Special Issue Journal of Business Ethics
“Organizing Corporate Social Responsibility: Interactions
between Business and Society”
The deadline for submission is November 30, 2011.
Frank de Bakker (VU University Amsterdam), Jeremy Moon (Nottingham University
Business School), Andreas Rasche (Warwick Business School)
The global spread of CSR as a management concept and business practice has lead to a
growing interest in comparative international studies in CSR and a range of related concepts.
Thus, CSR has emerged as a new stream of research raising important issues, not only for our
understanding of CSR but also for broader debates in management studies, including issues
such as local adaptation of management ideas, institutional change, business and society
interactions as well as the nature of globalization.
Meanwhile, NGOs, activist groups and related societal organizations are increasingly studied
in their capacity as influencers of business organizations. Corporate social responsibility,
globalization or consumer affairs are just a few areas on which these organizations focus. The
interactions between business organizations and societal organizations, the networks these
organizations form or the mechanisms for governance that are applied require organizational
and institutional innovations, both at the end of business organizations and at the end of civil
society. The interaction processes between business and society are shifting and this will have
implications for both management practice and our understanding of organizations and are
likely to contribute to differences in local adaptation of concepts such as CSR.
This Special Issue aims at providing a forum for scholars to theorize and elaborate our
knowledge on the changing organizational dynamics of the interactions between business and
society in the context of the global spread and local adaptation of CSR. What drives these
processes and how are NGOs/activist groups involved therein? The Special Issue focuses
particularly on the following questions:
1. How can we understand the global spread and local adaptation of CSR?
The global spread of CSR raises the question why it has been ongoing at this particular point
in history, pointing to alternative ways of institutionalizing business responsibilities towards
society which are locally embedded and different from the North American context from
which CSR originates. Likewise, the growing body of research in comparative CSR clearly
points to the fact that -while the language of CSR (and related concepts) is rising nevertheless
a great diversity of practices in CSR persist, both in most industrialized
countries and in the so-called developing world. This Special Issue focuses on analyzing and
explaining those local adaptations of CSR, both empirically and theoretically:
Theoretical: how can we understand the global spread and local adaptation on a more
general level and what predictions do those theories offer? What drives and/or
impedes the global spread of CSR?
Empirical: what are specific forms of implementation, adaptation, translation or
transformation of CSR in a specific regional, national or historical context? What are
the roles of different actors (e.g. firms, NGOs, international organizations) when
looking at the global spread and local adaptation of CSR practices?
Interdisciplinary: to understand the complex processes of the global spread and local
implementation of CSR perspectives from multiple disciplines are useful. These
include management studies, economics, sociology, politics, law, history and
How can we understand the interaction of business and society on issues of CSR?
As the interaction of business and society has been studied from different angles (e.g.,
corporate governance, social movement studies, global governance studies, corporate
responsibility), it would be useful to take stock of different viewpoints and approaches,
fleshing out differences and commonalities. The addressed questions include, but are not
Theoretical: What are the theoretical foundations for studying the interactions
between business and society? Which theoretical lens can explain which aspects of
the interaction process between business and actors from society? How do the
different theoretical lenses complement each other?
Methodological: What methods are used to research the interaction of business and
society? Which innovative methods have not been used so far? What units and levels
of analysis are particularly appropriate to stimulate research?
Research Foci: What research foci do scholars from different disciplines employ to
study the interactions between business and society? Which phenomena (e.g. activism,
public-private partnerships, social audits) are currently explored in different
What will be future trends in the interactions between business and society on CSR?
CSR, like few other contemporary management ideas, exposes the interplay between business
organizations, NGOs/activist groups and national states and has been fuelled by significant
institutional change throughout the globe. The rise of emerging economies, such as the BRIC
countries, as well as the recent crisis in the global financial markets however will have crucial
influence on how economies locally and globally govern the social impact and
responsibilities of business. The proposed Special Issue is dedicated to understanding future
trends and developments in the broader context of CSR.
Which problems can occur while organizing the interactions between business and
society? How can these problems be overcome? What, if anything, have we learned
from prior interactions between business and society actors?
What tactics do both business organizations and societal organizations deploy and
how do their counterparts respond to these tactics?
Which organizational structures are likely to absorb the multi-stakeholder nature of
interactions between business and societal actors?
We call for contributions that deal with the various aspects and dynamics of the interactions
occurring between business and society. We are interested in both conceptual and empirical
studies that draw on a variety of theoretical perspectives, such as, but not limited to,
institutional theory, micro-political approaches, social movements theory, theories of
governance and regulation, and in quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches.
Comparative studies are particularly encouraged.
Process for submitting papers
Papers submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or presently under
consideration for publication elsewhere. Submissions should be approximately 8,000 words
in length. Manuscripts should be submitted via e-mail as a Word document (‘.doc’
attachment; one file including all figures and tables) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Papers should employ standard English. To be eligible for review, manuscripts must follow
the journal’s guidelines and provide full contact information for the authors. For additional
guidelines, see the “Notes for Contributors” in Journal of Business Ethics or at the homepage
at http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/applied+ethics/journal/10551. Authors should
not identify themselves in the body of the paper. The paper’s front page should have the
authors’ names, affiliations, and contact information (e-mail addresses, telephone numbers,
and physical addresses).
For questions please contact the guest editors
Dr.ir. Frank G.A. de Bakker
Associate professor of Strategic Management
Department of Organisation Science, Faculty of Social Science
VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081
1081HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Professor Jeremy Moon FRSA
Director International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ICCSR)
Nottingham University Business School
Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
Dr Andreas Rasche
Assistant Professor of Business in Society
Governance and Public Management Group (GPM)
Warwick Business School, The University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom