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Bulls and bears: inscribing SOEs’ roles into the global climate agenda

Olga Garanina (Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg State University, St Petersburg, Russian Federation)
Daria Klishevich (Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg State University, St Petersburg, Russian Federation)
Andrei Panibratov (Research Center, Léonard de Vinci Pôle Universitaire, Paris La Défense, France)

Critical Perspectives on International Business

ISSN: 1742-2043

Article publication date: 23 February 2024

Issue publication date: 30 April 2024




This study aims to explore when and under what conditions state-owned enterprises (SOEs) become important players in orchestrating the global climate action and what their roles are as domestic or international (de)carbonizers.


This is a conceptual paper that aims to advance understanding of the role of SOEs in addressing the global climate challenge. The authors build on the institutional theory to capture the importance of home-country climate regulation mechanisms and advance knowledge on the internationalization of SOEs. The authors review the literature on the institutional boundaries that shape the environmental activities of firms at home and abroad and develop the argument on the influence of home country institutions and internationalization on the role of SOEs in the global climate agenda.


In this study, the authors elaborate the SOEs’ climate action matrix and offer three propositions based on the fact that SOEs’ environmental strategies are driven by the interests of the state as owner and the scope of SOEs’ internationalization. First, the authors propose that the level of home country’s climate policy ambition explains SOEs’ stance on climate action. Second, scope of internationalization explains SOEs’ stance on climate action. Third, the progressive/increasing involvement of SOEs in climate action enhances the country’s climate stance.


The authors incorporate the climate argument into international business (IB) studies of SOEs’ internationalization, a novel approach that helps us to advance the knowledge on the complex issue of corporate climate action. The authors argue for a dynamic and reciprocal relationship between home/host countries and SOEs’ climate engagement. In doing this, the authors contribute to the IB research and policy agenda by exploring SOEs’ engagement in advancing the global climate agenda.



Garanina, O., Klishevich, D. and Panibratov, A. (2024), "Bulls and bears: inscribing SOEs’ roles into the global climate agenda", Critical Perspectives on International Business, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 272-294.



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