Call for Papers
This Standing Working Group (SWG) provides a platform to discuss the changing dynamics between business activity and society in the context of globalization (Beck, 2000; Djelic & Quack, 2003; Habermas, 2001; Scherer & Palazzo, 2008a). The dominant views of the firm in management and organization studies in general, and in subfields such as CSR or business & society in particular, still build on the economic view of the business firm that focuses on profits and operates within a regulatory framework as defined by government (Crouch, 2006). In a globalizing world, governments may be ineffective and/or retreating, thus causing corporations to operate in an institutional void (Hajer, 2003). This dynamic erodes established ideas about the division of labour between the political and economic spheres (Scherer & Palazzo, 2007, 2011).
This year's topic is concerned with the political role of corporations, specifically the co-creation and enforcement of the international rules of the game by firms. The key research aim is to better understand how firms influence and participate in the creation of governance solutions in the international arena, and how they support the enforcement of these solutions. The basic premise is that firms fill governance voids and thus turn into political actors, especially when considering their role in global governance and contributing to the production of global public goods (Flohr et al., 2010; Kaul et al., 2003; Matten & Crane, 2005; Scherer & Palazzo, 2008b, 2011; Vogel, 2007). Governance, here, is not only understood as rule making, but also involves rule implementation and enforcement (including monitoring and reporting). Today, the governance of the global economy is characterized by the involvement of private, public, and civil society actors and the use of non-coercive steering mechanisms. Business firms are playing a significant role in this new governance of the global economy (Abbott & Snidal, 2009).
This SWG looks at the supply and demand side of governance on a variety of economic, social, and environmental issues and gives special consideration to issues related to the emergence of private and/or public-private governance regimes (e.g. the UN Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative, or international accounting standards) (see e.g. Bexell & Mörth, 2010; Erman & Uhlin, 2010; Rasche & Kell, 2010; Vogel, 2007). These problematic issues emerge with business firms' ambivalent role as governance makers and governance takers. Apparently, the existence of non-state regulatory mechanisms provokes questions of legitimacy of private rule making and rule enforcement (Erman & Uhlin, 2010; Palazzo & Scherer, 2006; van Oosterhout, 2010) as well as the effectiveness of global business regulation.
We want to discuss the consequences and implications of the new, enlarged role of the business firm for organization studies on the macro (business-society relationships) as well as the meso (organizational structures and procedures) and micro levels of analysis (leadership and individual behaviour). We specifically invite papers which take a critical perspective on the emerging political role of the multinational firm.
Possible questions include, but are not limited to:
- What is the business-role when looking at non-state regulation?
- Which institutional arrangements support the exercise of governance in the global arena? What is the role of international organizations such as the UN, WTO or ILO?
- What determines the legitimacy and efficiency of private regulatory schemes?
- What are the enforcement mechanisms of private governance?
- How can we theorize about critical issues such as corporate dominance and influence on public issues, democracy gaps, and the failure of state governance?
- What are the success factors of private-public partnerships such as, e.g., multi-stakeholder initiatives?
- What is the impact of a politically enlarged understanding of corporate responsibility on the theory of the firm?
Abbott, K.W. & D. Snidal (2009). "Strengthening International Regulation through Transnational New Governance: Overcoming the Orchestration Deficit." Vanderbilt Journal of International Law, 42, 501–578
Beck, U. (2000): What is Globalization? Cambridge, UK: Polity Press
Bexell, M. & Mörth, M. (eds.) (2010): Democracy and Public-Private Partnerships in Global Governance. New York: Palgrave
Crouch, C. (2006): "Modelling the Firm in its Market and Organizational Environment: Methodologies for Studying Corporate Social Responsibility." Organization Studies, 27, 1533–1551.
Djelic, M.-L. & S. Quack (eds.) (2003): Globalization and Institutions: Redefining the Rules of the Economic Game. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar
Erman, E. & A. Uhlin (eds.) (2010): Legitimacy Beyond the State? Re-examining the Democratic Credentials of Transnational Actors. New York: Palgrave
Flohr, A., L. Rieth, S. Schwindenhammer & K.D. Wolf (2010): The Role of Business in Global Governance. Corporations as Norm Entrepreneurs. New York: Palgrave
Habermas, J. (2001): The Postnational Constellation. Boston, MA: MIT Press
Hajer, M. (2003): "Policy without Polity: Policy Analysis and the Institutional Void." Policy Sciences, 36 (2), 175–195
Kaul, I., P. Conceição, K. Le Goulven & R.U. Mendoza (eds.) (2003): Providing Global Public Goods. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Matten, D. & A. Crane (2005): "Corporate Citizenship: Toward an Extended Theoretical Conceptualization." Academy of Management Review, 30 (1), 166–179
Palazzo, G. & A.G. Scherer (2006): "Corporate Legitimacy as Deliberation: A Communicative Framework." Journal of Business Ethics, 66 (1), 71–88
Rasche, A. & G. Kell (2010): The United Nations Global Compact – Achievements, Trends and Challenges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Scherer, A.G. & G. Palazzo (2007): "Toward a Political Conception of Corporate Social Responsibility: Business and Society Seen From a Habermasian Perspective." Academy of Management Review, 32 (4), 1096–1120
Scherer, A.G. & G. Palazzo (eds.) (2008a): Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
Scherer, A.G. & G. Palazzo (2008b): "Globalization and Corporate Social Responsibility." In: A. Crane, A. McWilliams, D. Matten, J. Moon & D. Siegel (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 413–431
Scherer, A.G. & G. Palazzo (2011): "The New Political Role of Business in a Globalized World – A Review of a New Perspective on CSR and its Implications for the Firm, Governance, and Democracy." Journal of Management Studies, 48, 899–931
van Oosterhout, H. (2010): "The Role of Corporations in Shaping the Global Rules of the Game: In Search of New Foundations." Business Ethics Quarterly, 20, 253–264
Vogel, D. (2007): "Private Global Business Regulation." Annual Review of Political Science, 11, 261–282