SDGs, COVID-19 and institutional pressures on organizations
Keywords:Institutional pressures, COVID-19, Sustainable Development Goals
Purpose – This article answers the following research question: How do institutional pressures influence
the re(actions) of organizations in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of
the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic?
Design/methodology/approach – The present research was conducted through the search and review
of online secondary sources based on a critical and exploratory analysis. The data were obtained from the
Global Compact Brazilian Committee (Rede Brasil do Pacto Global, in Portuguese) and analyzed by means
of qualitative content analysis with the support of the ATLAS.ti software.
Findings –The results have showed the role of organizations in dealing with the impacts provoked by the
current COVID-19 scenario. However, the association of actions implemented by organizations is evident
in some SDGs, but not in all and not with the same intensity. There is a higher incidence of SDG 3 (Good
health and well-being), which is linked to 278 actions. Regarding institutional pressures, we noticed a
higher incidence of normative pressures, which may indicate a sense of responsibility towards employees
and other stakeholders related to the prevention of the impacts caused by the pandemic.
Practical implications – The findings presented here can encourage companies to better direct their
efforts to fight the virus without neglecting the 2030 Agenda.
Social implications – The authors intend to encourage institutions that may exert coercive, normative,
and mimetic pressures to recognize the impacts of their influence and better direct it to the interests of
society during and after the pandemic.
Originality/value – This research investigates organizational actions in the context of COVID-19 from an
institutional theory perspective.