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Taking Sustainability to the Operational Level: Purchasing within the MNC

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dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor.advisor Mäkelä, Kristiina, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Management Studies, Finland
dc.contributor.advisor Salmi, Asta, Prof., Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland
dc.contributor.author Riikkinen, Rilana
dc.date.accessioned 2017-06-15T09:02:50Z
dc.date.available 2017-06-15T09:02:50Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.isbn 978-952-60-7413-9 (electronic)
dc.identifier.isbn 978-952-60-7414-6 (printed)
dc.identifier.issn 1799-4942 (electronic)
dc.identifier.issn 1799-4934 (printed)
dc.identifier.issn 1799-4934 (ISSN-L)
dc.identifier.uri https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/26892
dc.description.abstract Sustainability, including environmental, social, and economic aspects, has become increasingly important to multinational corporations (MNCs). Environmental and social sustainability are no longer mere voluntary initiatives, but are becoming essential to international operations. Despite its importance for the functioning of MNCs, only little attention has been paid to the facilitators of sustainability on an operational level. This thesis addresses this gap by focusing on the purchasing function and addressing the question: "What influences sustainability in the MNC purchasing function?". This question is further divided into four research questions, which are individually addressed in the essays. The introductory part of this thesis builds a theoretical framework explaining sustainability in MNCs' purchasing through various theoretical lenses. These are applied in the essays using quantitative (structural equation modeling on 305 companies) and qualitative (case study of two MNCs) methods. New insights have emerged through three critical aspects: the operational level examination, different theoretical lenses, and mixed methodology. First, Essay 1 reviews extant research on sustainability in MNCs' purchasing and finds that studies draw upon a limited set of theories, where operational sustainability comprises of the sustainability focus, industry, and location. The following two essays build on this finding in applying two different theoretical lenses and viewing MNCs in comparison to other companies, non-MNCs. Second, in studying the relationship between institutional pressures and triple bottom line sustainability performance, Essay 2 finds that institutional pressures affect environmental and social sustainability, but not economic performance. Third, in examining the impact of absorptive capacities on environmental and social sustainability practices and economic performance, Essay 3 finds that only realized absorptive capacities affect social sustainability practices in MNCs. These essays find clear differences between external factors influencing sustainability (institutional pressures) and internal factors (absorptive capacities) in MNCs and non-MNCs. Finally, Essay 4 examines mechanisms of and reasons for the adoption of sustainability policies and practices by purchasing function actors. It finds the process to be headquarter driven; further, distance, in terms of geography and role, mainly influences differences in the sustainability policy and practice adoption. This thesis contributes to international business research in several ways. It finds differences between sustainability on an operational level in MNCs, as opposed to other companies. Sustainability within MNCs is externally driven and its performance is impacted by institutional pressures. Absorptive capacities do not affect all aspects of MNCs' operational sustainability, which is in contrast to the pivotal role of individual actors within MNCs' purchasing. en
dc.format.extent 270
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Aalto University en
dc.publisher Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.relation.ispartofseries Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS en
dc.relation.ispartofseries 84/2017
dc.relation.haspart [Publication 1]: Riikkinen, Rilana. Understanding operational sustainability in multinational corporations: a conceptual review and an agenda for future research. Unpublished essay. Presented at the Academy of Management Conference, 2016.
dc.relation.haspart [Publication 2]: Riikkinen, Rilana; Salmi, Asta. Why become sustainable? Institutional pressures as drivers of sustainability performance in MNCs. Unpublished essay. Presented at the Academy of International Business Conference, 2016.
dc.relation.haspart [Publication 3]: Riikkinen, Rilana; Kauppi, Katri; Salmi, Asta (forthcoming). Learning Sustainability? Absorptive capacities as drivers of sustainability in MNCs’ purchasing. Forthcoming in International Business Review.
dc.relation.haspart [Publication 4]: Riikkinen, Rilana. Sustainability Policy and Practices on a Day-to-Day Basis: the Role of Purchasing in MNCs. Unpublished essay.
dc.relation.haspart Note: The full texts of the essays are included only in the printed version of the dissertation. en
dc.subject.other Organisations, Corporations en
dc.subject.other Trade en
dc.title Taking Sustainability to the Operational Level: Purchasing within the MNC en
dc.type G5 Artikkeliväitöskirja fi
dc.contributor.school Kauppakorkeakoulu fi
dc.contributor.school School of Business en
dc.contributor.department Johtamisen laitos fi
dc.contributor.department Department of Management Studies en
dc.subject.keyword sustainability en
dc.subject.keyword triple bottom line en
dc.subject.keyword multinational corporation en
dc.subject.keyword purchasing function en
dc.subject.keyword absorptive capacities en
dc.subject.keyword institutional theory en
dc.identifier.urn URN:ISBN:978-952-60-7413-9
dc.type.dcmitype text en
dc.type.ontasot Doctoral dissertation (article-based) en
dc.type.ontasot Väitöskirja (artikkeli) fi
dc.opn Doh, Jonathan, Prof., Villanova University School of Business, USA
dc.rev Doh, Jonathan, Prof., Villanova University School of Business, USA
dc.rev Lundan, Sarianna, Prof., University of Bremen, Germany
dc.date.defence 2017-05-26
local.aalto.formfolder 2017_06_14_klo_12_38
local.aalto.archive yes

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