The Business for Society SIG is dedicated to research and educational programmes that analyse the conditions under which business can (or actually does) interact positively with its social and natural environment. The objective of our SIG is to bring together scholars from various fields of social sciences (management, law, sociology, economics, political science, education, social psychology, history, philosophy, engineering, etc.), while sharing a common interest in B4S projects. We try to build a strong community of engaged scholars by:
- Exploring ways and methods, of identifying actors, business models and contexts which allow organisations to contribute to sustainable development, and
- Fully grasping the ambiguities, contradictions as well as the potential for innovative and transformative practices of this approach.
SIG Officers :
GT 01_00 Business for Society General Track
The Business for Society General Track aims at analysing under which conditions organizations can interact positively with their social and natural environment. B4S community is expanding, as confirmed by the number of papers submitted in the last conference. Consistently with the interdisciplinary nature of this field of study, colleagues from economics, management, political sciences, sociology, etc. are developing the debate on the ways, methods and new initiatives that allow organizations to contribute to a sustainable development. Therefore, the sharing of continuous knowledge creation from business and academy is the objective of our general track, in line with the scope of EURAM 2017: “Making Knowledge Work”.
The general track is specially devoted to contributions that are not explicitly covered by other tracks within the SIG.
BUSINESS FOR SOCIETY SIG STANDING TRACKS
ST 01_01 Accounting and Control for Sustainability
We aim to attract papers which critically review and advance theorizations and methodological applications in the study of accounting and control for sustainability, highlighting the relevance of different theories and research approaches, as well the potential richness of this stream of research for both sustainability and accounting studies. We would like also to explore different research methods, and various types of organisational settings and practices in different countries. Sustainability accounting plays a central role in the implementation of the sustainability strategy, and developing relationships with stakeholders. It comprises accounting practices and mechanisms devoted to measure, represent and communicate the company’s performance and which embrace environmental, social and economic aspects and their relationships. However, it appears that we know still little about the integration of sustainability into management control and its uses for strategic management. It also seems that theory and practice have devoted little attention on questions of how to embed sustainability and CSR in management control systems (MCSs) and performance measurement systems (PMSs) in order to align business strategy and sustainable strategy, and the role of AFC department(s) and its relationship with the CSR/sustainability unit. Another area of interest is sustainability/CSR disclosure that has become a prominent phenomenon in practice. Integrated reporting, materiality matrix, quality and assurance of disclosure are becoming very relevant issues. The track is carried out in collaboration with the Environmental Management Accounting Network Europe (EMAN EU).
ST 01_02 Finance, Economy and Society
The social tumults and economic upheavals of the past decade have highlighted the dis-functioning of the global financial and economic system and the risks to which the world economy is subjected. Market and institutional failures coupled with social pressures call for new ideas and practices as well as alternative management and business models. The ‘Finance, Economy and Society’ track encourages scholarly debate and research on an array of economic, societal and environmental topics that focus on the nature and extent of disruptive shocks and the solutions to the pressing social demands, alternative models of investment and financing (e.g. microfinance, crowd funding, impact investment, social investment bonds) and the role of institutions and policies in supporting alternative management and business models.
ST 01_03 Institutional change, Power, Resistance and Critical Management
The track addresses the paradox of institutional change, the resistance that the change faces and the contradictions that it incites or reveals.
POWER, RESISTANCE AND CRITICAL MANAGEMENT
When addressing institutional change, literature emphasizes the role of power. Institutional agency is understood as the power to change institutions countervailing resistance to change.
The track investigates the issues of institutional change, power and resistance. This latter interpreted as both the institutional work of elites to maintain their hegemony and exploitative power, and the one enacted by dominated actors that resist exploitation and hegemony processes.
DEMOCRACY, BUREAUCRACY AND INSTITUTIONAL PARADOXES
Paradoxically, institutions defined through their persistence seem increasingly to be dominated by multi factorial causes of change, with the event of the UK EU referendum being just the most evident example today. Connecting networks of knowledge and ways of knowing within institutions and between their social spaces generates the meaning of events, those phenomena that cannot be treated according to a predetermined rule, whose occurrence is a factor in unexpected change.
The track explores why and how what institutions and organizations change, despite routinized tendencies to inertia and the domination over individual members through routines and regularities. Thus, we look for papers that contribute to the advance of institutional theory by coupling persistence and change, order and disorder, authority and resistance.
How do individual actors or coalitions of actors (traders, entrepreneurs, managers, unions, parties, ordinary employees) and actants (such as Eurozone crises) contribute to institutional dynamics? To what extent are managers effectively monitoring institutional change? What is the role of democracy and cooperation and of bureaucracy and authority, and of resistance to each, in initiating and explaining change? How do networks of social knowledge and individual knowing incorporate unexpected events and institutional change?
BUSINESS FOR SOCIETY SIG 2017 TRACKS
T 01_04 Developing Leadership for Complexity - Critical Approaches to Coaching & Other Helping Practices
In a context described as Volatile Uncertain Turbulent and Ambiguous (VUCA), coaches are increasingly called in by leaders to support the implementation of alternative disruptive change solutions. In this track, we first look for contributions that explore the nature of this support at the micro (focused on skills), meso (complex relationships) and macro levels (across organizations, countries, regions etc.). But supporting disruptive change can rapidly generate conflicts and resistance, when economic, organizational and societal equilibria are challenged. A second aim of this track is to explore the resulting tensions, contradictions, and ethical dilemmas. Finally, a third avenue of interest consists in exploring the educational challenges to equip coaches to effectively support leaders and organizations in complex environments.
While coaching is the primary helping practice considered in this track, we welcome critical contribution on other leadership development practice such as mentoring, consulting, etc.
T 01_05 Marketing for Society
This topic analyzes the role of marketing, its ability to change and to improve practices and its legitimacy. Different thematics will be approached such as the integration of ethics, sustainability and CSR in marketing concepts (brands, image, reputation, awareness and loyalty; Eco-design products, societal communication or practices (retailing and new channel forms in retail as short circuits, cooperatives, etc). This topic addresses research and practices which can modify consumer-retailer, retailer-society and consumer-society relationships and enable to improve knowledge on this subject. Society is facing new technological, commercial and social challenges and we need new researches and approaches to understand, operationalize and maximize the opportunities.
T 01_06 Rethinking the Form, Governance & Legal Constitution of Corporations’ Theoretical Issues & Social Stakes (Co-sponsored by CORPORATE GOVERNANCE SIG-02)
Contemporary social and environmental challenges call for a rethinking of the forms and models of the business corporation. The field of management research has focused a lot on how to curb corporate behaviour and how stakeholders matter. But it has usually considered as given for entrepreneurs the possible forms, the governance and the legal constitution of the firm, while the diversity of corporate models is continually expanded both by companies and by laws. This topic encourages work that examines our current theories of the corporation, extends our knowledge on alternative and emergent forms of business companies, and suggests new foundations for future governance.
T 01_07 Global Performance and Integrated Reporting
The landscape of corporate reporting is changing quickly. The concepts, elements and principles that characterise the way organisations plan, manage and report their annual performances are currently being questioned, debated, and redesigned throughout the world. However, widening the scope of corporate performance and reporting is a major issue. Research needs to bridge the gap between social and financial performance by considering corporate performance in a wider perspective.
The objective of this track is to collect significant contributions that answer some of these questions and provide original insights on measurement, accounting, reporting and control could evolve.
T 01_08 Describing Work and Action from Ontology to Politics in Management
Over the last decade, there have been a lot of important changes in work practices. These work transformations challenge our ways of describing and conceptualizing "work" and "action" in our societies. To a certain extent, which will be appraised in this topic, the transformations can be related to many of the ontological debates in recent management and organization studies. With process perspectives, aesthetics, phenomenology, post-Marxist or critical realist perspectives, ontologies are part of theorizations and discussions. Still, while the symbolic, institutional or political layers were often present in the writings of authors quoted (e.g. Dewey or Merleau-Ponty), they have strangely been eluded from most of the management literature. We would like to stress or re-stress these layers here. In the context of the generalization of entrepreneurship, end of work, rise of co-working and mobility, DIY... we would to discuss how addressing these issues can help.
T 01_09 Managing Business NOT as Usual: Rethinking Regulation and Productive Systems
The aim of this call for paper is to rethink both regulation and productive systems so that business would be managed NOT as usual. Productive systems are undergoing major transformations stimulated by technological and geopolitical mutations (for example off shoring and outsourcing, digital economy). These are fraught with new opportunities and risks. The goal of this topic is to observe and anticipate those transformations and analyse the conditions in terms of intertwined business models, managerial strategies, tools, practices and modes of consumption on the one hand, regulations on the other hand allowing a more sustainable development. This constitutes a challenge when traditional form of regulations as well as Corporate Social Responsibility approaches or more recent forms of hybrid or multi-actor regulation fail living up to the expectations they are raising.