July 7, 2008

Special issue on: Cross Sector Social Interactions


The Journal of Business Ethics announces the call for papers for a special issue on Cross Sector Social Interactions. The deadline for submission is May 31, 2009. The special issue is jointly edited by Dr. Maria May Seitanidi ( and Professor Adam Lindgreen (


Purpose of the Special Issue


Interactions across sectorial boundaries have intensified over the last years. One of the more recent forms of interactions are cross sector social partnerships (Selsky and Parker, 2005), which involve organisations across different economic sectors—public, nonprofit, and business—that aim to address social issues by providing society with what was traditionally termed ‘public goods’ such as clean water, clean air, environmental protection, health care, and education. For cases of these types of partnerships, we refer to Warner and Sullivan (2004). However, cross sector social partnerships are only one of the forms of interaction across the sectors and sometimes suffer from rhetorical attempts to address the social good. Hence we need to go beyond the form of interaction and examine the level of interactions that take place across the sectors. There are four dynamic constellations of interactions across organisations from different economic sectors that emerge: public-private, private-nonprofit, nonprofit-public, and tripatrite social interactions.


The aim of this call for papers is to encourage researchers in any of the above areas to look at the level of interaction rather than the form of interaction or frame of practice. Focusing on the interactions across organisations and sectors can allow for meaningful comparisons across different frames of practice, organisational forms, industries, sectors, and countries in order to observe emergent patterns. Hence, researchers should examine the three different levels of reality—the micro level of individual interactions, the meso level of organisational or sectorial interactions, and the macro level of societal interactions. By looking at social interactions (i.e., interactions for the social good) the special issue will allow for the central question to be addressed of how society is better off due to the joining efforts of organisations across sectors (Austin, 2000), which paradoxically has not been addressed directly in the literature. Answering this question will potentially increase the benefit to both the practitioner and academic audience of the journal in developing systematic practices and studies with the aim to increase the transferability, sustainability, and the benefits of the interactions for society (Seitanidi and Crane, 2008).


Specific topics in relation to social interactions may include, but are not limited to:


·         A historical overview of cross sector social interactions in each of the four constellations

·         Theoretical frameworks of formation, implementation, and outcomes of any type of cross sector social interactions (on any of the three different levels of reality)

·         The role of social interactions across the different sectors as a way of delivering social goods

·         The measurement of cross sector social interactions on different levels of analysis

·         Managing cross sector social interactions across different contexts

·         Theoretical contributions on how best to analyse cross sector social interactions

·         Cross sector social interactions in different industries

·         The motivations, processes and dynamics of cross sector social interactions

·         Critical approaches to develop and assess the impact of cross sector social interactions


Preference will be given to empirical papers (both qualitative and quantitative) although theoretical papers that offer comprehensive frameworks of any type of cross sector social interaction are also welcome. As the Journal of Business Ethics appeals equally to academic and business audience, all submissions should include implications for practitioners.