A Culturally Sensitive Approach to Sustainable Business in Emerging Markets : How to Manage the Challenges and Opportunities in View of the Global Economic Crisis?
The global economic crisis has heightened the sensitivity around the race to the bottom in environmental, social and human (organizational) standards, as the industrial market firms strive to gain competitiveness through increased downsizing and offshoring of their operations to the emerging markets where the institutional regulation of these standards is lower. To deal with these stewardship challenges, the leading multinational corporations are seeking opportunities to transmit technological and organizational solutions for sustainable business in the emerging markets. This paper reviews three generations of literature on sustainable business in relation to the emerging markets. The role of culture, as a direct factor as well as a moderating factor, in influencing the sustainability of technological and organizational solutions is investigated. A framework for measuring the role of culture is proposed, comprising of a model of sustainable development, a typology of culturally sensitive sustainable business behaviors in terms of technological and organizational solutions, and a measure of the sustainable development index and its four components - ecological, economic, social, and organizational. The implications for the multinational corporations and for the multilateral organizations are discussed. (original abstract)
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