Global Business Networks: Accounting for Sustainability


Global Business Networks


Partners: United Nations University, Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability; UNESCAP

Impact: Corporate accountability has expanded rapidly in recent years as a tool that businesses can employ to respond to corporate performance. Nevertheless, the exercise of corporate accountability is challenging as it requires stronger corporate capacity and commitment to respond to external stakeholders in alignment with voluntary regulatory norms. In response, corporate agendas are being significantly shaped by internal and external stakeholders, that is employees, suppliers and customers. Yet, an examination of the current status of accountability both as a historical trend and in current corporate agendas in selected cases shows an increasing gap between policy and impact. Based on a case study method and theory building, the research reported in this article shows the status of corporate accountability of companies operating in Asia-Pacific and adhered to the Global Compact Network. It also provides some conceptual and practical tools towards enhanced accountability, contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 17 (SDG 17) and its targets Multi-stakeholder partnerships (17.16 and 17.17) and Data, monitoring and accountability.