The need for transitioning to a sustainable world is not to be proven anymore. Humanity has so far failed to decouple economic growth from the increase in global emissions and the worldwide resource overuse. From a purely technical perspective, digitalization has the capacity to provide large scale and low-cost solutions for data processing, thereby providing better and optimized sustainable and global solutions.
Digitalization is not only offering solutions, but it could also have downside effects. In that regard, digital technologies and sustainability cannot have positive mutual reinforcement if not governed by efficient socio-political systems. Contemporary definitions of “good governance” are typically centered upon the ability of a business to achieve its goals while being sustainable. However, nurturing the contradictory interests of shareholders, other direct stakeholders and the general public makes corporate governance increasingly challenging in the cyclical global financial crisis era.
With sustainability as the ultimate goal, do we simply need more effective governance or are the symptoms deeper? Growing disaffection, evident in spreading flashpoints of ideological and political conflicts, symbolizes a more deep-rooted precursor of social and economic transformation. This symposium aims to establish foundations for building ‘local’ theories and renewed methodologies: in our call for papers, we invite academics (and practitioners alike) to present cutting edge research and thought leadership dealing with emerging issues in corporate governance for sustainability in this era of expansive digitalization. We seek empirical and conceptual papers addressing a diverse range of topics that include, but are not limited to, the following debates:
- Can we, as researchers, develop a common understanding of digitalization to guide research in corporate governance?
- How does digitalization solve existing agency problems? What type of new agency and corporate governance problems may arise?
- How could local governance practices for the ‘big south’ growing economies help broaden our perspectives and address new forms of (corporate) governance with regard to global sustainability?
- How could local governance practices of the ‘big north’ developed economies help to address new forms of reflective and informed (corporate) governance with regard to global sustainability?
- What happens to governance mechanisms when new factors of production, such as knowledge, intelligence, and digital technology, become central to overall social wellbeing?
- What new shareholder arrangements are needed to help corporations address the climate change challenge?
- Are concepts such as gender, ethnicity, or identity still central to corporate governance? Are they part of the problem or part of the solution in the evolution of governance debates?
- How can digitalization help and support new stakeholder engagement and voting
- What is the role of big data analytics in boardrooms dynamics
- How does digitalization affect the organization of firms especially of stockholder relationships?
- What is the effective role of reporting guidelines and standards in preventing ‘bad’ governance of sustainability? What is the role of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in this regard?
- Can accounting frameworks, such as triple bottom line accounting, be considered effective approaches to impose parity of treatment between the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainability in organizations?