Corporate sustainability in practice: An exploratory study of the sustainable development goals (SDGs)
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionBusiness Strategy and Development. 2018, 1 (4), 256-264. 10.1002/bsd2.35
Companies applying the sustainable development goals (SDGs) are likely to face a tension between business strategy and societal development. I develop this claim through inductive reasoning, drawing on an exploratory, and longitudinal case study of the company Plasto. The findings indicate that the SDGs framework is a well-suited platform for debating social and environmental concerns with societal stakeholders. In addition, the framework facilitates organizational learning and internal collaboration. However, actors such as customers may see the generic nature of the SDGs as irrelevant when it comes to specific business operations. Following the inductive logic, I position the findings within ongoing debates in the field of corporate sustainability. Further research should acknowledge contradictory requirements from stakeholders as a theoretical starting point. This implies that the emerging management literature on paradox theory fits well to advance insights on SDG application in a business context.