Multi-Stakeholder Engagement for The Sustainable Development Goals

Abord-Hugon Nonet G., Goessling T., van Tulder R., Bryson J.M.
Journal of Business Ethics, 2022


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Guest Editors

Guénola Abord-Hugon Nonet, Jönköping International Business School, Sweden

Tobias Goessling, Kedge Business School, France

Rob van Tulder, Erasmus University, The Netherlands

John M. Bryson, University of Minnesota, USA


The world is not on track to achieve Agenda 2030—the approach chosen in 2015 by all UN member states to engage multiple stakeholders for the common goal of sustainable development. The creation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) arguably offered a new take on sustainable development by adopting hybrid and principle-based governance approaches, where public, private, not for profit and knowledge-institutions were invited to engage around achieving common medium-term targets. Cross-sector partnerships and multi-stakeholder engagement for sustainability have consequently taken shape. But the call for collaboration has also come with fundamental challenges to meaningful engagement strategies—when private enterprises try to establish elaborate multi-stakeholder configurations. How can the purpose of businesses be mitigated through multi-stakeholder principle-based partnerships to effectively serve the purpose of a common sustainability agenda? In selecting nine scholarly contributions, this special issue aims at advancing this discourse. To stimulate further progress in business studies, this introductory essay, furthermore, identifies three pathways for research on multi-stakeholder engagement processes in support of the Decade of Action along three coupling lines: multi-sector alignment (relational coupling), operational perception alignment (cognitive coupling) and goal and strategic alignment (material coupling).



Articles in this Special Issue

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