CALL FOR PAPERS

5th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF ORGANIZATIONS:

 

PRO-SOCIAL INNOVATIONS: FROM RESPONSIBLE FINANCE TO SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

 

All submissions to be sent to: Chantal.hervieux@smu.ca

 

The International Alliance of Interdisciplinary Research Centers (AICRI, Morocco), in partnership with the Centre for Leadership Excellence (Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary's University, Canada), the Centre for Doctoral Studies (ISCAE Group), the Centre for Organization Research, Society and Environnent (OSE), the Chair for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development (CRSDD) of the School of Management Sciences (UQAM) and the Observatory of Corporate Social Responsibility in Morocco (ORSEM ) co-organize the 5th Conference on the Social Responsibility of Organizations: "Pro-Social Innovations: From Responsible Finance to Social Entrepreneurship", an international conference that has for many years been the largest network of French-speaking Corporate Social Responsibility researchers (CSR) and which in 2018 aims to also attract English-speaking researchers to Casablanca from June 27th to the 29th 2018 within the premises of the ISCAE of Casablanca.

 

The conference will be preceded by a doctoral workshop, including a seminar and mentoring workshop on the writing of scientific texts, to be held on 26-27 June at ISCAE. Finally, a student competition for social entrepreneurship projects will close the conference during the closing ceremonies on the evening of June 29 2018.

 

This scientific event is further distinct from other events by a partnership with the International Management journal (IM). In keeping with its mission to accompany and support emerging researchers, the IM journal, ranked “A”in HCEERS-2015, and in category 2 of the ranking of the FNEGE-2013 , is partnering with the conference co-organized by the AICRI: Pro-social innovations: from Responsible Finance to Social Entrepreneurship. Research papers presenting problems, innovative ideas and considered of high quality by the scientific committee of the conference will be selected for a possible publication in IM after going through full blind review procedures,  taking into account the suggestions and requirements formulated by the evaluators of IM according to the practices and rules of double anonymity.

 

Call and themes

 

The various environmental and social scandals have marked the last decades, placing companies in the spotlight of NGOs and civil society that monitor their activities. Technological advances and the democratization of social networks have enabled these new 'spontaneous regulators' to structure and mobilize a broad strata of social and intergenerational actors, a priori without a direct common link, to influence corporations that escaped, until this time, certain of societies expectations and requirements. This desire to regulate the activities of corporations and to encourage or even oblige them to internalize their negative externalities has taken various forms: denunciation, damage to reputation, boycotts, etc.

 

This trend that at first was perceived as in 'fashion' has emerged during the last decade as THE new current: Corporate social responsibility is no longer an 'asset', it is an essential component of business strategy. Beyond consumers, intermediary customers, and governments that tend to develop their economic relationships with companies promoting respect for the environment, employees, neighboring communities, etc., investors have joined this movement. Thus, in 2006, under the impetus of Kofi Annan, the United Nations put forward the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), urging institutional investors: investment funds, mutual funds, etc. to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, in the selection of the companies in which they choose to invest. At first timid, this movement is gaining in importance, by the number of signatories, and by the volume of money managed according to this strategy; profitable investment respecting the ESG criteria. This trend is also confirmed by the financial institution who put forward the Ecuador principles, principles which frame the behavior of the borrowers and which, in case of irregularities, such as corruption to gain access to markets, etc., can lead to the withdrawal of the loan.

 

This enthusiasm for a more responsible, ESG-friendly finance, has gradually grown in financial markets and has now emerge as 'mainstream' finance. Fearing the impacts of boycotts or those of a deterioration in the image and reputation of the company, managers realize that beyond talking about CSR, not considering it in their strategy can lead to extra-financial risks which in turn may result in revenues loss, and increased financing costs. Thus, several changes have been noted, such as a growing involvement of institutional investors in shareholder resolutions filed for dialogue or vote at annual shareholders meetings. Indeed, henceforth adherence to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), implies a shareholder's commitment to ESG issues. Insufficiently present in this corporate regulation mechanism, institutional investors signing PRIs now become more active, reacting to the pressure from their beneficiaries or other stakeholders.

 

This trend is confirmed by the emergence, multiplication and structuring of an entire industry surrounding the management of responsible investment: social and environmental rating agencies, certifications and various environmental or social labels, as well as agencies enabling the guidance of the voting of institutional investors in general shareholders meetings. The rapid growth of this market combined with greater media coverage raises the question of the real stakes of this CSR era.

 

This mutation of financial markets, be it considered as a catalyzing element, arising from, or concomitant to changes in consumer behavior, business strategy, purchasing management, human resources management etc., raises the delicate issue related to the training of future managers and entrepreneurs. If all the components of management are now tainted with "social, environmental and governance" dimensions, how do we then update the skills of the current managers / economic actors, but also, how to we now train future managers, as well as those future graduates who, driven by a business opportunity or lack of employment opportunities, chose to become entrepreneurs?

 

Indeed, while many business schools and business faculties have introduced "Corporate Social Responsibility" and "Business Ethics" courses, many researchers and practitioners consider that education programs have in fact little evolved. What are the appropriate education models? How do we integrate sustainable development issues into the academic curriculum while fostering a close collaboration between academic institutions and businesses? Should alternative business models, including social entrepreneurship, be taught, promoted? Will they enable us in our search to meet the expectations and objectives of sustainable development objectives? Is social entrepreneurship, that advocates for social inclusion, a potential response to the objectives of PRME signatories, and can it be a valid investment vehicle for certain actors of these new financial movements?

 

The previous edition of this international conference put forward the twofold aspect of CSR: reality or just a surface image to seem in conformity with expectations. The synthesis of various contributions to previous editions of the conference is that an ambiguity persists in this research stream, ambiguity which may draw its source in a change of paradigm and strategies of businesses, investors, and lenders.

 

This fifth edition, like the previous ones, aims to share high-quality research on corporate social responsibility by focusing in particular on the following themes:

 

1a) Responsible Finance: this theme focuses on both market and corporate finance. Examples include: What is the impact of the inclusion of ESG criteria on portfolios performance, in their level of diversification? What is the impact on the financial performance of a zero carbon or oil-free portfolio? What is the role of sovereign funds such as the Norwegian fund? The role of PRI signatories in shareholder engagement and on behavioral change in business? What is the role of proxy-votes in regulating sprawling businesses such as Walmart or Exxon? What is the impact on business risk, reputation or financial performance? Is the use of tax havens an exclusion criterion in the domain of responsible businesses? What future for carbon options? What is the relationship between investment horizons and the integration of the ESG criteria?

1b) Alternative Finance: micro credit, community credit, crowdfunding for the funding projects with social or environmental impact objectives, Islamic finance.

 

2) Socially responsible education: This change challenges future managers: what is the role of our academic institutions, which training programs meet the new needs of our managers? In 2007, the United Nations implemented the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).

This PRME initiative, based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, aims to be a platform for responsible education and aims to bring together academic stakeholders. The signatories are committed to promoting responsible education to train students in building their capacity to create sustainable value for society and for business, to integrate values ​​that respect the United Nations Global Compact, to develop partnerships between academia and business, and to better understand and solve the challenges they face.

We invite proposals on the subject of responsible education, the responsibility of our institutions in training students to take better account of the social responsibility of the organizations in which they will work or, if they are entrepreneurs, in those they will create. Contributions to study the inclusion of sustainable development goals in education are also welcome.

 

3) Entrepreneurship and social innovation for pro-social development: Social entrepreneurship and social innovation are related to alternative finance. It is important here to consider a) the factors (such as politics) that influence social innovation (positively or negatively), b) research on complex systems and social and environmental issues, c) networks and collaboration as well as (d) social innovation conducive to inclusive development. In this sub-theme, we invite proposals that aim to study the impact of context. We will also focus on funding opportunities that have been developed to meet the specific needs, as well as organizations that provide other resources to social organizations. For example, organizations and networks that have been formed to respond to both the need for legitimacy of social entrepreneurship organizations, but also to their needs for financial resources to which these actors did not have access. This is the case of organizations such as Ashoka, and Schwab, but also organizations such as the Moroccan Center for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (MCISE), which provides social entrepreneurs with the initial support, as well as multiple opportunities for entrepreneurship to obtain financing for their business.

 

Beyond the three main themes, we invite communication proposals that focus on social responsibility, sustainable development, technological innovations and their impacts, social marketing and the sensitivity of customers and citizens to certain issues. We also invite proposals that look into the questions of social responsibility and accounting, the integration of extra-financial risk in financial statements, the disclosure of ESG performance and the link between this and strategic positioning. As well as focusing on finance, social innovation and training, conference organizers invite contributions on topics related to broader CSR issues.

 

Type of contribution

 

Submitted communications can present empirical results, the proposal of new conceptual frameworks, a reflection on the current state of knowledge. Two types of communications are accepted:

1-for presentation only (7 pages maximum, including endnotes, bibliography and appendices),

2-communications for presentation with submission of a long article (20 pages maximum, including endnotes, references and appendices).

 

Only communications with long articles may, if evaluators consider their contribution significant or original, will be submitted for consideration for the two following types of publications

1.     Consideration for publication in the journal - Management International – following publication standards (double blind review) and journal formatting policies.

2.     Colloquium acts

 

Important dates

 

ARTICLE

 

Electronic submission of article

February 9th

Electronic submission of decision

March 31th

Submission of revised papers for colloquium acts

April 30th

Submission of revised papers for consideration for publication in the journal – Management International

To be determined

COMMUNICATIONS for PRESENTATION

 

Electronic submission

February 9th

Electronic submission of decision

March 31th

ROUND TABLE OR PANEL

 

Electronic submission

February 9th

DOCTORAL WORKSHOP SUBMISSIONS

Electronic submissions February 14th

OTHER TYPE OF SUBMISSIONS OR PROPOSITION

February 9th

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