Less is more? Communicating SDG orientation and enterprises' economic performance

Evelize Culpi Mann, Narges Safari, John Oetzel, Stuart Dillon, Amanda Jasmine Williamson

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As the interest in sustainable development increases, businesses can benefit from aligning their orientation with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It remains unclear, however, how focusing on a broader or narrower set of SDGs affects enterprises' economic performance. This study examines the impact of a communicated SDG orientation on the economic performance of social enterprises and traditional commercial businesses. Using natural language processing (NLP) techniques to analyse textual content from 661 enterprises' websites, we found a positive relationship between the communication of a narrow set of SDGs and enterprises' economic performance. The extent of this effect is similar between social and traditional commercial enterprises. Therefore, stakeholders may value an enterprise's SDG orientation strategy that focuses on a narrow set of SDGs in distinct purpose-driven institutional contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00470
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Business Venturing Insights
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Sustainability orientation
  • Sustainable development goals (SDGs)
  • Social enterprises
  • Economic performance
  • Natural language processing (NLP)


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