Despite the increasing attention paid to sustainability management and the wide prevalence of the United Nation's SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in the discourse of business and society, there is little nuanced understanding of the impact of culture on sustainable development in international contexts, and on the globalisation of emerging economies in particular. By juxtaposing the literature streams of sensemaking, micro-foundations, and collaborative partnerships, this paper presents an investigation into how culture and sensemaking influence sustainable development. Our research context – Chinese globalisation endeavours – includes Chinese overseas acquisitions and the globalisation of traditional Chinese medicine. This paper illuminates the role played by sensemaking and Taoist philosophy with regard to sustainable development. Taking a micro-foundational perspective, we show how both cultural and institutional contexts can influence sustainable development in Chinese globalisation endeavours enacted in the form of collaborative partnerships.
Photo by Angela Roma