CFP: Sustainability Strategy

Perhaps for someone working on cutback management? In the mail:

*Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Long Range Planning*

*DOING MORE WITH LESS?: SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY IN CONSTRAINED ECONOMIC TIMES*

*Submission Due Date: December 1, 2011*

Guest Editors:
Michael Barnett, Oxford University
Nicole Darnall, Arizona State University
Bryan Husted, York University and Tecnologico de Monterrey

*Introduction*

Over the last few decades, there has been a growing movement toward environmentally and socially responsible enterprise.. How has this movement continued in the face of the most serious recession since the Great Depression? Or have firms and governments reacted to difficult conditions by cutting environmental and social programs? Have stakeholders lost interest in social and environmental responsibility as economic struggles become more pressing? Or have stakeholders, organizations, and governments retained or even increased environmentally and socially responsible practices as a strategy for recovery?

This special issue seeks to assess the viability and implications of doing more with less. We welcome scholarly and practitioner papers that advance our understanding of how firms, in cooperation or confrontation with governments and stakeholders, are developing strategies to do more with less—strategies that cope with resource constraints while maintaining or improving ecological, societal and economic sustainability. We encourage
submissions that address, but are not be limited to, the following topics and questions:

*The pursuit of competitive advantage and sustainability in a tighter economy**. *The predominant lesson that most firms have learned from the recession is how to cut costs and do *less* with less. However, some firms have sought opportunities to do *more* with less by developing strategies that are ecologically sustainable, socially responsible, and economically
profitable.

· How have organizations shifted their business models to thrive during constrained economic times while benefiting the environment and society? How did these companies develop the appropriate capabilities to make the transition?
· How can ecologically and socially responsible firms differentiate themselves from competitors on the basis of doing more with less?

· What kinds of firm-level resources and capabilities are needed to develop new sustainability business models (e.g., frugal innovation) that do more with less?

· Can sustainability business models (e.g., frugal innovation) based on doing more with less be replicated? Are the advantages of these models their inimitability, and if so, to what extent can these business models enhance firm competitiveness or social equity?

· Can sustainability strategies based on doing more with less increase social equity by making new products and services available to the poor? How can firms evaluate the impacts to social equity of these strategies?

· How can socially responsible business models based on doing more with less also enhance corporate environmental responsibility?

* *

*The actions of government, public policy, and markets in a tighter economy**. *The dominant government response to a tighter economy has been cost-cutting and austerity measures. Yet during times of economic downturns the public generally needs more assistance from the government.

* *

· During tight economic times, are businesses fulfilling government’s role as social benefactor? Are these actions effective?
· In economic expansions, some firms (particularly in developing countries) provide infrastructure where governments cannot. In downturns, are firms picking up additional slack, or is it the case that both government and corporate social spending fall?
· Can we rely on the market-driven voluntary corporate efforts to protect social welfare during tough economic times, or is formal regulation warranted?
· In an economic downturn, are government programs that encourage firms to pursue a sustainability agenda cut back? Are these programs effective under austere conditions?
· In an economic downturn, how does the ratio of firm spending on government lobbying versus sustainability change?
· Increased availability of products worldwide, and especially to developing countries, encourages greater material consumption as a whole. In what ways are firms enhancing consumer well-being, and simultaneously reducing consumption and its related environmental impacts?

* *

*Stakeholder behavior in a tighter economy**. *To gain stakeholders’ trust and support, more firms are publicly disclosing information about their ecologically and socially responsible activities. However, in an economic
downturn, stakeholders face greater demands on their limited attention from a flurry of media and other stimuli present in their daily lives. Stakeholders, like firms, are also more likely to be constrained economically.

* *

· In light of an increasing number of other demands on stakeholder attention during tight economic times, is the business case for sustainability – through which stakeholders reward and punish firms for their act of social (ir)responsibility – less viable?
· During tight economic times, how are stakeholders adapting their watchdog role? Are they forfeiting some activities in favor of others?
· As stakeholders are provided more information about firms’ sustainability activities, are they in fact better informed? During tight economic times, are stakeholders more or less likely to act on this information and make better decisions?
· How are consumers processing the significantly greater volume of information about firms’ ecological and social activities? In what ways are consumers simplifying their decision-making?
· During tight economic times do consumers disregard firms’ sustainability messages and focus more on price as a product differentiator?
· In an economic downturn, some firms eliminate a portion or all of their ecologically and socially responsible activities. To what extent (if at all) do these firms communicate information to stakeholders about their cuts? What are stakeholders’ responses to firms’ cuts? How quickly do firms restore these activities in times of recovery?

*Submission and Review Process*

The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2011. *Articles must be submitted through the electronic submission system, available here*: http://ees.elsevier.com/lrp/.

Please ensure your article abides by the scope and formatting conditions of this journal. Specifics may be found at: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/lrp.
*Long Range Planning* reaches a broader audience than most scholarly journals by publishing articles that inform either theory or practice. We thus welcome high-quality contributions from both academics and practitioners. Further, please ensure your article fits with the theme of
this special issue, as discussed in this Call for Papers. *When submitting your article, please specify in your cover letter precisely how your article fits the special issue theme*.

Articles should abide by the scope and formatting conditions of this journal and fit with the special issue theme to pass initial editorial review. Papers that receive initial editorial approval will be subjected to
double-blind review according to the policies of *Long Range Planning.*

*Time Line*

December 1, 2011 Deadline for electronic submissions of papers to *LRP *special issue
May 1, 2012 First round reviews for authors
September 1, 2012 Deadline for papers with revisions
December 1, 2012 Final decisions on papers for *LRP* special issue

*More Information*

For additional information, please contact the special issue editors:

· Michael Barnett, Said Business School, Oxford University, michael.barnett@sbs.ox.ac.uk
· Nicole Darnall, School of Public Affairs, School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, ndarnall@asu.edu
· Bryan Husted, Schulich School of Business, York University, bhusted@schulich.yorku.ca