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Corporate responsibility and sustainability: Past, Present, Future – ICSR 2023

The 10th ICSR conference comes at a time where we ask how the academic community might work towards ethical, responsible and sustainable business alternatives, and so where it fits within current global developments. We are experiencing an energy crisis that may be turning policy away from an emphasis on sustainability and towards security. There is also a cost-of-living crisis that similarly detracts from efforts towards responsible and ethical business practice. Both are connected to a war in Europe resulting in wider global political unease with new risks to human welfare. Wars and energy crises invite comparisons with similar past events. At the same time, we are also experiencing something of a new industrial revolution in the form of digital technologies and especially artificial intelligence. These challenges invite a consideration of new areas of responsibility as well as new possible routes to sustainability. And then there is the culture wars. Whether or not we accept the metaphor, businesses are increasingly drawn into debates around representation, diversity, inclusion, and identity with little clarity over how they might be ethically navigated.

We therefore take stock and reflect on the past research agendas, the current debates in the field, and where the work of academics is taking us in the future. Specifically, we would like to reflect on the role of academics in advancing business sustainability, responsibility and ethics. For example, we might consider how academics may have been complicit in legitimising versions of CSR that subsequently came under criticism (including by other academics), how our current work impacts on practical progress towards sustainable, responsible, and ethical business, and where researchers might usefully direct future efforts, including new theoretical approaches to understanding the field, new methodologies, and new areas of business responsibility.

For this anniversary conference, we invite debates in the following domains:

1. Reflections on how early theorisations of CSR have influenced both business practices and later debates, including: historical accounts of CSR, systematic literature reviews, and critical reflections on theory and practice.

2. The relationship between current CSR research and organisational behaviours, including: how theoretical ideas inform practice, impact cases studies, and insights into the people currently working in CSR, sometimes referred to micro-CSR studies.

3. Emerging and future CSR research activities, including: new areas for responsibility, ethics and sustainability, especially related to new technologies such as AI, digital media, electric vehicles and green energy, but also the role of business responsibility in ‘culture wars’, new theoretical approaches to ethics, sustainability and responsibility, and new methodological approaches to the study of CSR.

Specifically, below is an indicative (but not exclusive) list of possible submission topics:

  • Entrepreneurship and sustainability
  • Innovation and sustainability
  • Local food and sustainability
  • CSR practices in SMEs
  • Tourism and sustainability
  • Businesses responsibility and reputation
  • SDGs for a sustainable economy
  • Gender and sustainability
  • Consumer proximity and CSR performance.
  • Emerging ‘responsible’ markets (organic food, slow fashion, sustainable brands, etc);
  • The rise of social enterprises;
  • Corporate responsibility and market concepts;
  • Social or societal marketing;
  • The integration of corporate responsibility principles in marketing strategies;
  • Corporate responsibility and reputation;
  • Cause-related marketing;
  • How marketing practitioners employ corporate responsibility or sustainability knowledge in their firms.
  • Teaching of CSR
  • Sustainability and education
  • SDG’s and corporate practice
  • Moral values in corporate responsibility
  • Value and morality in corporate responsibility
  • The Internet and CSR
  • CSR and social media
  • Public administration: social responsibility, ethics and accountability in the digital society
  • CSR and Crisis Management,
  • Communicating CSR,
  • CSR initiatives/strategies,
  • Corporate Governance,
  • NGO Marketing,
  • Ethical Stakeholder Engagement,
  • CSR, SmartCities and Mobility.

Submission of abstracts

Applicants should submit an abstract of 300 words in a Word document format via email to Dr Georgiana Grigore at by 1st of August 2023 (extended deadline).