Inderscience Publishers

Are economic globalisation and sustainable development compatible? Business strategy and the role of the multinational enterprise

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Much concern has been generated in recent times regarding the pivotal role played by multinational enterprises in determining the environmental implications of continuing economic globalisation. Yet, although some commentators have cast multinationals as an enemy of sustainable development, others have cast them an ally, at least potentially. The purpose of this paper is to consider the extent to which business strategies adopted by multinationals may serve either to assist or to frustrate governments in their quest for sustainable development. The paper concludes that corporate environmentalism could help to make economic globalisation and sustainable development more compatible, provided that appropriate carrots were made available to multinationals and the necessary sticks were wielded by regulators.

Keywords: multinational companies, sustainable development, globalisation, environmental implications, business strategy

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