MNE subsidiaries' adoption of gender equality and women empowerment goal: A conceptual framework

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the possible response types of multinational enterprise (MNE) subsidiaries in adopting the gender equality and women empowerment goal, number 5 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). MNE headquarters' commitment to gender equality does not necessarily get translated to their subsidiaries' priority because of the strategic value the subsidiaries see and the legitimacy pressure they experience. Drawing on institutional theories and the literature on the transfer of organizational practices in MNEs, we propose a two-dimensional (value added to strategy and legitimacy pressure) framework describing four major types of subsidiary response-resistance, compliance, conformity and commitment. Understanding these response categories would help global agencies and host-country governments adjust their efforts to enhance local legitimacy for SDG adoption. Our simple typology could also facilitate scholarly and practical discussion. We end our discussion with some suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
JournalTransnational Corporations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Gender equality
  • Institutional theory
  • MNE subsidiary
  • SDG
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Women's empowerment

Cite this