Call for Papers: Special issue of Business Strategy and the Environment Special, Topic: Trade-Offs In Corporate Sustainability
Call for papers: Special issue of Business Strategy and the Environment Special issue
Topic: Trade-Offs In Corporate Sustainability
Deadline for submissions: September 15, 2008
Tobias Hahn, Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment, Berlin, Germany
Frank Figge, Queen's University Management School, Belfast, UK
Jonatan Pinkse, University of Amsterdam Business School, The Netherlands
Lutz Preuss, School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
There is a growing literature on the so-called business case for sustainability. Scholars seek to determine if and under which conditions it pays off financially for companies to act environmentally and/or socially responsible. We acknowledge that research based on this win-win paradigm represents a promising starting point to gain acceptance in mainstream research and business practice. It is, however, based on a critical assumption, namely that the different aspects of corporate sustainability are mutually reinforcing. This sharply contrasts the complexity and multidimensionality of sustainable development where trade-offs and conflicts between economic, environmental, and social aspects represent the rule rather than the exception.
Such trade-offs have been systematically under-researched in the corporate sustainability literature. Therefore, in this special issue we invite submissions that explicitly address trade-offs in corporate sustainability. Contributions could focus on different levels of analysis and/or address the role of different actors. We further encourage papers that investigate and/or develop management tools and corporate strategies to effectively deal with trade-offs in corporate sustainability. Contributions that also address conflicts between different environmental and social concerns beyond their financial implications are particularly welcome.
From a societal perspective sustainable development will most likely-like any development-produce winners and losers. This is particularly interesting for industry level analyses and refers to questions such as: How are companies of different sectors affected by the structural changes that sustainable development is about to bring? What role do companies play in the transition toward more sustainability-particularly if organisational survival on the individual firm level is in conflict with the benign development of society? Should companies in environmentally harmful sectors persist when they provide high levels of employment? Are strategies such as the shift from food plantations to energy seeds beneficial?
Relevant research questions on the organisational level could address corporate strategies, management tools, incentive systems and measurement approaches that help to ensure that corporate conduct leads to positive overall sustainability effects in the presence of trade-offs. In which cases is it worth from a sustainability point of view to sacrifice some environmental and/or financial performance in favour of large positive social effects or vice versa? This also raises the question on the strategic approach of companies to dilemma situations: Which companies adopt a proactive strategy and expose themselves as sustainability leaders? How are conflicts between economic, environmental, and social aspects solved in strategy development?
At the individual level of analysis, research questions focus on how managers and other corporate stakeholders (such as consumers or investors) deal with trade-offs between different aspects of sustainability. Papers might address the perception of trade-offs by different actors, their influence on individual behaviour, and the requirements and incentives for more sustainable decision making when there are trade-offs. Examples for dilemma situations on the individual level include conflicts for consumer decisions between organic trade and local sourcing, trade-offs between higher stock returns vs. controversial business areas for investors, or conflicts between short term bonus payments and ethically sound managerial conduct.
This special issue is open to papers from various academic disciplines. Papers should go beyond the win-win paradigm and explore how corporate contributions to sustainable development could be achieved in the presence of trade-offs between economic, environmental, and social aspects.
The deadline for paper submission is 15 September 2008.
Papers will undergo a double-blind review process, following standard BSE guidelines. Submissions should be sent electronically in word format to one of the guest editors and should be written in accordance with the "Instructions to Authors"
Please note that due to space restrictions papers that exceed 7,000 words will not be accepted.
Authors are requested to submit papers electronically to Dr Tobias Hahn email@example.com
Any questions regarding the Special Issue can also be addressed to the guest editors.
For more information please visit www.seabus-research.net/specialissue/bse/index.html