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Sustainability under the "OBOR" context

The "One Belt One Road" initiative proposed by the Chinese government calls worldwide attention to globalization and localization, leading to a sustainable development direction. The intent of this proposed study is to investigate how corporate sustainability can be achieved by adopting globalization and localization under this context. This project thus employs both qualitative and quantitative methods to conceptualize corporate sustainability and discuss its theoretical connection with globalization and localization from the paradox perspective. It explores the feasible mechanisms between paradox of globalization and localization with corporate sustainability and investigates the role of government as the primary stakeholder that participates in this process. On this basis, the project explores to what extent the paradox of globalization and localization will impact corporate sustainability. Besides, given that leaders' paradoxical thinking offers itself as an effective tool for managing organizational paradoxes, this project further tries to find how individual paradoxical thinking can facilitate the paradox of globalization and localization. 

Decoding Corporate Sustainability in Decision-making for Management Theory

Over decades, organizations have played a crucial role in solving the fundamental question of "how can we realize sustainable development?" (Gladwin, Kennelly, & Krause, 1995; Florea, Cheung, & Herndon, 2013) As the principal participant, the corporate sector is "the catalyst for a truly sustainable form of global development" and has prospered in this process (Bakari, 2013). Corporate sustainability has been defined variously, mainly refers to simultaneous consideration of economic, social and environmental aspects (Bansal, 2005). Despite increasing discussion, no sufficient understanding of the meaning of corporate sustainability and what constitutes it under "OBOR" context have been formed yet. Thus, deciphering corporate sustainability is the overarching question to solve.

Route to Corporate Sustainability via Globalization and Localization: Towards a Paradox Lens

Using the qualitative study method, this study tries to first investigate the relationship between globalization and localization from business perspective. Besides, the latent compatible mechanisms between globalization, localization, and corporate sustainability should be highlighted in order to generate possible persuasive new theories. On this basis, this study will further explore to what extent the global-local trade off will impact the corporate sustainability.

Why Do Paradoxical Thinking Matter in the Balance Between Globalization, Localization and Sustainability?

In order to have a better understanding of making use of the global-local trade off, it is crucial to explore how individual paradoxical thinking as an effective tool for paradox (e.g., Zhang, Waldman, Han, & Li, 2015) can facilitate it on account of influence of leaders' integrative view (Hahn, Pinkse, Preuss, & Figge, 2015). Hence, this study tries to find the influence of managerial paradoxical thinking/mindset on the trade off between globalization and localization and how this individual mindset further impact the corporate sustainability. 

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Dr. ir. Ying Zhang

Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Chinese Economy and Business and Associate Dean of China Business & Relations at RSM

Researcher: Chuqiao Zhou

PhD Candidate, Department of Organization and Personnel Management, Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

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