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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Matti Karinen

Turku School of Economics, University of Turku

Deciphering the Institutional Arrangement: Towards a Framework for Constructive Engagement in the Primary Sector


Multinational enterprises (MNEs) in the primary sector are the subject of considerable controversy regarding their legitimacy in terms of the social sustainability of their operations. Primary sector MNE managers are challenged to develop and apply strategies that achieve both business and social sustainability goals while responding to significant, and varied, institutional pressures on both global and local levels. Building on recent interdisciplinary developments in institutional legitimacy approaches to sustainability research, this study contributes a bargaining framework for primary sector project legitimacy in terms of social sustainability. The framework proposes a model of institutional dynamics between host communities, the host government, non-governmental organisations and the MNE. The model of institutional dynamics is intended to help primary sector MNE managers gain and maintain organisational legitimacy through constructive engagement with host communities, governments and NGOs in multifaceted institutional environments.


Matti Karinen is a Doctoral Candidate at the Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, working with the Knowledge Governance project. The project, based at the entrepreneurship unit, analyses new forms of academic knowledge production from various perspectives, with special focus on the modes of collaboration of universities and their external partners. 

Alongside research work at the entrepreneurship unit, Matti is working on his doctoral thesis on institutions, governance and sustainability in the extractive industries with a particular focus on pathways to legitimacy. This area of interest stems from his master’s work with Palm Oil social sustainability in the Republic of Liberia. Matti completed his bachelor’s studies with a thesis on the determinants of competitive advantage in the mining industry. Prior to his studies in Finland, Matti lived in South East Asia for almost ten years.

Matti Karinen

Matti  Karinen

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