Book chapters Global Sustainability Governance

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Park, J., Cuervo-Cazurra, A., and Montiel, I. 2023. The evolution of sustainability concerns over business activities: from local to cross-national to global. In Goerzen, A. (ed.) Research Handbook on International Corporate Social Responsibility. Edward Elgar Publishing. (forthcoming).

Although sustainability has recently become a crucial topic of discussion among business practitioners and scholars, a much longer history of sustainability addressing how companies operate is little known. In this paper, we analyze the historical evolution of attitudes toward sustainability concerns over business activities, i.e., societal worries about the negative externalities of business activities on social and environmental issues. We propose that sustainability concerns in business have a deep historical foundation that can be traced back to the 18th century. Over time, these concerns have expanded in the scale at which they operate, moving from the local (1700s-1960s) to the cross-national (1970s-1990s) to the global (2000s-2020s). We illustrate this evolution by showcasing the development of two sustainability concerns in business activities: poor working conditions and industrial pollution.

Wright, M., Wood, G., Cuervo-Cazurra, A., Sun, P., Okhmatovskiy, I., Grosman, A. 2022. State capitalism and the firm. In Wright, M., Wood, G., Cuervo-Cazurra, A., Sun, P., Okhmatovskiy, I., Grosman, A. Oxford Handbook on State Capitalism and the Firm. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pages 3-24.

In this introduction to The Handbook of State Capitalism and the Firm, we provide an overview of state capitalism, its evolution, diversity, and theoretical implications. We clarify the tension between the market and the government that drives state intervention in the economy. A brief historical evolution of state capitalism provides a much-needed background to explicit and implicit discussions of the diversity of dimensions of state capitalism. We document how state capitalism seems to have followed a pendulum between periods of high dominance and periods of retrenchment that have resulted in the transformation of the literature over time. We also explain the variety of state capitalism that has been implemented across countries and time. We then outline the diversity in the theorization of state capitalism as a phenomenon and the implications of the cross-border expansion of state capitalism. We conclude with an overview of the potential avenues for future research on state capitalism and the firm.

Cuervo-Cazurra, A., & Li, C. 2022. Variations in the internationalization of state-owned firms. In Wright, M., Wood, G., Cuervo-Cazurra, A., Sun, P., Okhmatovskiy, I., Grosman, A. Oxford Handbook on State Capitalism and the Firm. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pages 285-305.

We analyze the impact of state ownership on firm internationalization. We propose and explain four drivers of the variation in the internationalization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) from the same country: (1) Industry, in which SOEs created to provide public services are less likely to internationalize, while those created to facilitate industrial upgrading are more likely to expand abroad; (2) type of state ownership, in which SOEs owned by lower-level governments like municipalities are less likely to internationalize, while those owned by higher-level governments such as the central administration are more likely to go abroad; (3) level of state ownership, in which SOEs with higher state ownership are less likely to expand overseas, while those with lower state ownership are more likely to internationalize; and (4) managerial independence, in which SOEs with lower managerial independence are less likely to internationalize, while those with higher independence are more likely to expand abroad.

Colpan, A., and Cuervo-Cazurra, A. 2019. Business groups in international business. In Lopes T., Lubinski, C. and, Tworek, H. (Eds) Companion to the Makers of Global Business. Routledge.

We analyze the evolution of business groups as an organizational form and how this form has played a role in the globalization of markets. Business groups, a collection of legally-independent firms operating in unrelated product markets and connected to each other via equity and other ties, exist in many countries and currently play a major role in emerging ones. In emerging economies, business groups have been the dominant forms of large enterprises and have led the internationalization processes of their economies. The internationalization of the Koç group, the largest Turkish business group, illustrates how membership in a business group provides affiliated companies with both advantages and disadvantages in their internationalization, and how the adoption of pro-market reforms has profound effects on the global expansion of business groups. 

Colpan, A. and Cuervo-Cazurra, A. 2019. Business groups as an organizational model. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Business and Management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Business groups are an organizational model in which collections of legally independent firms bounded together with formal and informal ties use collaborative arrangements to enhance their collective welfare. Among the different varieties of business groups, diversified business groups that exhibit unrelated product diversification under central control, and often containing chains of publicly listed firms, are the most-studied type in the management literature. The reason is that they challenge two traditionally held assumptions. First, broad and especially unrelated diversification have a negative impact on performance, and thus business groups should focus on a narrow scope of related businesses. Second, such diversification is only sustainable in emerging economies in which market and institutional underdevelopment are more common and where business groups can provide a solution to such imperfections. However, a historical perspective indicates that diversified business groups are a long-lived organizational model and are present in emerging and advanced economies, illustrating how business groups adapt to different market and institutional settings. This evolutionary approach also highlights the importance of going beyond diversification when studying business groups and redirecting studies toward the evolution of the group structure, their internal administrative mechanisms, and other strategic actions beyond diversification such as internationalization.

Cuervo-Cazurra, A. 2018. Business groups in Spain: regulation and ideology drivers for transformation. In Colpan, A. M. and Hikino, T. (Eds) Business Groups in the West: The Evolutionary Dynamics of Big Business. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This chapter studies the drivers of the transformation of business groups in Spain and complements the traditional drivers (weak institutions and a closed economy) with new ones (industry regulation and owner ideology). These drivers vary with the ownership of business groups. First, state-owned business groups emerge following an ideology of national economic development, reduce scope with pro-market reforms, and continue to exist in line with the ideology of social stability and strategic development. Second, bank-owned business groups emerge as a result of industry regulation, and decline with deregulation after pro-market reforms. Third, family-owned business groups emerge to benefit from opportunities in a closed economy with weak institutions, and refocus in response to competition after pro-market reforms. Finally, labor-owned business groups emerge as a result of an ideology of social development, and continue after pro-market reforms in line with this ideology.

Cuervo-Cazurra, A. 2014. Transparency and corruption. In Forssbæck, J. and Oxelheim, L. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Economic and Institutional Transparency. New York: Oxford University Press.

In this chapter I analyze how transparency can deter corruption. I first review the concept of corruption, its types, and the reasons why it exists. I then consider corrupt relationships as multiagency relationships before explaining how transparency can help tackle corruption by solving the information asymmetries in the agency relationships. I argue that increasing transparency, although necessary, is not sufficient to reduce corruption, and I suggest that transparency must be complemented by monitoring and punishment to be effective at reducing corruption. 

Cuervo-Cazurra, A. 2014. Corruption. In Cooper, C. (Ed.), Wiley Encyclopedia of Management. 3rd edition. Marblehead, MA: John Wiley & Sons.

This article analyzes corruption in government. Corruption is the abuse of public power for private gain. There are not only negative but also positive views on corruption. However, most research tends to propose and find that corruption has a negative impact on economic transactions, even though its illegal nature makes it difficult to measure and analyze. Solutions to corruption can address the demand of bribes by government official or the supply of bribes by companies and individuals. To reduce the demand of bribes, the government can reduce the opportunity for corruption via controls and transparency, and increase the cost of engaging in corruption by government officials via laws. To reduce the supply of bribes, companies can limit the ability of employees to supply a bribe via codes of conduct and controls, and the government can increase the cost to employees and companies who supply a bribe via laws punishing the supply of bribes at home and abroad.

Aguilera, R., Cuervo-Cazurra, A., and Kim, S. 2009. Taking stock of research on codes of good governance. In López Iturriaga, F. J. (Ed.), Codes of Good Governance Around the World. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers. Pages 3-32.

This chapter reviews the literature of codes of good corporate governance, the set of best practice recommendations regarding the behavior and structure of board of directors of a firm. The review shows that a lot of research progress has been made in recent years, but there are still large gaps in knowledge. That is, although there is a good understanding of the diffusion of codes of good governance around the globe and of the different determinants of this diffusion, there is need for more research on the specific contents of the codes, and of whether codes of good governance are an appropriate tool to improve corporate governance practices.

Cuervo-Cazurra, A, and Aguilera, R. 2004. The worldwide diffusion of codes of good governance. In Grandori, A. (Ed.), Corporate Governance and Firm Organization. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pages 318-348.

This chapter goes beyond the convergence/divergence dilemma by analysing change in corporate governance practice in terms of the adoption of some codes of good governance rather than as the adoption of one particular model. It considers the speed of adoption of a code as a process of knowledge transfer across countries, driven by a mixture of effectiveness and legitimization reasons. The empirical study considers fifteen common-law countries and twenty civil-law countries, and finds that the development of a first code of corporate governance was faster in countries with greater exposure to foreign investment (but not to foreign trade) and with a common law system.