Sustainable Evolution for Global Business: A Synthetic Review of the Literature

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Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Stakeholder Theory, Sustainability


This paper reviews the recent literature on business sustainability. While it is almost impossible to give a universally agreeable definition of “sustainability” due to its scope, depth, and inclusive nature, this paper reviews a fairly large set of research efforts, both empirical and normative, that examine the sustainability issue in regards to the theoretical development, the interface between business and society, the interrelationships among firms, markets, and the public interest, sustainability measurement and assessment, as well as the changes, developments, and evolution in recent years along those lines. The uniqueness of the study is to review the literature by following the developmental and evolutionary sequences in business sustainability in order to shed light on how the concept of corporate sustainability has evolved from the traditional shareholders-focused neoclassical view and how it is advanced from the ideas of environmentalism, stakeholder theory, and corporate social responsibility.