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Special Issue "Multinational Enterprises, Sustainability and Innovation"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2022 | Viewed by 4677

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jeoung Yul Lee
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Global Management, School of Business Management, Hongik University, Sejong 30016, Korea
Interests: international business; emerging market MNEs; MNE innovation; corporate social responsibility; business ethics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Dilek Zamantili Nayir
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Turkish German University, 34820 Istanbul, Turkey
Interests: international business/management; entrereneurship and small business management, emerging market MNEs; business ethics
Prof. Dr. Charles Chen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Business and Information Technology, University of Phoenix, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
Interests: international management; MNE innovation; subtainable development; internationalization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) have undertaken foreign direct investments across the globe, so they have to face diverse and differential sustainability agendas since they have to deal with homogeneous and heterogeneous sustainability issues and policies from both home and host countries. In this vein, MNEs need to find better ways of sustainable development and innovation-based solutions in both sides of home and host countries. Furthermore, there have been a rapidly increasing number of studies on sustainable international business and innovative practices by MNEs in developed markets, providing shareholder values, environmental agendas, and managing macroeconomic instability. There has even been a stream of literature on sustainability-oriented innovation relating to both the environmental as well as social aspects of sustainability. Of these two, especially the environmental aspect has been driven by market demand for cleaner products and increasing environmental regulations and cost savings. Nevertheless, unfortunately, there has been lack of studies on sustainable international business and innovative practices by MNEs in emerging and frontier markets, although Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) have obviously progressed in terms of sustainable development and innovation-based solutions from the MNEs in and out of their home countries. Additionally, innovation has assumed a rather different form in the case of emerging market MNEs (EMNEs). As research and development possibilities are limited, learning by doing and using and organizational capabilities have a greater weight in EMNEs. The innovation of these firms is scientifically less refined than those of developed countries and has not generally involved frontier technologies. The different type of innovation pursued by EMNEs, especially considering sustainability issues, thus requires a deeper investigation that looks at technology creation more broadly than the sphere of research and patenting activity. Thus, the goal of this Special Issue is to overcome the limitations of existing studies, which have mostly focused on developed markets, and to expand our relevant themes to international business sustainability and innovative solutions by emerging and frontier market MNEs.

We invite both conceptual and (qualitative and quantitative) empirical articles, as well as literature review and meta-analysis articles from various fields, including not only business and management but also sociology, political science, psychology, economics, economic geography, and so on. Examples of relevant topics include but are not limited to:

  • How do EMNEs shape sustainable development and related innovations in home and host countries through sustainability and innovative solutions? What are their similarities and/or differences from advanced market MNEs?
  • What are the challenges versus opportunities of these EMNEs to deal with the unique political, cultural, religious, and commercial environments in their home and host countries for achieving their sustainability and innovation goals?
  • What are the repercussions for the contextual effects on these EMNEs’ sustainability and innovative solutions, especially for country of origin and domicile pressures in home and host countries?
  • How do recent environmental disruptions, such as the global financial crisis in 2008 and the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis, affect sustainable international business practices and innovative solutions based on corporate social and environmental responsibility in emerging and advanced markets?
  • How do developed versus emerging/frontier market MNEs enhance their sustainability and innovation based on their human resources, transnational, or virtual teams when they face the challenges for the enhancement of their sustainability and innovative solutions?
  • Can high-level internationalization of EMNEs lead to superior corporate sustainability, which encompasses various social issues such as stakeholder wellbeing and environmental protection?
  • The legal guarantee for the sustainable development of green economy;
  • MNEs, political stability, and the risk of emerging capital markets;
  • Foreign executives, R&D innovation, and corporate social responsibility;
  • Green innovation efficiency;
  • Path innovation of labor security of flexible employment.

Prof. Dr. Jeoung Yul Lee
Prof. Dr. Dilek Zamantili Nayir
Prof. Dr. Charles Chen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • multinational enterprise
  • foreign direct investment
  • sustainability
  • innovation
  • sustainable innovation
  • sustainable international business practices
  • corporate social and environmental responsibility
  • human resources
  • emerging and frontier markets
  • advanced markets/countries

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Digital Transformation, Corporate Innovation, and International Strategy: Empirical Evidence from Listed Companies in China
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8137; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138137 - 04 Jul 2022
Viewed by 179
Abstract
This paper empirically investigates the impact of digital transformation on corporate international strategy. With a dataset of the Chinese stock market from 2014 to 2020, our empirical results reveal that digital transformation has a positive impact on the international strategy of Chinese enterprises. [...] Read more.
This paper empirically investigates the impact of digital transformation on corporate international strategy. With a dataset of the Chinese stock market from 2014 to 2020, our empirical results reveal that digital transformation has a positive impact on the international strategy of Chinese enterprises. More specifically, firms with digital transformation are more likely to implement international strategy, and firms with a higher degree of digital transformation are associated with a higher level of internationalization. In addition, our empirical results reveal that corporate innovation exhibits the mediation effect. Moreover, our findings show that the impact of digital transformation is more pronounced for private firms and non-high-tech enterprises, and this impact is also moderated by high institutional development in eastern China. Our findings survive numerous robustness checks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multinational Enterprises, Sustainability and Innovation)
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Article
Corporate Nature, Financial Technology, and Corporate Innovation in China
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7162; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127162 - 10 Jun 2022
Viewed by 431
Abstract
Corporate innovation has become the main driving force for the long-term development of enterprises, but the characteristics of high risk, long cycle, and high capital demand of corporate innovation activities expose enterprises to high financial rejection. Financial technology, formed by combining digital technology [...] Read more.
Corporate innovation has become the main driving force for the long-term development of enterprises, but the characteristics of high risk, long cycle, and high capital demand of corporate innovation activities expose enterprises to high financial rejection. Financial technology, formed by combining digital technology with traditional financial services, is gradually changing the financial service model and providing new ideas for corporate investment and financing. In this study, using the data of non-financial and non-real estate listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen markets, A-shares from 2015 to 2020, we examine the effect of financial technology on corporate innovation through a fixed-effects model and investigate the influence of corporate characteristics on the relationship between financial technology and innovation through a moderating-effects model. The results show that financial technology enhances the ability to serve real enterprises by reshaping financial services, which in turn effectively drives an increase in corporate innovation, and the mechanism is conditionally heterogeneous. In addition, the moderating effect of the firm’s nature is found to be more significant in non-state-owned firms, high-technology firms, and firms in the growth and maturity stages by life cycle. The policy implications of this study are to continuously promote theoretical research, to guide the development of fintech, and to improve the construction of financial technology infrastructure. Additionally, to deepen the integration of financial technology with real enterprises and establish differentiated financial technology support tools, so as to improve the precision of promoting enterprise innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multinational Enterprises, Sustainability and Innovation)
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Article
The Mexican Ecological Conscience: A Predictive Model
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7050; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127050 - 09 Jun 2022
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Recently, the number of Mexicans who buy sustainable products has been increasing, which has led to sustainable trade. Therefore, the objective of this study is to determine which variables have a greater effect on Mexicans’ intention to buy green products, their ecological awareness, [...] Read more.
Recently, the number of Mexicans who buy sustainable products has been increasing, which has led to sustainable trade. Therefore, the objective of this study is to determine which variables have a greater effect on Mexicans’ intention to buy green products, their ecological awareness, or moral obligation, and, in turn, to determine the degree to which moral obligation is affected by ecological awareness. A sample of 690 Mexicans was obtained, and a PLS–SEM model was applied for data analysis. The results confirmed that both a moral obligation and ecological awareness explain the intention to purchase green products, with ecological awareness contributing the most to the intention. Furthermore, the findings showed that moral obligation is affected by ecological awareness. The originality of the article is that it contributes to the consumer behavior literature by providing an insight for companies that manufacture sustainable products to understand and promote environmentally conscious consumer behavior. However, there are some limitations that can be addressed in future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multinational Enterprises, Sustainability and Innovation)
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Article
The Environmental Cost of Attracting FDI: An Empirical Investigation in Brazil
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4490; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084490 - 09 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 524
Abstract
Many emerging economies seek to increase their Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows to achieve some promised benefits, such as economic growth and advanced technologies. Nevertheless, FDI does not represent a random investment decision, and international literature demonstrates that foreign investors are mostly interested [...] Read more.
Many emerging economies seek to increase their Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows to achieve some promised benefits, such as economic growth and advanced technologies. Nevertheless, FDI does not represent a random investment decision, and international literature demonstrates that foreign investors are mostly interested in fast-growing regions. Therefore, this study uses traditional panel data econometrics coupled with Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to investigate the environmental impact in regions with great potential to attract foreign investments (e.g., more advanced regions with growing infrastructure), therefore analyzing the environmental cost of attracting FDI. Additionally, this study employs regional data from the ‘Atlas of FDI in the State of São Paulo’ to investigate the environmental effects of FDI in the periphery, where attractiveness levels are low. The results indicate that regions with higher attractiveness levels prepare a pollutant development strategy and that FDI in less-developed regions is harmful to the environment. The results point to new perspectives on the FDI–environment debate and suggest that attracting FDI is environmentally costly. Also, FDI is heterogeneous, with its presence in peripheral areas being harmful to the environment. To conclude, we discuss these results and present an agenda for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multinational Enterprises, Sustainability and Innovation)
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Article
Examining Whether Government Environmental Regulation Promotes Green Innovation Efficiency—Evidence from China’s Yangtze River Economic Belt
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1827; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031827 - 05 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 553
Abstract
Based on the panel data of 11 provinces and cities in the Yangtze River Economic Belt from 2005 to 2018, this paper uses the SBM-DEA efficiency model with undesired output to measure the green innovation efficiency of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. The [...] Read more.
Based on the panel data of 11 provinces and cities in the Yangtze River Economic Belt from 2005 to 2018, this paper uses the SBM-DEA efficiency model with undesired output to measure the green innovation efficiency of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. The panel Tobit empirical analysis model was used to quantitatively analyze the impact of three different forms of government environmental regulations on the efficiency of green innovation. The research results show that the government’s mandatory environmental regulations and government financial subsidies for green innovation technology are two regulatory methods that positively promote the efficiency of regional green innovation, but government investment in environmental governance has a negative impact on the efficiency of regional green innovation. Then the study found that this negative impact has a significant inflection point effect: when it exceeds a certain threshold, the negative impact turns into a positive effect. At the same time, the impact of environmental regulations on the efficiency of green innovation has significant regional heterogeneity, and the three environmental regulations have a greater impact on downstream provinces and cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multinational Enterprises, Sustainability and Innovation)
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Article
Foreign Shareholders’ Social Responsibility, R&D Innovation, and International Competitiveness of Chinese SOEs
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1746; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031746 - 02 Feb 2022
Viewed by 521
Abstract
Despite the increasing use of mixed ownership (domestic and foreign shareholders) in Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the role and performance of foreign ownership is still a controversial topic. In this paper we empirically examine the effects of foreign shareholders’ social responsibility on the [...] Read more.
Despite the increasing use of mixed ownership (domestic and foreign shareholders) in Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the role and performance of foreign ownership is still a controversial topic. In this paper we empirically examine the effects of foreign shareholders’ social responsibility on the international competitiveness of SOEs and the moderating effect of R&D innovation. Drawing on a sample of Chinese listed SOEs with international market operations over the period 2011–2019, we find empirical evidence supporting that foreign shareholders’ social responsibility is effective in enhancing the international competitiveness of Chinese SOEs. We also find that R&D innovation strengthens the effect between foreign shareholders’ social responsibility and enterprises’ international competitiveness. These findings are valid after controlling for robustness and endogeneity factors. Furthermore, we find that the promoting effect of foreign shareholders’ social responsibility on Chinese SOEs’ international competitiveness, as well as the moderating effect of R&D innovation, is more pronounced among Chinese local SOEs, business SOEs, and manufacturing SOEs. The research in this paper contributes to the current debate and deepens our understanding regarding the role and performance of foreign shareholders in the process of mixed-ownership reform. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multinational Enterprises, Sustainability and Innovation)
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Article
Determinants of Staff Localization in Headquarters-Subsidiary-Subsidiary Relationships
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010249 - 27 Dec 2021
Viewed by 810
Abstract
This paper investigates how cultural distance, the local experience of a foreign subsidiary, and the intensity of local competition jointly affect the staff localization of MNEs’ subsidiaries. While previous studies on the effects of cultural distance have mainly focused on the gap between [...] Read more.
This paper investigates how cultural distance, the local experience of a foreign subsidiary, and the intensity of local competition jointly affect the staff localization of MNEs’ subsidiaries. While previous studies on the effects of cultural distance have mainly focused on the gap between home and host countries, we extend the existing “home-host” country perspective to the home-intermediary-host country relationship. This study regards Korea as an intermediary country and utilizes 520 observations from a unique survey conducted by the Export-Import Bank of Korea from 2006 to 2013. The results suggest that the impact of cultural distance on staff localization is a function of local experience and competitive environment in the home-intermediate-host relationship structure. This paper makes a theoretical contribution to our understanding of the behavior of multinational corporations by expanding the cultural distance perspective between the home and host countries explored in previous research to the home-subsidiary-subsidiary structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multinational Enterprises, Sustainability and Innovation)
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