Corporate Social Responsibility in China Perspectives and Evidence
A special issue of Business & Society
Chinese firms are increasingly implementing CSR practices and CSR reporting (Ip, 2009). This behavior appears driven by global and domestic forces.
Looking first at global drivers, the fast integration of China into the global economic system and its prominent position as manufacturing hub in global supply chains (Wang & Juslin, 2009) has led to stakeholder calls to enhance responsibility along global supply chains. a trend reinforced by China’s entry to the World Trade Organization (Ip, 2009). In addition, the Chinese government has introduced regulations to strengthen corporate commitment to CSR (Lin, 2010; Wang & Juslin, 2009).
Domestic drivers for CSR also have become more explicit. Societal expectations regarding CSR grew particularly in the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake where media and the public scorned several firms for perceived stingy donations, leading some companies to expand their donations (Lin, 2010). In addition, growing industrial unrest amongst some migrant workers, media attention towards labor conditions, and statements of public officials have pressured organizations to pursue more socially responsible behavior towards employees (Lin, 2010).
Combining these international and domestic forces, many Chinese firms operating within global supply chains make significant efforts to increase their value-added in China, some aided by government support for innovation. Therefore, CSR may become more instrumental in order to attract and retain more skilled workers and through the development of collaborative relationships that can bring in knowledge and foster innovation.
There is an increasing knowledge of CSR in China produced by scholars using the English language, both based in Chain and outside (Moon & Shen, 2010). The purpose of this Business & Society special issue is to bring together some of the current leading scholarship on the topic.
We invite papers to explore perspectives on the role of CSR in the aforementioned developments, ranging from more theoretical to practice-oriented, from a China angle to comparative perspectives, and from the micro-level to the sector/supply chain-level and macro-level. These could include contributions from business ethics, corporate citizenship, accountability, sustainability, and business-government perspectives, for example.
We seek papers that explore how the development of CSR reflects shifts in the balance among stakeholders from government, business, and civil society; a shift between normative and instrumental motives for CSR (Moon & Shen, 2010); and a shift from implicit to more explicit CSR (Matten & Moon, 2008).
We especially invite papers that develop fresh theoretical perspectives, apply recently developed conceptual frameworks, or present empirical evidence in areas that are relatively underexplored in China. Examples of potential topics are:
How does the interaction of regulations and institutions shape the nature of CSR in Chinese firms at home and abroad?
What is the evolving role of civil society (including consumers) in framing and driving CSR in China?
Is there a relationship between philanthropy and CSR in Chinese firms, and/or is it possible to identify a distinct Chinese perspective on CSR and business ethics?
CSR reporting is expanding rapidly in China – why and to what effect?
What is the contribution of CSR to the government’s goal of a harmonious, innovative, and climate-friendly Chinese society?
How and why is CSR manifest in global supply chains and in Chinese supplier firms?
What is the nature of stakeholder engagement in CSR of firms in China and of Chinese firms expanding abroad?
How do comparative perspectives on CSR and sustainability improve our understanding of the Chinese experience?
Why and how might CSR address particularly prominent instances of irresponsible business behaviour in China?
Please submit papers by 31st July 2012 to
Please use recent issues of Business & Society as a style guide for citations, references, and internal headings. The references in this call are in the basic format for submissions.i
Dr. Peter S. Hofman,
Nottingham University Business School China
Professor Jeremy Moon
Nottingham University Business School
Dr. Bin Wu
University of Nottingham
Special Issue of Business and Society
Corporate Sustainability – Off to Pastures New or Back to the Roots? Exploring New Perspectives, Theories and Research Methods in Corporate Sustainability Research
Research on corporate sustainability has developed from a niche topic into a widely accepted research topic in management and organization research. This mainstreaming has narrowed the methodological and theoretical approaches chosen by corporate sustainability scholars. While approaches such as the resource based view or institutional theory have contributed to our understanding of organizational responses to sustainable development, the time is ripe for exploring a wider range of perspectives. To promote methodological and paradigmatic heterogeneity and innovation, this special issue seeks papers that adopt new perspectives, theories, and research methods to guide future corporate sustainability research.
We believe that two avenues appear particularly promising: First, a return to some of the fundamental notions of sustainable development offers the potential to address sustainability-related issues neglected in current corporate sustainability research. Second, the adoption of theories, methodologies, and perspectives that have not yet been taken up to investigate corporate sustainability promises insights that go beyond our current understanding of corporate responses to sustainability challenges.
We thus particularly encourage submissions that (a) look into corporate responses to sustainability aspects that have received scant attention or (b) take on theoretical and/or methodological perspectives that have not been widely used to analyze corporate responses to sustainable development. The following provides more detail on the topical focus.
The definition of sustainable development comprises aspects that have not received widespread attention. This holds for the definitional core of sustainability as well as for specific sustainability issues and different types of strategic responses. For instance, the construct of time has sparsely been at the focus of research on corporate sustainability. In addition, relative to research on firm responses to climate change, research on firm responses to other sustainability challenges (e.g., the loss of biodiversity) are less researched. Further, some of the strategies proposed in the sustainable development literature have been adopted in other business fields (e.g., marketing) but much less so in management. Submissions that develop and exploit these or other fundamental aspects of sustainable development for research on corporate sustainability at the organizational level are particularly encouraged.
This special issue encourages submissions that adopt alternative theoretical and/or methodological perspectives to gain a better understanding of phenomena in corporate sustainability (e.g., why companies voluntarily contribute to sustainability). Theoretical and methodological cross-fertilization not only within the field of management and organization studies, but also from other fields and disciplines appear most promising. For example, relative to research on the effets of institutions, theories structuration have received much less attention to explain the behavior of firms vis-à-vis sustainability-related norms and rules. Likewise, the literature on corporate sustainability predominantly adopts a top-down perspective of planned strategies in contrast to bottom-up approaches of emergent patterns shaped by action rather than planning. A better understanding of corporate responses to sustainability issues might also be gained through experimental methods. While not limited to the above examples, this special issue seeks submissions that venture for new theoretical or methodological pastures.
With this special issue we thus encourage innovative and rigorous research that contributes to a better understanding of organizational responses, strategies, business models and policies with regard to sustainability challenges. We explicitly welcome conceptual as well as empirical submissions. While the focus will be to encourage innovative, novel, and even unorthodox approaches, the call is open and inclusive regarding a range of corporate sustainability topics (e.g., sustainable business models and entrepreneurship; environmental strategy and policy; innovation and green products, green consumerism and shareholder activism, environmental accounting and performance; the role of firms in natural protection; stakeholder and community management; governance for sustainability; management tools and approaches for corporate sustainability).
In their submission letter, authors should provide a paragraph that explains the fit of their submission with this special issue: Authors should either explain which so far under-researched sustainability aspect with regard to the fundamental notion of sustainable development they address in their research (“back to the roots”) or need to show how and in what respecttheir theoretical or methodological perspective offers novel insights that go beyond the currently dominant approaches (“off to pastures new”).
The topic of this special issue is closely related to the GRONEN Research Conference 2012 that is held in southern France on 26-29 June 2012. For more details, visit www.gronen2012.org. Interested authors are invited to submit their work also to the GRONEN conference. However, participation in the conference is NOT a requirement related to this special issue.
Submissions to the special issue should be sent to
30 September 2012.
"Sustainable Development and Financial Markets" in Business & Society
To what extent and how can capitalist structures and processes foster, encourage, or facilitate business environmental responsibility? This question is a vigorously debated issue with a long history, particularly given the increasing influence of, and research on, sustainable investment. In this Call for Papers, sustainable investment describes investment strategies centered on long-term environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) criteria; thus integrating financial objectives with restrictions on ecological and social issues or concerns (Hoffmann et al., 2004). The most well-known and widely used definition of sustainable development is "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (WCED, 1987).
Sustainable investments have reached US$ 10.6 trillion globally; for European investments, there was an increase from US$ 3.8 trillion in 2007 to US$ 7 trillion at the end of 2009 (Eurosif, 2010). Some surveys (Allianz, 2010) suggest the market is expected to grow further. The signatories of the Principles for Responsible Investment increased from 557 organizations, worth US$ 18.5 trillion, in 2009 to over 900, worth US$ 30 trillion, in 2011 (PRI, 2011). Further, epistemological concerns (Orlitzky, 2011) notwithstanding, there seems to be no clear indication of a negative relationship between share price performance and environmental or social performance (Kurtz, 2008).
However, we can observe a somewhat paradoxical situation. On the one hand, many reasons can be identified as to why equity market participants have shown increasing interest in ecological sustainability. In cases where the biophysical environment imposes new constraints and offers new opportunities, firms must respond to sustainability challenges effectively (Shrivastava, 1995). A prominent example is the limited availability of crude oil coupled with steadily increasing energy demand. This is a constraint on all carbon-dependent industries and an opportunity for the renewable energy sector. Further, in some areas, policy makers have pressured business to internalize negative externalities through environmental regulations. Such changing conditions affect business risk, profitability, and competitive advantage (Porter & Kramer, 2006). As such, it appears plausible that ESG criteria are increasingly integrated into investment decisions (Mercer, 2009).
On the other hand, production and consumption seem to have become more unsustainable. For example, global CO2 emissions increased by 4.4 percent between 2008 and 2010, while global GDP increased by 3.9 percent.ii This implies that carbon intensity (CO2 emissions/GDP) increased by .5 percent in the last three years. Further, in 2007, humanity used the equivalent of 1.5 planets to support its activities; by 2030 humanity is projected to require the capacity of two Earths (WWF, Zoological Society of London & Global Footprint Network, 2010).
As such, despite concerns about environmental and related social and governance issues, there has not been a significant shift towards greater sustainability. This Special Issue will address this paradoxical situation related to the market demand for and "supply" of sustainable development. Contributions may cover (but are not limited to) the following:
• What are the contemporary sustainable investment practices? How effective are they in terms of their contribution to sustainable development? How are these practices affected by other events in financial markets (e.g., the 2008/2009 financial crisis; the 2011 Euro crisis)?
• How can (economic, sociological, psychological, etc.) theories of equity market participants' decision making, business cycles, and aggregate market dynamics inform the debate on sustainable development and financial markets?
• How do individual market participants react to sustainable investment products? Do the characteristics of these "sustainable" investors differ from those of regular investors?
• Is the filing of shareholder proposals on environmental and social issues an effective mechanism for investors? And, if so, which investors are most likely to have an impact?
• How do ESG signals affect financial markets? What is the impact of institutional entrepreneurs on the viability of ESG investing?
• How, if at all, do sustainability-oriented institutional logics influence investor choices and corporate finance decisions? In general, what is the impact of sustainable investing?
• To what extent do trends in sustainable investing call for changes in corporate governance?
• What are effective (or ineffective) corporate strategies to attract capital from sustainability-oriented investors? How can we use theory to derive best practices for business—particularly environmental entrepreneurs?
• What are some firm-internal preconditions for more successful business positioning vis-à-vis with sustainability-oriented investors?
• What is the role of sustainability-related recommendations from security analysts and rating agencies for firms and investors?
• What theoretical perspectives or typologies can be identified for investment styles? What do they imply for efforts seeking to foster sustainable business practices? For example, what is the role of "impact investments” (e.g., Eurosif, 2010)?
• What are individual and/or institutional investors' expectations about sustainable development? How do these expectations affect their investor behaviors? To which extent do (should) investors reflect on sustainability trends in investment decisions from a real-options perspective?
• What are the myths and realities of sustainable investments? What are the validity challenges inherent in ESG data screens (Waddock, 2003)? In other words, do ESG criteria and data really measure what they purport to measure?
• How can ESG criteria best be applied to other asset classes beyond publicly traded securities? How may possible barriers be overcome?
Process and timeline
• Deadline for submissions: October 15th, 2012.
• Manuscripts must be submitted via email to Timo Busch:
• The submission should consist of two WORD documents: (i) a manuscript without title page and author information, and containing a 100-150 word abstract and 3-5 keywords; (ii) a title page with author contact information.
Business & Society AND Business and Professional Ethics Journal
Joint Call for Papers: “Business in Extreme Operating Environments”
We live in a world that is vulnerable to natural disasters, human-made crises, and uncertainty. Businesses must respond to crises and continue to operate in environments of increased risk, great uncertainty, and scarce resources. Recent examples that have brought on extreme operating environments (EOE) include economic threats exacerbated in Japan by natural and human-made disasters; the 2010 earthquake in Haiti; the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; health epidemics such as the 2009 influenza pandemic; regional and global military conflicts; global climate change; and social upheaval such as the Arab Spring. These events and the EOEs they bring on affect communities and individuals, and of course, business organizations and markets.
What special managerial and moral considerations, responsibilities, and obligations does business have in EOEs, defined as times of great uncertainty and/or crisis which challenge human capabilities, organizational operations, and social institutions?
How do, and how should, businesses operate in unconventional environments or at the boundaries of our normal assumptions?
Business & Society and Business and Professional Ethics Journal together invite submissions to Special Topic Forums on the role of business in EOEs. We encourage research that elaborates on, but is not limited to, the following research questions:
• Economic and management theories address how business influences and responds to uncertainty within markets. However, it is less clear whether these theories apply in EOEs. How do existing theories extend to EOEs, or do we need unique theoretical frameworks or perspectives?
• How do existing theories of management, risk, and uncertainty extend to EOEs? How do we distinguish "extreme" from "normal"? Do extreme cases make for good theories?
• Theories of corporate responsibility and corporate citizenship apply to individual organizations within normal markets. However, global risks may go beyond the capacity of any individual market actor to remedy. What do these theories tell us about ethical responsibilities and obligations in EOEs?
• Does the origin of crisis (endogenous or exogenous) affect how business can or should respond? When human-made disasters can be traced back to prior behavior of business organizations and managers, how should that influence authority and responsibility?
• Are there special considerations for businesses and the intersection of business, government, and non-governmental organizations? How do networked operating environments complicate or resolve matters of authority and responsibility?
• What are paradigmatic examples of how businesses operate in EOEs? What are the results and best practices?
• Does the capability to help others cope with the effects of EOEs entail a moral obligation to help? Does can imply ought?
• Should moral accountability be put on hold, or should judgment be more lenient, regarding ethical decisions made in EOEs?
• What do such interrelated concepts as moral luck, moral risk, and moral hazard have to illuminate our answers to these and other questions about EOEs?
Target dates (subject to change)
• 28 February 2013: Full paper submissions to the Special Topic Forums
• 31 May 2013: Authors are invited to revise and resubmit
• 31 August 2013: Submission of revised papers
• 30 November 2013: Delivery of accepted contributions together with introductory papers by the guest editors for future publication
• Authors are requested to submit a full paper to the guest editors, Virginia Gerde (
The guest editors will review submitted papers and, in consultation with the journal editors, determine where accepted papers will be published based on fit with the respective journals’ editorial aims. The final versions of submitted papers should follow the relevant journal’s guidelines for authors:
Business & Society:
Business and Professional Ethics Journal guidelines for authors:
Special Topic Forum in the Journal of Business Logistics on Strategic Sourcing and Performance
The concept of strategic sourcing--making supply decisions with the intent to create distinctive value and achieve a competitive advantage--is prevalent among firms around the world. The goal of the special topic forum is to help close the gap between “what we know” and “what we need to know” about strategic sourcing and to serve as a catalyst for future theoretical and empirical development. Papers may be either conceptual or empirical in nature, adopt a domestic or international focus, and Pursue either theory-building or theory-testing. Papers that integrate multiple perspectives and/or multiple methodologies are especially encouraged. Suggested topics might include, but are not limited to:
- How do sourcing strategies (e.g., sole/dual/cross sourcing, global/domestic sourcing) affect competitive advantage?
- How do the various sourcing strategies affect buyer and supplier performance?
- To what extent is performance enhanced by matching sourcing strategies to other key management dimensions, such as information systems, transportation, logistics, and inventory management?
- At what point should various sourcing decisions be “rethought” in light of poor performance or changing supply chain environments?
- How can the risks and rewards of various sourcing strategies be managed to enhance long-term performance?
- How do global sourcing strategies such as sourcing from supplier clusters or low-cost countries affect performance over time?
All topically appropriate papers will go through JBL’s double blind review process. The submission window is from November 15 to December 31, 2012. Interested authors can learn more, or submit a paper, by emailing any of the guest editors at
Christopher W. Craighead
The Pennsylvania State University
David J. Ketchen, Jr.
T. Russell Crook
University of Tennessee
Top Management Impact on Management Control
Management control systems (MCS) – defined by Simons (1990) as formal, information-based routines and procedures managers use to maintain or alter patterns in organizational activities – have been a very popular research topic. A lot of contingency-based research focused on rather “technical” issues regarding the development, adaption, use and impact of MCS. These studies argue that organizational and environmental contingencies determine the design and use of MCS. In contrast, the upper echelons approach of strategic choice (Hambrick & Mason 1984; Carpenter et al. 2004; Finkelstein et al. 2009) notes that organizations do not make choices, but key actors – such as CEOs and CFOs – do. So far, theoretical insights and empirical findings about the relevance of top executives in designing, perceiving and using MCS are still rare. Notable exceptions include recent studies which analyzed the relationship between individual CFO characteristics and the usage of innovative management accounting systems (Naranjo-Gil et al. 2009) or the impact of leadership style on senior management's use of planning and control systems (Abernethy et al. 2010). The related question of how top management characteristics relate to the organization and management of the Finance Function also remains largely unanswered.
This special issue of the Journal of Management Control (JoMaC) intends to shed more light on the ambiguous interaction between top executives’ characteristics on the one hand and MCS characteristics and the organization of the Finance Function on the other hand.
We invite empirical, theoretical, and/or methodological papers, whose focus may include but is not limited to:
JoMaC is an international journal concerned with operational and strategic planning and control systems and their processes and techniques. It was founded in Germany as the "Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung" in 1990 and has a strong reputation as a dedicated academic journal open to high-quality research on all aspects of management control. JoMaC is available via Springer Press at 5,486 institutions worldwide. The journal has a high download usage and short review and production cycles. Accepted papers are published online first 20 to 25 days after acceptance.
We kindly invite authors to submit their papers for a double-blind review process using our electronic review system Editorial Manager. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.
Review: Double-blind review process
Length: max. 75,000 characters, including abstract, footnotes and references, 1.5 spaced
Deadline: November 30, 2012
Application: via Editorial Manager JoMaC web site: https://www.editorialmanager.com/jmac/
Prof. Andrea Dossi
SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milano
Accounting, Control and Corporate Finance Department
Phone: 02.5836.6886 - .6413
Prof. Dr. Utz Schäffer
WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
Institute of Management Accounting and Control (IMC)
Burgplatz 2, D-56179 Vallendar, Germany
Phone: ++49 (0) 261 6509 700
Temporary Organization and Workers’ Representation
Special Issue of Industrielle Beziehungen - The German Journal of Industrial Relations
In today’s world, temporary forms of organization are growing in relevance. Increasingly, the creation of economic value is organized in projects. While the construction industry remains the traditional point of reference for this development, other sectors (e.g., creative industries) have become the new emblem for this form of value creation. Perhaps most interestingly, even value creation processes in traditional organizations (e.g., automobiles) have been diagnosed as being ‘projectified’.
Against this background, some already speak of a Project Economy or even Project Society. Project-based work in and across organizations poses new challenges for traditional institutions of workers’ representation, for works council as well as for unions. How, for example, can the interests of project workers be collectively represented, given the limited co-presence not only of the work council or union members but of the project workers themselves. Against this backdrop, Industrielle Beziehungen – The German Journal of Industrial Relations wishes to publish a Special Issue (SI) devoted to temporary organization and workers’ representation. Papers submitted to the SI may address questions like:
- Which industries or regions are affected most by the spread of project-based work? How do the traditional institutions of participation and codetermination in these industries or regions adapt?
- How do unions, whether on the local, the national, or the global level, which are particularly confronted with temporary and fluid forms of work, approach effective worker representation under these especially demanding conditions?
- What role do network forms of interest representation have in industries or regions populated by projects? How do works council and union representatives stay in touch with often remote project workers?
- How can the interests of permanent-temporary workers be represented?
- What challenges does the growing popularity of interim or temporary management pose regarding the interest representation of workers?
- To what extent do workers representatives on a local, national or global regard themselves as project organizers? How do they organize campaigns or even interest representation as projects?
Manuscripts, written in English or German, introducing new concepts and/or presenting fresh empirical insights on these or related questions are invited for submission.
Deadline for submission is September 30, 2012. All submitted manuscripts will be subject to double-blind review. Publication is planned for summer 2013. For more information, please visit www.hampp-verlag.de/hampp_e-journals_IndB.htm or contact:
Prof. Dr. Jörg Sydow
Berlin School of Business & Economics, Dept of Management
D-14195 Berlin, Germany
Michael Fichter & Jörg Sydow
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
ZfB-Special Issue on “The Future of Strategy Research”
Journal of Business Economics
(Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft)
Although strategic management is multidisciplinary and admits an array of theories and methodologies, research has established that its members, share an implicit consensus about the meaning of the field. Yet, the field faces major, interrelated challenges that threaten its viability. It is the purpose of this Special Issue to discuss ways to address these challenges. We highlight three problem areas.
First, while the field embraces a multidisciplinary approach to advancing knowledge, it has done little to circumvent an uncontrolled eclecticism. A vast array of theoretical frameworks is applied to an equally vast and increasing number of phenomena so that a leading representative of the field has described this state as ‘debilitating fragmentation’. Arguably, researchers need to find ways to consolidate knowledge without stifling advancement or sacrificing the field’s multidisciplinary pluralism.
Secondly, a related problem is that strategy research is almost exclusively concerned with novelty and theory at the expense of relevance. This lack of relevance does not only concern the practice of strategic management, it also concerns the nature of the academic field because the preoccupation with novel theoretical contributions prevents consolidation and necessary replication. Instead, the field’s boundaries are continuously expanded by pressures to produce and what appears to be opportune to authors in a culture that values volume and novelty.
The obsession with publishing in A-journals and editorial policies demanding new and significant contributions are two factors that contribute to this proliferation of theoretical frameworks and strategic phenomena. It has been proposed that researchers and leaders of academic institutions should revamp tenure and promotion practices to encourage research that is relevant both to the academic field and to practice but significant progress in this regard is elusive.
A third problem area is that the publicly espoused values of ethical behavior in conducting research are not accepted by the research community. According to survey results recently published in the Academy of Management Learning & Education, ‘cheating’ is considered legitimate by many and commonplace. Acts of evidence fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism are endemic. While this behavior is not germane to the strategic management field but appears to characterize all management subdisciplines, strategic management scholars need to openly discuss this problem and invent options and incentives to diminish such misconduct. Interestingly, the problem of misconduct seems to feed on the above problem areas. With a barely controlled eclecticism and an obsession for novelty, the incentives to engage in unethical behavior are high.
This special issue invites contributions that address ways to further consolidation and relevance of strategic management research on the basis of widely accepted ethical standards. We invite English language manuscripts from a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches. While the challenges described above are salient, we encourage authors to think of and address other related issues as well.
The review and evaluation process for the special issue will be integrated into the “5th International CSR Conference” to be held 4-6 October 2012 in Berlin Germany. A selection of papers that make it through the beginning stage(s) of the review process will be invited to participate in a special track of the conference, where the author(s) will have the opportunity to interact with other researchers and the special issue editors. Following the conference, the special issue guest editors will make decisions as to the final disposition of the manuscripts.
Authors should submit their full article by August 1, 2012. Articles must be 10,000 words or less.
September 1, 2012: Invitations to Special Issue Track of the 5th International CSR Conference.
December 15, 2012: Final decisions expected.
Authors can contact the Guest Editors with any queries at
Please submit all manuscripts in a Word-compatible format to
Rudi K. F. Bresser and Joachim Schwalbach