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Governance for corporate sustainability: National and global governance influencing TNCs' sustainability management in Germany, the US and India

  • This thesis aims at contributing to the better understanding of the roles of international and domestic institutional and governance patterns for corporate sustainability practices. By combining governance and new institutionalism approaches it bridges the gap between the close look at specific corporate sustainability (CS) policies and the broader view on institutional frameworks. The qualitative comparative approach aims to provide deeper insights on the implementation of different governance schemes by transnational corporations ((TNC). Finally, the conclusions might allow for the development of a) recommendations for the balancing of TNCs' CS management between global and domestic requirements, and b) policy recommendations in the field of CS governance. The overarching research question is as follows: What role do national governance patterns play in comparison to global governance practices in shaping the corporate sustainability (CS) management of transnational corporations (TNCs)? In order to further operationalize this research objective, it is structured into three subquestions: (1) What are relevant institutional factors and global governance patterns for corporate sustainability/ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? (2) What are relevant institutional factors and national governance patterns for corporate sustainability/CSR in Germany, the US, and India? (3) How do these national and global governance patterns influence TNCs' CS management? The first two questions aim at tracing the institutional framework and governance patterns at both national and international levels by identifying norms, stakeholder expectations, prevalent modes of governance and actors involved in governance processes. On this basis, the third question targets TNCs' reaction to internationally varying governance patterns. Here, it is of main interest how relevant governance instruments are perceived by business actors and to which extent their sustainability management at the companies' headquarters and subsidiaries reflect global and national institutional and governance patterns. In order to answer these questions, literature research and a structured qualitative analysis have been conducted. The concepts of CS and CSR build the basis to analyze how TNCs and their subsidiaries manage their social and ecological corporate responsibilities. Against this conceptual background, the research question is approached empirically by the means of an international comparison. Three institutionally highly diverse countries were chosen: Germany, India and the US. India, an emerging market economy, was included to increase the diversity of the sample and to close the research gap indicated above. In order to identify the differences in governance for CS in these three countries, document analyses and 42 guideline-based interviews with experts from governments, NGOs, trade unions and trade associations were carried out. At the same time, global governance instruments for corporate sustainability – which are already relatively well researched - were identified by analyzing the relevant secondary literature. In a second step, in order to explore how TNCs strategically deal with the multitude of different governance approaches at their headquarters and subsidiaries, three case studies of Germany-headquartered transnational corporations in the chemical and engineering industries (Siemens, BASF and Bayer) have been conducted.

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Author:Isabella Wedl
URL: https://pub-data.leuphana.de/frontdoor/index/index/docId/813
Title Additional (German):Governance for corporate sustainability: Der Einfluss nationaler und globaler Governance auf das Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement transnationaler Unternehmen in Deutschland, Indien und den USA
Advisor:Harald Heinrichs (Prof. Dr.)
Referee:Harald Heinrichs (Prof. Dr.), Martin Müller (Prof. Dr.)
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Year of Completion:2017
Date of Publication (online):2017/09/18
Publishing Institution:Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Universitätsbibliothek der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Granting Institution:Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Date of final exam:2017/05/04
Release Date:2017/09/18
GND Keyword:Nachhaltigkeit; Management; Unternehmen; Neoinstitutionalismus; Internationaler Vergleich; Deutschland; Vereinigte Staaten; Indien
Institutes:Fakultät Nachhaltigkeit
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 333.7 Natürliche Ressourcen, Energie und Umwelt
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht