Sustainable practices & marketing strategies for developing countries : A multiple case study of international firms operating on the Malaysian market
Sammanfattning: As the traditional role of corporate entities have been challenged by an increased number of demands from society, companies are no longer just legal factors intended to generate profits by supplying products or services. Instead, they are expected to play the role of responsible co-citizens of the community, taking social and environmental responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Implementing sustainable practices into business strategies is considered beneficial for both organizations and society, as it brings organizations opportunities for growth and development, as well as a more sustainable future for society. One way for businesses to ensure their responsibilities regarding sustainability issues and maintaining sustainable business practices has been depicted in the United Nation’s eight goals termed the ‘Millennium Development Goals’ (MDGs). Previous research argues that organizations must incorporate sustainable practices into their different organizational strategies such as marketing, purchasing, and finance in order to maintain organizational growth and contribute to sustainable development. This issue has become especially important in developing countries as emerging markets compose great opportunities for businesses in terms of growth and development. An emerging market and developing country providing humongous growth opportunities for businesses is Malaysia. However, limited research has been conducted connecting the concepts sustainable development and marketing strategies, and how these may lead to an accelerated achievement of the MDGs within developing countries. In order to answer the purpose of the study, a qualitative approach using open, - and semistructured interviews together with observations was chosen as the most appropriate research method. Four international firms operating on the Malaysian market participated in the study and the findings indicated that having a well-developed sustainability marketing strategy and striving for a sustainable future does bring organizations competitive advantage and growth opportunities, and thereby an accelerated achievement of the MDGs.
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