The business responsibility matrix: a diagnostic tool to aid the design of better interventions for achieving the SDGs

Sinkovics, N. , Sinkovics, R. R. and Archie-Acheampong, J. (2021) The business responsibility matrix: a diagnostic tool to aid the design of better interventions for achieving the SDGs. Multinational Business Review, 29(1), pp. 1-20. (doi: 10.1108/MBR-07-2020-0154)

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Purpose: This paper aims to propose an integrative framework that enables the mapping of firm activities along two dimensions of responsible business behavior: a width and a depth dimension. Width includes associative, peripheral, operational and embedded responsibility. In terms of depth, we identify delinquent, neutral, nascent, enhanced and advanced levels of responsibility. Design/methodology/approach: The responsibility matrix is developed by drawing on the literature and the ambition to provide a more nuanced map of a firm’s activities and its contributions toward the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Findings: The matrix enables the classification of firm activities into different functional categories based on how they relate to a firm’s business model. Further, the meaningfulness of each activity can be identified by determining its depth. Research limitations/implications: Mapping all the relevant activities of a multinational firm onto the responsibility matrix enables managers and policymakers to identify areas where transformation is most needed. Further, multinational firms can use the matrix to map the activities of their value chain partners and design more effective standards and interventions. Practical implications: The business responsibility matrix represents a diagnostic tool that enables the detailed mapping of firm capabilities and the identification of areas where further capacity building is necessary and where pockets of excellence exist. Social implications: The responsibility matrix offers a benchmarking tool for progress that can be used in conjunction with existing guidelines and initiatives such as the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative. Originality/value: The responsibility matrix acknowledges that firms can engage with the SDGs through different types of activity (width dimension). Simultaneously, it recognizes that activities in the same category can have varying levels of effectiveness (depth dimension).

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Financial support was received from the University of Manchester 2014 ESRC Impact Acceleration Account [ES/M500392/1] and the Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) Lord Alliance strategic research investment fund [LA-SRIF AA14179].
Keywords:SMEs, MNEs, Suppliers, Responsible business, Corporate social responsibility (CSR), Sustainable development goals (SDGs), Multinational enterprise (MNE), Responsibility matrix, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sinkovics, Professor Rudolf and Sinkovics, Dr Noemi
Authors: Sinkovics, N., Sinkovics, R. R., and Archie-Acheampong, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Multinational Business Review
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Published Online:06 December 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited
First Published:First published in Multinational Business Review 29(1):1-20
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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