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Abstract

This dissertation seeks to understand why and how companies voluntarily engage in the direct interpretation and implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and access and benefit sharing (ABS) issues. Identifying motivations that lead companies to voluntarily engage in activities could indicate to States the incentives to provide to business to enhance CBD implementation. For this purpose, literature on interpretation, implementation and evolution of international norms, as well as on the role of the private sector therein have been analysed. A set of theoretical propositions allowed us to examine factors likely to influence companies: resource dependence, integrative strategy, competitive advantage, regulatory uncertainty management, and reputation management. An innovative research design showed the variations of uncertainty with respect to the articulation and adoption of the CBD/ABS of two leading cosmetics companies in Brazil: Natura and O Boticário. Therefore, this dissertation is one of the few studies in political science that combines an assessment of corporate strategies in a developing country at the firm level, rather than industry level. A comparative study on the strategies of the two companies, on different periods under the same regulatory context, showed that resource dependence and integrative strategy shaped both companies’ strategies in different ways. While both are important, the integrative strategy is crucial to understand the companies’ motivations.

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