Chapter 9 The contribution of multinational enterprises to the United Nations SDGs: a review of corporate governance and sustainability research
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This paper reviews and analyzes the literature on MNE support for four out of seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015 meant to be achieved by 2030: Goal 1: Alleviation of poverty, Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth, Goal 9: Sustainable Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Goal 10: Reduced inequality within and among nations. Our review is limited to the studies published most recently, especially after 2015. Despite the recognition that the private sector must be accountable for its wider societal outcomes, there is limited research about how foreign multinationals are implementing and assessing SDGs within their domain (Lion et al, 2021:5). Overall, our three levels of analysis of corporate engagement in SDGs (micro-level, meso-level, macro-level) reveals that the findings of previous studies are difficult to generalize because of the studies' various imperfections and methodological ambiguities such as cause-effect bias, omitted variables and endogeneity. The ongoing research would benefit from improved measurements of UN sustainability indicators, especially at the corporate level. This could include studies on multitude layers of measuring SDGs' implementation (country, sector, industry, firm) and inclusion of empirical research on corporate governance with respect to MNE reporting, auditing, and disclosure of chosen SDGs.

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