BAS Best Paper Award

basa_57_7_cover.pngCongratulations to the winners of Business & Society 2017 Best Paper Award:

Natalie Salwinski of Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Jonatan Pinkse of the University of Manchester, Timo Busch of University of Hamburg, Germany, and Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee of City University London.

Check out the award winning article free for a limited time: “The Role of Short-Termism and Uncertainty Avoidance in Organizational Inaction on Climate Change

You can find the abstract of this article below.

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Despite increasing pressure to deal with climate change, firms have been slow to respond with effective action. This article presents a multi-level framework for a better understanding of why many firms are failing to reduce their absolute greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. The concepts of short-termism and uncertainty avoidance from research in psychology, sociology, and organization theory can explain the phenomenon of organizational inaction on climate change. Antecedents related to short-termism and uncertainty avoidance reinforce one another at three levels—individual, organizational, and institutional—and result in organizational inaction on climate change. The article also discusses the implications of this multi-level framework for research on corporate sustainability.

Thank you for your outstanding contribution!


Business & Society invites you to submit your research for their special issue entitled, New Perspectives on Bottom of the Pyramid Strategies. For more information, check out the guidelines.


Climate Change Photo attributed to Free Photos.

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!

During the month of April, you can access 1.5 million article across SAGE Publishing’s 940+ journals for free–how? Sign up here for free trial access!

*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).

 

The March Issue of World Future Studies is Now Online!

8371340296_1181947d22_zThe March 2016 issue of World Future Review is now available and can be read online for free for the next 30 days. The March issue includes articles that delve into future studies’ curriculum and the breadth of future studies in relation to climate change. In the article, “Understanding the Breadth of Studies through a Dialogue with Climate Change,” author Jennifer M. Gidley discusses how climate change and an evolutionary perspective provide a framework to think about developments in future studies. The abstract for her paper:

This article explores the breadth of the futures studies field by creating a dialogue with some prominent approaches to climate change. The first half of the article takes an evolutionary perspective on the development of the futures studies field. I show how developments in the field parallel the broader epistemological shift from the WFR Orange Covercentrality of positivism to a plurality of postpositivist approaches particularly in the social sciences. Second, I explore the current scientific research on climate change including issues related to mitigation, adaptation, and coevolution. Finally, I apply my futures typology that includes five paradigmatic approaches to undertake a dialogue between futures studies and climate change.

Click here to access the table of contents for the March 2016 issue of World Future Review. Want to know about all the latest from World Future ReviewClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Iceberg image credited to Christopher Michel (CC)

Can We Be Happy in a Post-Apocalyptic World?

earth-lightning-1215844-m Scientists predict that in the years to come both temperatures and sea levels could rise, diminishing valuable resources and leaving civilization in a place of discomfort, both physically and economically. But, despite these distresses, could we actually be happy? Authors Gioietta Kuo and Lane Jennings think so and discuss this possibility in their article, “Achieving Happiness in a Sustainable World” from World Future Review.

The abstract:

Modern science offers grounds for optimism concerning human comfort and well-being in the decades ahead. Yet, forces in nature and society still threaten to create conditions of worldwide physical and economic hardshipwfr unparalleled in recorded history. If, without despairing, we accept as a working hypothesis the likelihood that resource depletion and climate change will make deep and lasting changes in Earth’s geography and traditional social order, we can still find ways to keep alive the never-fully-realized aspirations that make life worth living. Drawing examples from human history and proposing novel attitudes and values, the authors argue that human beings can indeed survive and even manage to achieve lasting happiness in a future world of greatly diminished prospects and far fewer material comforts.
Read “Achieving Happiness in a Sustainable World” from World Future Review for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest from World Future Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Get a Better Understanding of Climate Change Issues Through Simulation

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Global warming and climate change have become hot-button issues in the past few decades. Many disagree on the long-term effects and what needs to be done to correct it, if anything at all. In their article published in Simulation and Gaming, “WORLD CLIMATE: A Role-Play Simulation of Climate Negotiations,” collaborators John Sterman, Travis Franck, Thomas Fiddaman, Andrew Jones, Stephanie McCauley, Philip Rice, Elizabeth Sawin, Lori Siegel and Juliette N. Rooney-Varga suggest that communication issues are to blame and offer up a unique solution in the form of online simulation and role playing programs.

The abstract:

Global negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have so far failed to produce an agreement. Even if negotiations succeeded, however, a binding treaty could not be ratified or implemented in many nations due to inadequate public support for emissions reductions. The scientific consensus on the reality and risks of anthropogenic climate change has never been stronger, yet public S&G_2013_C1.inddsupport for action in many nations remains weak. Policymakers, educators, the media, civic and business leaders, and citizens need tools to understand the dynamics and geopolitical implications of climate change. The WORLD CLIMATE simulation provides an interactive role-play experience through which participants explore these issues using a scientifically sound climate policy simulation model. Participants playing the roles of negotiators from major nations and stakeholders negotiate proposals to reduce GHG emissions. Participants then receive immediate feedback on the implications of their proposals for atmospheric GHG concentrations, global mean surface temperature, sea level rise, and other impacts through the C-ROADS (Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support) policy simulation model used by negotiators and policymakers. The role-play enables participants to explore the dynamics of the climate and impacts
of proposed policies using a model consistent with the best available peer-reviewed science. WORLD CLIMATE has been used successfully with students, teachers, business executives, and political leaders around the world. Here, we describe protocols for the role-play and the resources available to run it, including C-ROADS and all needed materials, all freely available at climateinteractive.org. We also present evaluations of the impact of WORLD CLIMATE with diverse groups.

Read “WORLD CLIMATE: A Role-Play Simulation of Climate Negotiations” in Simulation and Gaming for free by clicking here.

Don’t miss out on other articles like this! Click here to sign up for e-alerts from Simulation and Gaming.

Environmentally Friendly Improvements and Financial Effects

How do environmentally conscious businesses compare to their less eco-friendly counterparts when it comes to the bottom line? Dr. Javier Aguilera-Caracuel at Universidad Pablo de Olavide and Dr. Natalia Ortiz-de-Mandojana at University of Granada examine this question in their new article, “Green Innovation and Financial Performance: An Institutional Approach,” recently published in Organization & Environment. Read the abstract below:

Green innovation incorporates technological improvements that save energy, prevent pollution, or enable waste recycling and can include green product design and corporate environmental management. This type of innovation also contributes to business sustainability because it potentially has a positive effect on a firm’s financial, social, and environmental outcomes. However, the specific effect of green innovation on these outcomes can be highly influenced by the national context in which firms develop their activities. Using an institutional approach and employing a sample of 88 green innovative firms and 70 matched pairs (green innovative and non–green innovative firms), we find that green innovative firms are situated in contexts characterized by more stringent environmental regulations and higher environmental normative levels.Nevertheless, when compared to non–green innovative firms, we observe that green innovative firms do not experience improved financial performance. In focusing on green innovative firms, we note that the intensity of green innovation is positively related to firm profitability. Finally, we study whether national institutional conditions (stringency of environmental regulations and normative levels) impose a moderating effect on the relationship between green innovation intensioae coverty  and the financial performance improvement of innovative firms. Our results show that regulatory and normative dimensions do not have the same influence on that relationship, creating implications for academia, managers, and policy makers.

Read the full article here, free to Management INK readers for the next month. Don’t forget to sign up for e-alerts to receive the latest research from Organization & Environment.

Why We Should Be Optimistic About the Future

It’s true that our natural environment is in peril and our planet is running out of resources. But however bleak things may seem, an article by Gioietta Kuo of the American Center for International Policy Studies and Lane Jennings of the World Future Society asserts that we all have reason to be positive about the future. The authors wrote in their article, “Achieving Happiness in a Sustainable World,” in the World Future Review June 2013 issue:

WFR_72ppiRGB_150pixWModern science offers grounds for optimism concerning human comfort and well-being in the decades ahead. Yet, forces in nature and society still threaten to create conditions of worldwide physical and economic hardship unparalleled in recorded history. If, without despairing, we accept as a working hypothesis the likelihood that resource depletion and climate change will make deep and lasting changes in Earth’s geography and traditional social order, we can still find ways to keep alive the never-fully-realized aspirations that make life worth living. Drawing examples from human history and proposing novel attitudes and values, the authors argue that human beings can indeed survive and even manage to achieve lasting happiness in a future world of greatly diminished prospects and far fewer material comforts.

Continue reading the article online in World Future Review, and see the current issue of WFR here.