Call for papers

CR3 Conference: The Power of Responsibility

April 8-9th, 2011, at Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland

The CR3 conference is a cooperation between three business schools;

Audencia Nantes School of Management (France), Hanken School of

Economics in Helsinki (Finland) and ISAE/FGV in Curitiba (Brazil). The

first CR3 conference will take place at Hanken School of Economics in

Helsinki, Finland on April 8th and 9th, 2011. Its theme is ‘the power of

responsibility’. The deadline for abstracts submissions is November 15th


The Power of Responsibility

The concepts of Corporate Responsibility (CR) and Global Responsibility

(GR) are reshaping the ways we think about business and society. From

global governance initiatives such as the UN Global Compact to local

efforts of greening offices, actions are taken in many areas to mobilize

organizations and individuals through the notion of responsibility in

order to work towards a more sustainable world. While much of the

groundwork on popularizing CSR/CR/GR has been prescriptive, focused on

‘selling’ Responsibility as a powerful principle that should be adopted

by all institutional actors and should lead the actions of managers and

employees, there is no doubt that CR has also become globally

influential as a real world phenomenon. This suggests that the academic

study of CR should now be ready for more descriptive accounts of both 1)

powerful CR actions that have contributed to make a positive difference

and 2) aspects of CR practice that are problematic, including in terms

of power relations and power effects. For this conference, we thus

encourage descriptive studies of both the positive and negative sides of


Taking an explicit power perspective on CR can lead our discussions in

different directions. A few examples follow, but this list is far from

comprehensive. First, such a power perspective may be used to study

power relations within supply chains, for instance by showing how some

powerful corporations have been successful in applying demanding codes

of conduct in their entire supply chain, or by examining the potential

detrimental effects of bargaining power imbalances between small

suppliers and big companies. Second, it could be thought of in terms of

how stakeholder engagement may lead to an empowerment of traditionally

marginalized groups, or how stakeholder co-optation may aim to

neutralize progressive critique, or how stakeholder exclusion may render

certain groups powerless. Third, it may entail studying how the

‘responsibilization’ of the different actors works as a global project

of liberal governance, through a ‘governmentality’ lens: both the

productive and problematic aspects of power could be discussed. Fourth,

it may be expressed through a critique of CR discourse which tends to

downplay power dimensions through its ‘win-win’ bias and its oxymoronic

articulations: here too, it is important to make explicit ‘the power of


We conceive of this conference as a meeting space where it is possible

to exchange scholarly views from different geographical places,

disciplinary locations, and ideological positions. We welcome normative,

descriptive and critical contributions, both conceptual and empirical,

specifically aimed at one of eight streams:

1. Articulating the political role of business through CR: Paradigm

shift or business as usual?

2. Responsible Management Education: Beyond complacency and contestation

3. Business-NGO relations: Power, challenges and opportunities

4. CR and the Base of the Pyramid: Empowering the poor while exploiting

new markets?

5. CR in the Supply Chain

6. Differences within and/or outside organisations: Diversity as

Corporate Responsibility

7. Great expectations: Stakeholder Engagement for Global Responsibility

8. Social Responsibility Investors: How Do They Use Their Power? How Can

Corporations Respond to SRI Power?

Confirmed keynote speaker: Professor Guido Palazzo, “The multinational

corporation as a political actor”

Guido Palazzo is Professor of Business Ethics at HEC, University of

Lausanne and a visiting Fellow at the Universities of Oxford and

Nottingham. He has two main research interests, a) globalization and

corporate responsibility and b) ethical and unethical decision making in

corporations. His work is published in the Academy of Management Review,

the Journal of Management Studies, the Business Ethics Quarterly and the

Journal of Business Ethics. He is associate editor of the Business

Ethics Quarterly and the European Management Review. In 2008 he won the

Max-Weber Award for Business Ethics of the German Industry Association.

Guido Palazzo works with numerous multinational corporations and NGOs in

the field of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Important dates

• November 15, 2010: deadline for abstracts

• December 15, 2010: scientific committee decisions

• January 31, 2011: early-bird registration (€120 for doctoral students,

€200 for others)

• February 28, 2011: registration deadline (€150 for doctoral students,

€250 for others)

For more information please visit or write us at


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