Annual Research Workshop 2023
published on 01.02.22
10th Critical and Alternative Thinking in Governance (CATG)
19-20 June 2023 – Barcelona, Spain
Liberating corporate governance: opening up the canon of knowledge and recognition of difference.
In 2013, we lauched a new workshop calling for more visibility for critical and alternative thinking in corporate governance. The aim was to open a new space for debating and theorising outside the mainstream thinking. A space were new ideas (frameworks, methodologies and contexts) about corporations, their directions and their roles in societies may be challenged and echoed.
Ten years later, even if we observe an increase in academic production related to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability themes, we consider that corporate governance theorising is still trapped in the limits of the neo-liberal capitalism and the shareholder primacy frameworks.
The global health crisis, the threats of climate change and the increase of intra-nations inequalities are among the strongest signals/warnings that our old global system is no longer viable neither sustainable. Corporate governance regulations and theorisation are despite all the warnings globally responding with standardized sets of rules, relations and recommendations. We consider that new approaches are welcome to address the complex, non-linear and organic nature of business activities and their interaction with life in general (including society and the natural environment).
Ten years ago, when this workshop was launched, we were a handful of academics convinced of the need to contribute to the conceptual and methodological renewal of the field of corporate governance. At that time, we considered that the overrepresentation of agency theory and shareholder primacy prevented the development of sufficiently powerful theoretical frameworks to account for the complex issues related to corporate governance. Our first call for papers, entitled “New paradigms for an old concept: corporate governance” was an invitation to consider with scrutiny the central three issues on how society or groups within it are organized to make decisions:
- who has a voice in making decisions
- how are decisions made
- who is accountable
Organizational realities navigate between humans engaged in a plethora of local interactions and power relations, extended virtual realities and a distressed (natural and social) environment. Hence, technical solutions are still the dominant path to address social and environmental complex problems. It has become obvious that the mechanistic governance response is an inadequate solution to current and emerging global, political and corporate governance issues. Notably, these actions are not only manifestly insufficient to reverse the potentially catastrophic planetary trends facing humanity but are also insufficient to ensure the survival of future generations.
We support the view that we need to reconsider, profoundly, human ways of “massified” living (mass consumption, mass production, mass transportation, and so on). The enduring Covid planetary health crises remind us that humans are part of living ecosystems and that rethinking of the human position and interactions with all ecosystems is urgently needed. The interdependencies within living ecosystems are more complex than the traditional siloed and technocratic solutions “moder” human have drawn. The striking example of the global response to the Covid health crises reflects the ongoing human thinking within the same paradigm rather than a clarion call for generating a paradigmatic shift in action to address a planet in distress.
A question arising from this call is whether the Global Economic Crisis of the past years is simply indicative of a need for more effective governance, or whether it signifies a more profound spark to social and economic revolution? More precisely, are we seeing the end of western capitalism and the advent of new social power or are we merely experiencing a correction in the existing capital power structures as they evolve across the global economy?
Despite the very broad literature on corporate governance, legislators and scholars still seek a better formula for the “ideal governance”. Such a formula includes calls for more sustainability reports, more diversified and formalized independent boards, more democratic organisations, and more intelligent technologies. While these criteria seem to offer efficient solutions to the problems of modern governance, none of them deliver the “silver bullet” to solve the growing complexities of corporate life in a globally stressed world.
We consider that systemic models and approaches for governance need to address, simultaneously, different ecologies (nature ecology, social ecology and mental ecology, etc.) based on a wide range and autonomous epistemologies.
We invite academics (and practitioners alike) to present cutting edge research and thought leadership dealing with emerging issues in corporate governance for sustainability in society facing global social and political shifts. We seek empirical and conceptual papers addressing a diverse range of topics that include, but are not limited to, the following debates:
- How could original local governance practices of ‘Big South’ economies help to address new forms of reflective and informed (corporate) governance with regard to systemic sustainability?
- How could local governance practices emancipate from international institutions domination and serve global sustainability and justice?
- How can the recognition of the plurality of heterogeneous knowledges (one of them being modern science) help inventing new ways of governing?
- How can new governance paradigm address the global capitalism that has operated on the basis of global standardization and conformity?
- Is the growing involvement of investment funds in the sustainability debate changing business models, business strategies and corporate policies sufficiently?
- Can (innovative) accounting frameworks, such as biodiversity accounting, be considered effective approaches to feed the shift toward sustainable ways of governing?
- 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?
- How current governance mechanisms suit new factors of production, such as knowledge, (artificial) intelligence and digital / disruptive technologies, become central to overall social wellbeing?
- Are transnational corporations, organisations or similar institutions, in their present forms, able to promote and implement systemic sustainability?
- Is it the role of corporations (and their governance structures) to provide solutions to sustainability issues? What main features characterize the sustainability challenge?
Maja Tampe, Phd
Talk: Strategies for regenerative (corporate) governance
Maja Tampe investigates private governance and sustainability, with a particular focus on work practices, managerial systems, and organisational change. Her work focuses on how transnational demands for more socially and environmentally responsible practices are mediated in local sites of action-often in, but not limited to, developing countries. In her research, she examines the implementation of sustainability standards with agricultural producers in Brazil, Ecuador, and Ghana, to advance our theoretical understanding of private governance and to inform the design of governance institutions and policies.
|Research symposium (19-20/2023)|
|Deadline for submission of CAAG 10-page proposals: 31 March 2023|
|Notification of acceptance: 22 April 2023|
|Deadline for CAAG full text submission: 26 May 2023|
|Early bird/author registration: 10 June 2023|
IN SITU – Symposium fees* in euros (VAT incl.)
|Early Bird Fee (up to 10 June 2023)||€250|
|Regular Fee (11 June – 19 June 2023)||€ 350|
|On-site Registration Fee||€ 420|
|(PhD) Student reduction||-60%|
DIGITAL – Symposium fees* in euros (VAT incl.)
|Early Bird Fee (up to 10 June 2023)||€40|
|Regular Fee (11 June – 19 June 2023)||€60|
|(PHD) Student reduction||-50 %|
For further information please contact: email@example.com .
Submissions should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wafa Khlif, Chair
TBS Barcelona, Spain email@example.com
École de Management- Normandie, France firstname.lastname@example.org
TBS Toulouse, France email@example.com
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