Is It Possible to Reduce Poverty and CO2 Emissions Simultaneously?

15489395937_f27a2e30e7_z[We’re pleased to welcome Denis Collins. Denis recently published an article in Organization & Environment entitled “Managing the Poverty-CO2 Reductions Paradox: The Case of China and EU” with co-author Chunfang Zheng.]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

We are greatly concerned about both the unhealthy amount of CO2 in the atmosphere contributing to climate change and poverty in developing nations. As a global community, we are quickly approaching an environmental tipping point that already contributes to social and political problems throughout the world, and threatens the human species. Also, as a global community, we need to do all that we can to help eradicate extreme poverty in developing nations. China has had tremendous success reducing poverty from 1990 to 2015, but in the process they have become, by far, the world’s largest CO2 emitter. This article examines the “Poverty-CO2 Reductions Paradox,” wherein reducing poverty through economic growth simultaneously increases carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from increased production and consumption, at a time in history when CO2 emissions must be reduced to avoid climate change catastrophes. Which is the lesser of two evils, people living in extreme poverty or catastrophic climate change impacts caused by increased CO2 emissions? How should the Poverty-CO2 Reductions Paradox be managed at the national and international levels? These are the questions our article explores.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

Key economic and environmental indicators tell a sad story. Economically, 1.0 billion people (14.5%) lived in extreme poverty in 2011, and India had Gross National Income per capita of only $1,610 in 2014. Environmentally, the 2001-2010 decade was the warmest on record, reflecting a 0.85°C (1.53°F) increase since 1880. Global CO2 emissions increased by 51% between 1990 and 2012, and CO2 atmospheric concentrations have increased from a steady level of 280 parts per million in the pre-industrial era to more than 400 ppm. Absent additional mitigations, preventative O&E_Mar_2012_vol26_no1_Cover_Final.indd2050 benchmarks will not be achieved. To put a human face on those impacted by this potential catastrophe, scholars and researchers need to look no further than the traditional undergraduate students we currently teach: they will be about 55 years old in 2050.

How do we escape this dangerous quagmire? A well-established alternative norm continually raised by China is that of fairness. Fairness claims have shaped Kyoto Protocol’s development and evolution. During the 1990s, it was considered fair to hold developed nations accountable for reducing their CO2 emissions, and to allow developing nations to use a carbon intensity, rather than an emission reduction, metric. Kyoto’s inability to generate international agreements that adequately limit carbon emissions is also rooted in fairness claims. All claims of unfairness and injustice associated the Poverty-CO2 Reductions Paradox must be acknowledged and engaged, rather than ignored or discounted. Table 4 summarizes the major unfairness/injustice claims raised in this article.

Addressing the injustices associated the Poverty-CO2 Reductions Paradox will entail international, regional, national, and sub-national regulatory engagement.    At the international level, the UN and WTO must become even more involved without threatening national sovereignties. Individuals tend to resist, or very slowly accept, externally imposed procedural processes and outcomes. Fairness and transparency are particularly essential because people employed in high-carbon industries and ancillary businesses will have to change their livelihoods, and those living high-carbon lifestyles must make adjustments. Regulatory policymakers must acknowledge the Table 4 injustices, empathize with those impacted, and commit to seeking justice. This process involves extensive dialogue within and between nations, wherein experiences are expressed and heard. Historically, this has been difficult to achieve due to tendencies toward autocratic abuse of political power and perceiving opposing viewpoints as threatening. Private party rule-making can be helpful input, even if often prone to participant biases.

The Kyoto Protocol, despite its defects, has fostered convergence between the EU and China’s environmental policies and processes. The challenge is resolving economic growth and environmental sustainability conflicts through win-win, integrative, and paradox approaches, rather than trade-off resolutions. Unfortunately, the behavioral outcomes to date are record high carbon emissions and temperatures. Incremental and drastic policy changes are required. Future economic successes in developing and developed nations are dependent on reducing CO2 emissions. Leadership from many societal sectors, including higher education, is essential.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

The principle of fairness/justice is offered to guide efforts to resolve the paradox in a way that avoids irreversible climate changes projected to begin around 2050. Prominent stakeholder injustice claims are highlighted for future scholarship and policymaking considerations.

Even if affordable clean technologies were available to achieve low-carbon economic growth, integrative and 6558076321_81207b6dd7_z.jpgwin-win resolution approaches need to be undertaken to determine linkages among economic and environmental injustices to generate long-term justice benefits. Similarly, these resolution approaches need to be pursued to generate short-term justice benefits, such as protecting the poor from climate change related damages.

Business organizations have too often addressed the paradox between economic growth and the environment with a trade-off resolution approach strongly favoring economic growth to the detriment of the environment. More recently, some organizational leaders have been pursuing win-win opportunities. In the decades ahead, organizational leaders seeking competitive advantages will need to delve deeper into the tension points between profits and the environment, and develop integrative resolutions where their own economic growth and environmental performance are naturally balanced without favoring one over the other.

The regulatory rules and initiatives associated with the Poverty-CO2 Reductions Paradox must happen quickly. India, with 24% of its population living in extreme poverty, is following China’s lead. Despite already having some of the most polluted cities in the world, India’s energy minister stated in 2014 that (Harris, 2014, November 17): “India’s development imperatives cannot be sacrificed at the altar of potential climate changes many years in the future…The West will have to recognize we have the needs of the poor.”

Researchers must determine how to care for the needs of the poor in a way that does not threaten life on Earth for future generations.

The abstract for the paper:

This article examines the “Poverty–CO2 (carbon dioxide) Reductions Paradox,” wherein reducing poverty through economic growth simultaneously increases CO2 emissions from increased production and consumption, at a time in history when CO2 emissions must be reduced to avoid climate change catastrophes. Paradox theory and integrative social contracts theory are applied to help understand the evolving behaviors of China, the world’s largest CO2 emitter, and the European Union, a CO2 reduction leader, from 1990 to 2015 at the national and international levels. The environmental results of these activities have become species-threatening. The principle of fairness/justice is offered in order to guide efforts to resolve the paradox in a way that avoids irreversible climate changes projected to begin around 2050. Prominent stakeholder injustice claims are highlighted for future scholarship and policymaking considerations.

You can read “Managing the Poverty-CO2 Reductions Paradox: The Case of Chine and EU” from Organization & Environment free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Organization & EnvironmentClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

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*Face mask image credited to Global Panorama (CC); Beijing smog image credited to egorgrebnev (CC)

Denis Collins (PhD, University of Pittsburgh) is a professor of management, Business School, Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin. His latest books—Business Ethics: How to Design and Manage Ethical Organizations (2012; John Wiley) and Essentials in Business Ethics: Creating an Organization of High Integrity and Superior Performance (2009; John Wiley)—provide practical “how-to” examples and best practices for improving an organization’s ethical performance. He has published many articles; conducted hundreds of business ethics workshops, talks, and consulting projects; and won several teaching and service awards.

Chunfang Zheng (PhD, Renmin University of China) is a professor of economics, Business College, Beijing Union University, Beijing, China. She is Second Director of the Department of International Economy and Trade, and teaches courses in macroeconomics and international economics and trade. Her research interests include international economics and trade, border tax adjustments, and sustainable development. She has published several articles and monographs in these areas, including Applicability and Application of Strategic Trade Policy in China’s Industries (2012; Economic Science Press).


How Do Attitudes Towards CSR Influence Job Choices Across Cultures?

BAS_v50_72ppiRGB_powerpoint[We’re pleased to welcome Cedric E. Dawkins of Dalhousie University. Dr. Dawkins recently collaborated with Dima Jamali, Charlotte Karam, Lianlian Lin, and Jixin Zhao on their article “Corporate Social Responsibility and Job Choice Intentions: A Cross-Cultural Analysis” from Business & Society.]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

The paper was inspired by the travel of the authors and observing the concerns and challenging around CSR and how they varied, but maintained similar presence, in different countries.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

The results of the study, that the preference to work for firms respondents viewed as socially responsible were relatively consistent but the reasons for the preferences differed, did not surprise us in that culture impacts so much of our decision making. It is noteworthy from a decision making/motivation perspective, that the respondents in different countries arrive at the same place by assigning different weights to the same variables.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

We believe that a clear implication of our paper for recruiters and HR officers is that when seeking international workers the ŒCSR message may be better received if it is tailored to the specific cultural context. This insight is nothing special, but illustrates the need to extend cross-cultural sensitivity to perception of CSR as well.

You can read “Corporate Social Responsibility and Job Choice Intentions: A Cross-Cultural Analysis” from Business & Society free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Business & Society? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

dawkinsCedric E. Dawkins (PhD, Ohio State University) is an associate professor of management at the Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie University. His research interests focus on connections between labor rights and corporate social responsibility (CSR), labor union revitalization, and the impact of disclosure on corporate behavior. His work has appeared in journals such as Business & Society, Business Ethics Quarterly, Employee Relations, Journal of Business Communication, and Journal of Business Ethics.

jamaliDima Jamali is a professor of management in the Olayan School of Business at American University of Beirut and currently holds the Kamal Shair Endowed chair in responsible leadership. With a PhD in social policy and administration from the University of Kent at Canterbury, her research revolves primarily around CSR a nd social entrepreneurship (SE). She is the editor of three books (CSR in the Middle East, Social Entrepreneurship in the Middle East, and CSR in Developing Countries), and more than 50 international research publications, focusing on different aspects of CSR and SE in developing countries in general and in the Middle East in particular. Her research record has won her a number of scientific awards and honors, including the Abdul Hameed Shoman Award for Best Young Arab Researcher for 2011.

KaramCharlotte Karam (PhD, University of Windsor) is an assistant professor of organizational behavior in the Olayan School of Business at American University of Beirut. Her research broadly examines responsible engagement at the intersection among gender, corporate responsibility, and employee extra role behavior at work within developing and emerging economies. Most of her research is examined within a multilevel contextual framework, which considers factors relating to societal culture, socioeconomic development, and political stability. Her work has been published in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Management, Business Ethics Quarterly, Career Development International, among other journals. In 2012, she was awarded the university-wide teaching excellence award for her classes in business ethics, leadership development, and organizational behavior.

LinLianlian Lin (PhD, University of Texas at Austin; LLM, University of Pennsylvania Law School) is a professor of management at California State Polytechnic University Pomona. Her research interests focus on cross-cultural issues, multinational management, and law. Her articles have appeared in journals such as Yale Journal of International Law, University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Economic Law, and Journal of Asian American Studies.

Jixin Zhao (DBA, China Agricultural University) is a professor of management and director of MBA Education Center at North China University of Technology. His research interests focus on human resource management and industrial economics. His articles have appeared in journals such as Productivity Studies and Economic Issues. He has published books such as Humanistic Management and Managers Roles and Skills Upgrading.

Book Review: Will China Democratize?

bookChina_0In the shadow of the 25 year anniversary of the Tiananmen square crackdown, the recent Hong Kong protests have generated interest in how China will respond. Could China ever adopt a democratic government?

Andrew J. Nathan, Larry Diamond, and Marc F. Plattner. Will China Democratize? Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. 311pp. $29.96.

You can read the recent review by Peter F. Eder of the World Future Society in the March 2014 edition of World Future Review:

Juntao Wang, describing what he calls a “gray transformation,” agrees with several other optimistic authors, including Harry Harding and Cheng Li, that democracy will [most likely?] evolve non-violently. Competition among divergent social interests and political factions will produce incremental progress toward strengthening civil society, place checks and balances among governmental agencies, and expand accountability as the standard of legitimacy. These authors all believe that changes that have already taken place are moving China toward a significant transition away from being a totalitarian state.

WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpointOther essayists are less optimistic. Andrew Nathan calls China’s system “resilient authoritarianism.” This view emphasizes the ruling party’s ability to carry out an orderly leadership succession, the increasingly meritocratic nature of political advancement within the CCP, and the creation of institutional safety valves for venting social discontent. A network of bureaucrats and entrepreneurs creates a bulkhead that contains changes unfavorable to the party.

Contributors such as Arthur Waldron, Gongxin Xiao, Bruce Gilley, and Minxin Pei offer complimentary views. Collectively they argue that, over time, internal power struggles, corruption, and burdensome authoritarianism will lead to inevitable but not predictable events and that a crisis will open the way to democracy.

You can read the rest of the review from World Future Review by clicking here. Want to read all the latest reviews and research from World Future Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Is Workplace Conflict Good or Bad?

Editor’s note: We are pleased to welcome Alice H. Y. Hon of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, whose article “The Effects of Group Conflict and Work Stress on Employee Performance,” co-authored by Wilco W. Chan of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, is forthcoming in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly and now available in the journal’s OnlineFirst section.

In the contemporary business world, teamwork is increasingly important because many organizations feel the need to coordinate their activities more effectively; however, there are considerable challenges to working effectively in teams. One major challenge is conflict, which is the process resulting from stress and tension between team members that arise from the complexity of task relationships, excessive work demands, interpersonal disputes, and the interdependence of organizational life (De Dreu & Weingart, 2003). Early organizational conflict theorists suggested that conflict is detrimental to team effectiveness and organizational functioning (Glazer & Beehr, 2005; Hamilton, Hoffman, Broman, & Rauma, 1993). More recently, researchers have theorized that conflict is beneficial under certain circumstances, and if people perceive the nature of conflict and manage it appropriately (De Dreu & Van de Vliert, 1997; Simons & Peterson, 2000).

CQ_v50n2_72ppiRGB_150pixWAlthough the concepts of team conflict and work stress remain popular today, theories that account for the distinction have not been clearly developed. The present study aims to contribute to the existing literature, and argues that understanding whether the conflict is task-related or relationship-related and whether the work stress is challenge-related or hindrance-related is necessary to evaluate the influence of team conflict and work stress on employee performance. Only by clearly distinguishing these relationships can we provide comprehensive theoretical and practical human resource suggestions to both scholars and managers. We can then confidently assert that conflict associated with certain stressors may result in negative outcomes, whereas conflict associated with other stressors may result in positive outcomes.

Click here to read The Effects of Group Conflict and Work Stress on Employee Performance” in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

Alice H. Y. Hon is an assistant professor at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her research focuses on employee creativity and innovation, intrinsic motivations, leadership, justice and trust, management team, and multilevel issues in service organizations.

How Chinese Nationalism Impacts Foreign Brands

The row between China and Japan over the Senkaku islands has brought the issue of nationalism to light, with Japanese companies suffering as a result of Chinese boycotts sparked by the conflict. In the article “Chinese Grassroots Nationalism and Its Impact on Foreign Brands,” recently published in the Journal of Macromarketing, Zhihong Gao of Rider University offers a deeper perspective on nationalism and its broader implications for marketing:

A complex phenomenon, nationalism has surged worldwide in recent years and presents a serious challenge to international marketers. This article examines the impact of Chinese grassroots nationalism on foreign brands on four fronts, that is, the political, cultural, economic, and consumer rights. It argues that the four fronts are interlinked and involve the participation of not only the consumer but also the government, the media, and local companies. Thus, the effects of nationalism on foreign brands are largely mediated by these agents and manifest the most in the arena of public policy making….

Nationalist protests triggered by political events are reactive and sporadic in nature, with limited, temporary economic impact. However, they are highly interruptive and often force foreign marketers to abandon their original marketing plans (Blanchard 2008; Li 2009). According to a poll, some 10 percent of Japanese businesses operating in China suffered a negative impact on production and sales activities due to a series of anti-Japan protests by Chinese nationalists in 2005 (Hughes 2006). More importantly, waves of such protests exert strong pressure on the Chinese government, strengthen its position at international negotiations, and thus hold the capacity to swing the outcome of international trade talks (Wu 2006). The longterm effects of such protests are especially troublesome, as they create a self-feeding cycle of antiforeign sentiments among the Chinese public, who eagerly seek out other venues to express those sentiments.

Follow this link to read the article in the Journal of Macromarketing and this one to learn more about the journal.

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Business & Society Call for Papers

A special issue of Business & Society has announced a new Call for Papers under the theme of “Corporate Social Responsibility in China.”

We invite papers to explore various perspectives on the role of corporate social responsibility in the aforementioned developments, ranging from more theoretical to practice-oriented, from a China angle to comparative perspectives, and from the micro-level to the sector/supply chain level and macro-level. These could include contributions from business ethics, corporate citizenship, accountability, sustainability and business-government perspectives, for example.

We especially invite papers that develop fresh theoretical perspectives, aim to apply recently developed conceptual frameworks or present empirical evidence in areas that are relatively underexplored in China. Examples of potential topics are:

• How does the interaction of regulations and institutions shape the nature of corporate social responsibility in Chinese firms at home and abroad?

• What is the evolving role of civil society (including consumers) in framing and driving CSR in China?

• Is there a specific relationship between philanthropy and corporate social responsibility in Chinese firms, and/or is it possibly to identify a distinct Chinese perspective on CSR and business ethics?

• CSR reporting is expanding rapidly in China – why and to what effect?

• What is the CSR contribution to the government’s goal of a harmonious,

innovative and climate-friendly Chinese society?

• How and why is CSR manifest Global supply chains and CSR in Chinese supplier firms?

• What is the nature of stakeholder engagement in CSR of firms in China and of Chinese firms expanding abroad?

• How do comparative perspectives on CSR and sustainability strategies improve our understanding of the Chinese experience?

• Are there particularly prominent instances of irresponsible business behaviour in China, why and how might CSR address these?

Please submit papers by 31st July 2012 to

For more information about this Call for Papers, please click here.

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Globalization of Local Retailing

Pia Polsa, Hanken School of Economics, and Xiucheng Fan, School of Management, Fudan University, published “Globlization of Local Retailing: Threat or Opportunity? The case of Food Retailing in Guilin, China,” in Online First in Journal of Macromarketing.

Professor Polsa provided additional commentary regarding the article.

Who is the target audience for this article?

The paper is of interest for those scholars who are studying retailing, particularly retail development. The study shows alternative ways of categorizing retailers and how an alternative level of analysis discovers the importance of traditional small retailers. The article may provide insights to the policy makers as well; the results indicate that despite their seemingly inefficient business styles small retailers serve societies and preserve local cultures.

What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

Having done longitudinal fieldwork in one smaller city and met the informants several times between 1993 and 2010,I realized the change in their lives, the change in the society and some of the drawback of the rapid economic development. The voice of those who disappear needed to be heard. That voice now also contributes to our theoretical discussion of retail categories and development.

Were there findings that were surprising to you?

Yes, the new categories. I was used to see retailers grouped into the different formats like supermarkets, specialty stores, department stores, and so on, but the smaller retailers had functions that served them as entrepreneurs which provided novel categories. The voice of small entrepreneurs was the key to these findings.

How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

Since retailing in developing countries carries other functions than those of economic efficiency, this study can provide an alternative view for the retailing development by considering other alternatives to the traditional retailers than that of disappearance. Future research can provide further findings on retail typology and alternative courses of development. Reappearance of small retailers might be a phenomenon in industrialized countries worth studying and meaning of retail business for owners in developing countries is another.

How does this study fit into your body or work/line of research?

I have always been interested in issues of small, peripheral, vulnerable, and less affluent in addition to marketing channels that I have published in. The current article combines the two.

How did your paper change during the review process?

We were very fortunate with the reviewers. Their comments brought our thoughts forward. For example, comments on glocalization added depth in the theory.

What, if anything, would you do if you could go back and do this study again?

I would have a better plan for observations and photographing.

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