Professors Tanusree Jain, Trinity Business School, and Patricia Gabaldon, IE Business School, together with Cynthia E. Clark, Bentley University and Punit Arora, City University of New York, provide the backdrop to their call for papers for a special issue of Corporate Governance: An International Review.
Global Social Movements and Governance. By Tanusree Jain, Patricia Gabaldon, Cynthia E. Clark, and Punit Arora. Corporate Governance: An International Review. Edited by Tom Gamble, the Council on Business & Society.
In the field of international corporate governance, there has been a shift from focusing mainly on shareholder value maximization to a view that includes many other stakeholders.
These stakeholders have been critical to the development of the corporate governance field, adding to a sustainable “contract” between businesses and society by emphasizing accountability and transparency from corporate boards to society.
During the last decade, social movements such as #Blacklivesmatter and #Metoo have begun to exert stronger influence on international corporate governance, the democratic quality of institutions, and even shaping the environmental and social agenda for firms.
The largescale spread of various environmental and social campaigns, the emergence of global voices surrounding different forms of diversity and inclusion, and accelerated de-urbanization due to the COVID-19 pandemic have added extra fuel to global social movements (GSMs) in the sense that these events are simultaneously affecting the entire planet for the first time in human history.
Of voice and impact
It is generally thought that GSMs are driving a fundamental change in the business and society relationship and even how firms themselves are being governed. We suggest that the success of a social movement would be reflected and measured in the nature, degree and scale of changes it is able to effect.
Indeed, there are some examples of how GSMs such as the #Metoo movement, gender and racial pay equity movements, investors’ activism, and Peoples Climate Movement, to name a few, have started impacting the board of directors, top management, and ultimately what boards and managers value and give voice to.
Here, giving voice may encompass providing representations to different voices and values on boards, altering the structuration of boards and board level committees, expanding and re-framing the roles and duties of the boards, speaking up when there is a conflict of interest on the board, offering governance oversight as well as finding morally acceptable ways of responding to stakeholders and accomplishing tasks.
Associated with this, tensions between various movements and their counter-movements, such as #Blacklivesmatter and #Alllivesmatter, #Metoo and #Himtoo, globalization and antiglobalization, and pro- and anti-immigration with their impact on stakeholder sensemaking are likely to add further tensions to board level and managerial interactions. These will fundamentally shape firms’ responses on matters relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
Call for Papers
Corporate Governance: An International Review
Special Issue on “Global Social Movements and the Governance of the Firm”
While academic debate and research on the topic is both abundant and dynamic, there is surprisingly limited understanding of how corporate executives manage the diverse and often conflicting interests of organizational stakeholders, especially when they require big adaptations from GSMs (global social movements).
Despite the emergence and far-reaching effects of social movements globally, contemporary research on GSMs has developed in a fragmented manner with a primary focus on studying bottom-up change and emergent collective action, and contestation with business actors towards bringing about social change.
This Special Issue of Corporate Governance: An International Review (CGIR) aims to bring together scholarship on how various global social movements (GSMs) impact the practice of international corporate governance.
To know the types of submissions solicited, the assessment criteria, timeline and submission process, download the following document.
- Visit the Corporate Governance: An International review website
- Link up with Professor Tanusree Jain via LinkedIn
- Download the CoBS book Leadership, Governance, and Crisis
Learn more about the Council on Business & Society
- Website: www.council-business-society.org
- Twitter: @The_CoBS
- LinkedIn: the-council-on-business-&-society
The Council on Business & Society (The CoBS), visionary in its conception and purpose, was created in 2011, and is dedicated to promoting responsible leadership and tackling issues at the crossroads of business and society including sustainability, diversity, ethical leadership and the place responsible business has to play in contributing to the common good.
In 2020, member schools now number 7, all “Triple Crown” accredited AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA and leaders in their respective countries.