Title: Patterns of sustainability values among subsidiaries

Authors: Morten Rask; Jakob Lauring

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, Aarhus University, Haslegaardsvej 10, DK-8210 Aarhus V, Denmark. ' Department of Business Administration, Aarhus University, Haslegaardsvej 10, DK-8210 Aarhus V, Denmark

Abstract: The increasing trend of globalisation and environmental challenges makes the understanding of sustainability issues in international business a growing topic throughout the world. This study illustrates the challenge of an organisation as it becomes larger and more diverse to keep the core values alive. We focused on a multinational corporation with more than 30 years' experience with sustainability issues. It is one of the world's top manufacturers of renewable energy equipment. We found a very high diversity in sustainability perceptions. This exploratory study is based on a broad sample within one company, and it created new empirical insights enhancing the understanding of the sustainability theme in international business by creating a framework for describing patterns of sustainability understandings among international business units. This framework is useable by management to describe, explore and trigger new ways of thinking and to facilitate corporate culture change through coordination and configuration of the system of values and beliefs regarding sustainability among employees in the company.

Keywords: sustainability; multinational corporations; MNCs; patterns; values; MNC subsidiaries; international business; sustainable development; globalisation; environmental impact; renewable energy equipment; equipment manufacturing; culture change; organisational culture.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSM.2012.049008

International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management, 2012 Vol.3 No.3, pp.193 - 204

Published online: 09 Sep 2012 *

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