the IB literature by suggesting how paradox theory can be adapted as a theoretical lens to examine the SDGs-related tensions present in multinational enterprises (MNEs) in order to foster the understanding of how multinational corporations address the current major challenges that undermine societal sustainability and how they can act to support a transition to a more sustainable economy.



Carmine, S. and De Marchi, V. (2023), "Addressing the Complexities in Implementing SDGs in International Business", van Tulder, R., Giuliani, E. and Álvarez, I. (Ed.) International Business and Sustainable Development Goals (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 17), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 101-110.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 Simone Carmine and Valentina De Marchi