PDW 02: Business Responsibility under Disruption

Gabriela Gutierrez-Huerter O
King’s College London, United Kingdom
José A. Puppim de Oliveira
Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil
Carolin Waldner
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany

Call for Applications


Itziar Castelló, Surrey Business School, United Kingdom
Frank de Bakker, IESEG Paris, France
Giuseppe Delmestri, WU Vienna, Austria
Domenico Dentoni, Montpellier Business School, France
Helen Etchanchu, Montpellier Business School, France
Arno Kourula, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Martina Linnenluecke, Macquarie University, Australia
Andreas Rasche, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Christopher Wickert, VU Amsterdam, Netherlands


The overall goal of this PDW – organized by the EGOS Standing Working Group (SWG) 02 on Organizing Social Responsibilities in Con­tested Times – is to help organizational researchers develop meaningful scholarship in a world of disruption. The PDW will be organized following a triple loop learning approach to studying complex social and environmental phenomena, i.e. “grand challenges”. Interested junior faculty and doctoral students will learn and reflect about conceptual and methodological approaches and practical tools to analyze business responsibilities under disruption, particularly climate change.In contrast with the dramatic and coordinated actions to tackle COVID-19, there have been remarkably few efforts seeking to address the far larger threat of climate catastrophes. Current approaches – such as green growth, the circular economy or degrowth – are all based on the premise that organizations, economies and societies that we know today will persist if we “solve” climate change. Yet, scientists increasingly project that climate-related hazards are irreversible and occurring at an unprecedented pace, even if we do not consider looming tipping points (e.g., Heinze et al., 2021). If we take this existential threat seriously and recognize the limited ability to adapt (IPCC, 2018, p. 13), we may visualize a world in which markets and industrial production – including organizations within them – are fundamentally disrupted.

How can businesses and organizational scholarship contribute to field-level changes caused by the climate emergency? For example, beyond a stakeholder lens, the socio-ecological systems (SES) perspective highlights how organizations need to take into account the interrelationships within and between market, social and ecological systems at multiple scales (Wasieleski et al., 2021; Williams et al., 2021; Dentoni et al., 2021). Understanding how businesses collaboratively shape systems change, in either desirable or undesirable ways for different societal actors, is particularly relevant given the urgent, complex socio-ecological crises that we are experiencing (Otto et al., 2020; IPCC, 2021).
In this PDW we will reflect about this situation not as a zombie narrative exercise (Hällgren & Buchanan, 2020), but as a possibility of this century (Gosling & Case, 2013). We seek to contemplate the “new normal” as one stage in ongoing disruption at the environmental and societal levels, which in turn will heavily affect organizations. In this PDW we engage in three loops of learning (Romme & van Witteloostuijn, 1999) to raise important questions about what we should study, what theoretical tools should be deployed which new methods to use and what could be the role of management and organizational scholarship. In particular, we will discuss tensions between what we wish to keep, what to change and what practices may be valuable to restore from the past to reach a deep form of adaptation (Bendell, 2018). Guided by a weak anthropocentric ethics (Norton, 1984), our analysis will offer inroads to providing radical hope in a world of disruption (Lear, 2006; De Cock et al., 2021).


The PDW will start with a brief introduction to the background and aims of the event. The workshop will be structured in two parts.

Part I: Perspectives on Disruption [2 hours]

In the first part of the PDW, the workshop will provide 3 panel discussions on business responsibility under disruption.

  1. Phenomena: Socio-ecological collapse, disruption and deep adaptation
    Panelists: Frank de Bakker, Giuseppe Delmestri, Andreas Rasche

  2. Tools: Theories and methods for systems resilience and transformation
    Panelists: Itziar Castelló, Martina Linnenluecke, Christopher Wickert

  3. Purpose: The role of management scholarship: ethics, mindfulness, and happiness
    Panelists: Helen Etchanchu, Gabriela Gutierrez-Huerter O, Arno Kourula

Part II: Paper Development
(1) Open theme sessions
In the second part of the PDW, panelists and facilitators will be assigned to paper development sessions, making sure that participants will receive rich and diverse inspirations for their respective projects. Participants discuss and receive feedback on their “working papers” in a workshop setting. Working papers can take the form of a proposed project or a draft paper.
Facilitators will be assigned to appropriate sets of working papers and will lead discussion of them in small groups. Submissions are expected to relate to the topics of systems change in and through organizations (resilience, transformation, disruption) associated with socio-ecological challenges.
Facilitators: Itziar Castelló, Giuseppe Delmestri, Gabriela Gutierrez-Huerter O, Arno Kourula, José A. Puppim de Oliveira, Andreas Rasche, Christopher Wickert
(2) Special issue theme sessions
A Call for Papers for a special issue on “Cross-Sector Partnerships and Socio-Ecological Systems Change: Navigating Tensions between Resilience and Transformation” in Business & Society (https://journals.sagepub.com/pb-assets/cmscontent/BAS/BS-SI-CfP-Partnerships-Socio-Ecological-Systems-1638221137.pdf) is associated with this PDW. Editors of the special issue will serve as facilitators on selected papers to discuss and provide feedback on working papers that may be submitted to the special issue.
Facilitators: Frank de Bakker, Domenico Denton, Helen Etchanchu, Martina Linnenluecke


To be considered for the workshop, authors will need to submit a paper. Please submit – via the EGOS website – by April 30, 2022 a single document of application (.docx or .pdf file) that includes

  • a cover page with full details of name, affiliation and position, email address, and a proposal/working paper of whatever length seems appropriate.

  • Please indicate if you wish your paper to be considered for (1) an open development session or (2) the Business & Society special issue sessions.


  • Bendell, J. (2018): Deep adaptation: A map for navigating climate tragedy. Ambleside, UK: University of Cumbria, IFLAS Occasional Papers, Vol. 2.
  • De Cock, C., Nyberg, D., & Wright, C. (2021): “Disrupting climate change futures: Conceptual tools for lost histories.” Organization, 28 (3), 468–482.
  • Dentoni, D., Pinkse, J., & Lubberink, R. (2021): “Linking sustainable business models to socio-ecological resilience through cross-sector partnerships: A complex adaptive systems view.” Business & Society, 60 (5), 1216–1252.
  • Gosling, J., & Case, P. (2013): “Social dreaming and ecocentric ethics: sources of non-rational insight in the face of climate change catastrophe.” Organization, 20 (5), 705–721.
  • Hällgren, M., & Buchanan, D.A. (2020): “The dark side of group behavior: Zombie apocalypse lessons.” Academy of Management Perspectives, 34 (4), 434–457.
  • Heinze, C., Blenckner, T., Martins, H., Rusiecka, D., et al. (2021): “The quiet crossing of ocean tipping points.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118 (9).
  • IPCC (2018): Global Warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °c above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. Geneva: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • IPCC (2021): AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. The Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. Geneva: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/
  • Lear, J. (2006): Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Norton, B.G. (1984): “Environmental ethics and weak anthropocentrism.” Environmental Ethics, 6 (2), 131–148.
  • Romme, A.G.L., & van Witteloostuijn, A. (1999): “Circular organizing and triple loop learning.” Journal of Organizational Change Management, 12 (5), 439–453.
  • Wasieleski, D., Waddock, S., Fort, T., & Guimarães-Costa, N. (2021): “Natural sciences, management theory, and system transformation for sustainability.” Business & Society, 60 (1), 7–25.
  • Williams, A., Whiteman, G., & Kennedy, S. (2021): “Cross-scale systemic resilience: Implications for organization studies.” Business & Society, 60 (1), 95–124.

Gabriela Gutierrez-Huerter O is an Assistant Professor in International Management at King’s Business School, King’s College London, United Kingdom. Her work is at the intersection of international business, CSR and comparative institutional analysis. Recently, she has been part of an interdisciplinary research project studying the responses of the UK construction industry to the issue of modern slavery. Gabriela’s work has been published in the ‘Journal of International Business Studies’ and ‘Research in Global Strategic Management’.
José A. Puppim de Oliveira is a faculty member at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV-EAESP and FGV-EBAPE), Brazil, and also teaches at the Fudan University Shanghai, China. His research and policy interests concentrate in patterns of governance, institution building and policy implementation at different levels, looking at how global and national institutions are interlinked to local governance and action. His research resulted in several academic and policy publications as well as fed in policy processes such as IPCC reports and UN discussions.
Carolin Waldner is Research Associate (Post-Doc) at the Henkel-​Endowed Chair for Sustainability Management, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany. Her main areas of research are social and sustainable entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship in the global South, and nonprofit management and NGOs.