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The Center for Emerging Markets is supported by a generous gift from Venkat and Pratima Srinivasan that allows Northeastern University students to pursue innovative projects that addresses pressing problems in emerging markets. This fall, CEM awarded seven grants to students to pursue projects around the world.

Companies that invest in robust remote work policies are better insulated from the business impact of natural disasters, according to research from John Bai and his collaborators published in the Harvard Business Review.

Harvard Business Review

Global brands increasingly set sustainability standards for their first-tier suppliers in emerging market countries and expect them to ensure that similar standards are met by their lower-tier suppliers. This cascading approach encourages sustainability practices to be adopted throughout the supply chain.

In the year since AI tools have become widely available, Nada Sanders has interviewed leaders across industries to asses how generative AI has altered their practices. Her research reveals that organizations are focusing their investments on enhancing the human skills of their workforce.

Harvard Business Review

In China, NGOs often collaborate with multinational companies to promote sustainability among their suppliers. This “two-step influence model” allows NGOs to indirectly influence local firms. The success of these collaborations depends on alignment with government priorities, with stronger impacts where the environment is a lower priority. Multinationals benefit from local knowledge and networks through these partnerships but must carefully manage trust and expectations. Moreover, collaboration with NGOs can help achieve sustainability goals but also invites scrutiny.

Multinational corporations (MNCs) often have less power over their emerging market suppliers than is commonly believed. New research suggests that MNCs can use various strategies to influence their suppliers' behavior, but these strategies have complex and paradoxical effects on their performance and reputation. MNCs should consider the goals and interests of their suppliers when creating sustainability strategies for their global value chains.

Sand is a vital material for construction, but it is being depleted faster than nature can replenish it. This poses serious environmental and social problems, such as habitat loss, water pollution, and conflicts over resources. To address this issue, researchers have explored sustainable alternatives to sand, but there are no easy solutions because of availability, performance, price, and demand-related considerations, particularly in emerging markets where population growth and economic priorities will place increasing pressure on this limited resource.

Managers operating in emerging markets face a delicate balance between risks and opportunities. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) holds the key to navigating these complexities, and recent research shows its significance in securing competitiveness and credibility. Managers are advised to embrace global CSR standards, engage with local stakeholders, adapt flexible strategies, monitor suppliers, and seek collective action to leverage the opportunities of these fast-growing markets.

How do leaders of global companies face Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) challenges in their supply chains? Recent research by Sheila Puffer and colleagues at Northeastern University presents a typology of four archetypes of CSR responses and analyzes the benefits and drawbacks of each archetype using real-world examples.

Multinational companies often misbehave, deviating from the expected rules of conduct in different countries. Some exploit the gaps and inconsistencies in regulations, laws, and customs, causing harm to various parties. This misbehavior requires more attention and responsibility from multinational companies to reduce the negative consequences of their actions, especially in emerging markets.