DW_SWG 10: Debating the Future of Corporate Social Responsibility

Christopher Wickert
University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Arno Kourula
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Call for Applications



Debate about business and society has gained momentum in academic literature, and terms such as business ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR), or corporate sustainability are established constructs. However, despite an increasing amount of knowledge about such and related areas that broadly deal with the role of business in society, economic crises, scandals, greenwashing, and allegations of unethical behaviour keep reoccurring and shake up the relationship between the world of business and that of society. At the same time, there is not really a "business & society theory" in place, and we lack a consensus about the role and obligations that businesses should have towards society.

We as scholars therefore should ask ourselves what business & society research has achieved so far, where it stands, where it should go, and how to get there. We seek to discuss these and related questions with those scholars who will most likely participate in this debate in the next five to ten years and whose work will thereby shape the research agenda of the future. In the discussions, we would like to focus on challenges for theory building, applying adequate methods, and on making implications for our community and for practice.

Exemplary questions that we would like to pose are:

  • What is the role of business & society research in relation to what organizations actually do?
  • Should we focus on describing and explaining behaviour, or on prescribing normative guidance?
  • What are the big topics that need to be addressed in the medium to long term?
  • What are the methods that should be used in our research?
  • Bridging world views on CSR: how can scholars from different cultural or disciplinary backgrounds learn and collaborate with each other?

All scholars interested in participating in this debate are invited to apply. However, preference will be given to early career scholars such as assistant professors, post-docs and late PhDs who are interested in the broader field of business & society, corporate social responsibility and sustain-ability, business ethics or related topics. In line with the general theme of this year's EGOS Colloquium, on bridging continents, cultures and worldviews, we particularly encourage participants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

This Development Workshop will be based on interactive discussion groups and stimuli delivered by participants. Invited senior scholars will participate in the discussions and share their views. We aim to have a group of about 25 participants.

The workshop will take place on Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 9:00am–14:00pm.



Please submit – via the EGOS website! – a single document of application that includes:

  • On the first page: a short letter of application containing full details of name, address (postal address, phone and email) & affiliation
  • CV inc. list of publications and/or work in progress
  • Short and possibly provocative essay (1–2 pages text or a few PowerPoint slides) about the above or related topics including questions that could form the basis of a discussion

Criteria for selection are:

  1. Originality of ideas in the essay
  2. Existing and potential future impact in the field of business and society;
  3. Research focus and geographical location (to achieve diversity according to the EGOS Colloquium theme) 


Bobby Banerjee, Cass Business School, City University London, UK


Bobby Banerjee is Professor of Management at Cass Business School, City University London, UK. His research interests are in the area of corporate social responsibility, environmental sustainability, postcolonialism, critical management studies and indigenous ecology. He has published widely in international ranked journals. Bobby is a Senior Editor at Organization Studies.

Peter Fleming, University of London, UK


Peter Fleming is Professor of Work, Organisation and Society at the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London, UK. His research focuses on the political economy of corporations and the relations of power that underlie them. His research has been published in journals such as Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management Studies, or Human Relations.

Jean-Pascal Gond, Cass Business School, City University London, UK


Jean-Pascal Gond is Professor at Cass Business School (City University, UK). His research investigates the social construction of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and his recent works focus on the performativity of economic forms of rationality. He has published widely in international ranked journals.

Dirk Matten, Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada


Dirk Matten holds the Hewlett-Packard Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility at the Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, Canada. He is interested in CSR, business ethics and international management. His work has appeared in many international journals such as Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, The Geneva Papers and Human Relations.

Andre Spicer, Cass Business School, City University London, UK


Andre Spicer is a Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Cass Business School (City University, UK). His main expertise is in the area of organizational behaviour. In particular, he has done work on organizational power and politics, identity, the creation of new organizational forms, space and architecture plays at work and more recently leadership. He has published extensively in scientific journals. He is a Senior Editor at the Journal of Management Studies.


Christopher Wickert is Senior Researcher at the University of St. Gallen and the University of Zurich in Switzerland and will be an Assistant Professor at VU University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands from July 2013. He was also a visiting scholar at IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. His primary research interests focus on CSR and firm size as well as CSR implementation. Christopher's research has appeared in journals such as 'Organization Studies' and 'Journal of Business Ethics'.
Arno Kourula is Assistant Professor of Strategy at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) Business School in the Netherlands. Prior to UvA, he was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University in the US and a research project manager at Aalto University in Finland. His primary research interests are corporate responsibility and cross-sector interaction. Arno's research has appeared in journals such as 'Business Ethics Quarterly', 'Business & Society', 'Corporate Governance', 'Energy Policy', 'Journal of Business Ethics' and 'Journal of World Business'.