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Resource typeDissertation
Title(s)Nachhaltigkeitskommunikation von multinationalen Unternehmen
Subtitle(s)Eine empirische Untersuchung unter Berücksichtigung von kulturellen und institutionellen Unterschieden
Alternative title(s)Sustainability communication of multinational corporations: An empirical study taking into account cultural and institutional differences
CreatorIgnotaite, Akvile
RefereeMichelsen, Gerd  0000-0001-9483-0395  115471545
Wehrden, Henrik von  0000-0003-2087-5552  142263834
Isenmann, Ralf  113855567
AdvisorMichelsen, Gerd  0000-0001-9483-0395  115471545
AbstractSustainability communication is becoming an increasingly important matter in the corporate world on both national and global levels. The aim of this dissertation is to analyze how multinational corporations (MNE) engage in sustainability communication and, in particular, how country affects this discourse. Within the context of this dissertation, the sustainability communication of MNEs is categorized as integrated or non-integrated stand-alone sustainability reporting. Current debates intensively discuss integrated sustainability reporting and how to make this type of reporting standard practice. Sustainability reporting, however, is done on a voluntary basis, which makes it difficult to find significant influencing factors motivating organizations to opt for either integrated or stand-alone sustainability reports. I therefore assume in my dissertation that sustainability communication is better understood when examined from both an institutional and cultural perspective. The key issue addressed is how the country of origin affects sustainability reporting and what drives organizations to opt for either integrated or stand-alone sustainability reporting. Different influencing factors were determined with the help of neo-institutional and cultural theories. The institutional frameworks, which developed from political, financial, cultural and educational systems, help identify influencing factors on a country level, while Hofstede´s national cultural dimensions outline the values of stakeholders and managers regarding integrated reporting. The sample is composed of 2269 MNEs and large corporations (LAEs) from 52 countries and was obtained from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) database for 2012. The collected data shows that stand-alone reporting dominates the sample, but a comparison between different countries could produce interesting results. To test the hypothesis empirically, the generalized linear model (GLM) was applied. The empirical results reveal a significant impact by both institutional and cultural factors. Thus, companies located in countries characterized by a strong media, weak investor protection, strong labor market regulations, weak individualism (i.e. collectivism), poor uncertainty avoidance and long-term orientation are more likely to publish integrated sustainability reports. It was also noticed that factors such as common law, capital expenditure on R&D (lower levels) and greater power distance have a positive impact on integrated reporting. Moreover, a case study was carried out for Baltic countries based on these findings and management measures in relation to sustainability reporting were derived. However, other limitations (e.g. data samples or multicollinearity between independent variables) should be considered for further research on sustainability communication.

Die Bedeutung einer ausgewogenen Nachhaltigkeitskommunikation wächst in der Unternehmenswelt sowohl auf nationaler als auch auf globaler Ebene kontinuierlich. Das Ziel dieser Dissertation ist es, die unterschiedlichen Arten der Nachhaltigkeitskommunikation multinationaler Unternehmen (MNE) zu analysieren und den Stellenwert des Herkunftslandes innerhalb der Nachhaltigkeitskommunikation von MNE zu ermitteln.
KeywordsSustainability; Nachhaltigkeit
Date of defense2016-09-28
Year of publication in PubData2016
Publishing typeFirst publication
Date issued2016-12-20
Creation contextResearch
Granting InstitutionLeuphana Universität Lüneburg
Published byMedien- und Informationszentrum, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
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