Irish International Business and Management Conference 2024 (IIBM: June 21, 2024)
Theme: The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: The Role of International Business and Management Research

by Maynooth University School of Business and Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute (MUSSI)
In recent years, the dynamics of the global business environment have changed dramatically, largely attributed to catastrophes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, geo-political tensions resulting from the Russia-Ukraine war, the expansion of conflict zones, Brexit, and the increasing pressures on companies to be compliant with sustainability agendas. According to the World Economic Forum (2022), because of Covid-19 pandemic, inequalities in society have worsened, the gender pay gap has widened, youth unemployment has amplified, and millions have lost their jobs. On the other hand, geo-political tensions and conflicts are largely held responsible for the energy crisis, economic downturns, and refugee issues that the world is currently experiencing. Due to “MNEs’ large pool of resources, global presence and ability to share best practices across borders, the contribution of MNEs to the SDGs can be particularly large” (Witte and Dilyard, 2017, p. 2). Consequently, International Business and Management research has the potential to make a significant contribution in ascertaining and implementing the UN's SDGs’ agendas (Clegg et al., 2023; Ghauri, 2022). In particular, by conducting research into important social and economic issues and sharing this information with companies, organizations and policymakers, researchers can help drive positive change and promote sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth.
One way in which multinational corporations can help achieving SGDs is through active engagement in ethical and corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. By conducting research into effective CSR practices and sharing this information with companies and organizations, researchers can help drive the adoption of more responsible and sustainable business practices, leading to a more just and inclusive society (SDGs 5 and SDGs 10). Moreover, international business and management research has the potential to promote inclusive societies by examining the barriers to business participation and employment faced by marginalized groups such as women, ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities. This research can be used to inform policies and programs aimed at increasing the representation of these groups in business and promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace (SDGs 5 and SDGs 10).
Another way that international business and management research can contribute to SDGs is by engaging in conflict resolution and peacebuilding efforts. International business can become an important platform for peaceful cooperation and conflict resolution. Research can be conducted into the role that businesses and economic activities can play in reducing tensions between countries and supporting post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. Researchers can also study the impact of business practices on peace and stability in conflict-affected areas, helping to inform policy decisions and promote peace through economic development (SDG 16).
Considering the ever-increasing attention to the societal impact of research and teaching, we are convinced that the conference theme and the submissions will illuminate how the knowledge generated by scholars can indeed benefit and influence society, culture, our environment, and the economy in light of current and potential future environmental and geo-political adversities facing the world.

Conference Convenor: Dr Farhad Ahmed, Assistant Professor in International Business, Maynooth University School of Business