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Rob van Tulder is Professor of International Business-Society Management at the Rotterdam School of Management/Erasmus University Rotterdam. He holds a PhD degree (cum laude) in social sciences from the University of Amsterdam. He has been visiting professor at a number of universities and consultant to international organisations (such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union), multinational enterprises, non-governmental organisations and ministries around the world. He is co-founder of the department of Business-Society Management, one of the leading departments in the world studying and teaching about the contribution of business and society. He founded the SCOPE databank project, which in collaboration with UNCTAD compiles the listings of the world's largest multinational enterprises from developed and developing countries. Every year this list is published and referred as ‘UNCTAD/Erasmus University databank’. Dr. van Tulder is co-founder of the Expert Centre on Sustainable Business and Development Cooperation and rotating chair of the Department of Business-Society Management. Rob is presently also academic director of the Partnerships Resource Centre (http://www.partnershipsresourcecentre.org), which studies the cross-sector partnerships between firms, NGOs and government for sustainable development. The Resource Centre itself is organised as a partnership among business schools, multinational enterprises, governments and NGOs.
This chapter presents an exploratory study aiming at understanding how the largest multinational enterprises (MNEs) engage small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in…
This chapter presents an exploratory study aiming at understanding how the largest multinational enterprises (MNEs) engage small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their (inclusive) business strategies, either as suppliers, distributors, customers, innovators or as a target of their (Corporate Social Responsibility) CSR policies.
We explore the implicit or explicit strategies of 100 largest companies in the world towards SMEs as mentioned in their annual and CSR reports. This approach takes in particular stock of the ‘narratives’ developed by MNEs as an expression of their intended and (perceived) realised strategies.
The analysis of company statements show a country of origin effect in that European firms are clearly amongst the leaders in experimenting with inclusive business strategies that include SMEs. However, their number still remains limited. Sectors like banking and retail have developed the most interesting examples that are also spread over a large number of functions.
Originality and value
Although the results are not yet very radical, the developed taxonomy for the different types of approaches in which MNEs take a more or less active position towards SMES provides material for further studies. It can be applied in studying leading (better-practice) cases in order to help policy makers and business strategists to develop better business models for inclusive growth.
Purpose – This chapter considers the question whether firms can contribute to poverty alleviation through engaging in ‘inclusive business’, thereby linking the macro…
Purpose – This chapter considers the question whether firms can contribute to poverty alleviation through engaging in ‘inclusive business’, thereby linking the macro concept of ‘inclusive growth’ to the micro concept of ‘inclusive business’. A key element in this approach is how to take so-called cross-sector partnerships into account. Partnerships are one way of bundling non-market resources in the internationalisation strategies of multinational enterprises (MNEs).
Design/methodology/approach – This chapter is largely exploratory and primarily aimed at validating a general taxonomy of inclusive business. The creation of a multi-level taxonomy of business models of MNEs towards inclusive business takes into account the role of cross-sector partnership portfolios. The taxonomy makes it possible to come to a first comparison of the strategies of MNEs across national and cultural boundaries, distinguish some patterns and discuss determinants of strategies in which partnerships play a role in the inclusive growth strategies of MNEs.
Findings – A first application of this taxonomy on the business and partnership models adopted by the first 100 Global Fortune companies shows that in general firms still adopt very reactive strategies when integrating inclusive business strategies in their cross-sector partnership portfolios.
Originality/value of chapter – This chapter takes a company-specific level of analysis for the relationship between Foreign Direct Investment and development, which is habitually researched at the macro level of analysis. It documents business models as well as the related cross-sector partnerships. Cross-sector partnership portfolios of companies are not yet researched at any systematic level. They form the meso-level link between micro-level business models and macro-level national development strategies.