Innovation, Management and Governance for Sustainable Growth

Call for papers for: British Food Journal

Guest Editors 

Alba Yela Aránega, University of Alcalà

Alberto Ferraris, University of Turin & Ural Federal University

Baima Gabriele, University of Turin

Stefano Bresciani, University of Turin


The aim of the special issue of “Innovation, Management and Governance for Sustainable Growth” is to shed lights on sustainable growth and development in the Food & Beverage (F&B) sector from various perspectives, such as innovation, consumer behavior, digitalization, etc.

In fact, the interplay between technological innovation and sustainability is becoming an imperative in a modern society. International organizations, governments, corporates, academia and civil society look at this solution as the answer to major contemporary challenges. Indeed, new innovative technologies can make a significant contribution to reducing environmental burdens and/or improving social conditions, while promoting economic growth. In 2015 the United Nations (UE) introduced the UN 2030 agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by promoting inclusive and sustainable development through specific social, institutional, and technological innovations and practices. However, still in 2021 the achievement of these goals is discussed in the context of uncertainties where few “good practices” have been fully implemented also as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With this regard, companies must be restructured in terms of organizational, accounting, corporate governance and strategic systems. Unfortunately, stakeholders sometimes lost trust in how companies operate that may result in decreasing firm’s image and reputation, and to rebuild it, is important to plan a sustainable growth strategy (Kumar et al., 2020). Thus, sustainable, environmental, and social aspects should be embedded in the core values of every type of organization and consequently plays a role in strategy development.

SDGs focus on poverty and economic growth, hunger, health and well-being, education, inequalities, affordable and clean energy, water and sanitation, climate, etc. These “Grand Challenges” affect many sides of our life, and solutions should be found through sustainable and responsible solutions. Elkington (1998), proposed the “triple bottom line” model to measure sustainability in a perspective of: economic prosperity, environmental protection, and social equity. This is very relevant in the context of the F&B industry (e.g., Burlingame, 2014; Bresciani et al., 2016). When attempting to address grand challenges in these industries, a key issue may be to engage in open innovation in the face of sustainability (Bresciani, 2017; Bogers et al., 2020) and by stimulating new kind of partnerships (e.g. Ferraris et al., 2020). In fact, companies are facing several challenges to improve existing business model or find new business models (e.g. Franceschelli et al., 2018) that combine tradition and innovation towards environmental goals (Vrontis et al., 2016; Giacosa et al., 2017; Baima et al., 2020).

Moreover, these challenges force consumers to change their behaviour if sustainable development has to be achieved. New sustainable food consumption behaviour and new food buying intention are required, because consumers have a modern environmental and health view related to the impacts of people's eating habits and food production methods, and food is not considered just a sustenance good (Kaljonen et al., 2020; Nosi et al., 2020).

The concept of sustainable development has been widely analysed by policymakers in recent years (Sneddon et al., 2006; Pizzi et al., 2020) but it has only become more relevant with the increasing need to identify new strategies in order to achieve the highest degree of worldwide sustainability. This increased the attention paid by stakeholders in encouraging the achievement of socio-environmental goals (Munro, 2020). Literature confirm that the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals requires interdisciplinarity(e.g. Annan-Diab & Molinari, 2017). For these reasons, we are looking for original contributions that address impact of sustainable growth from several points of view: economic, business organization, innovation, marketing, market research, consumer behaviour, accounting and finance, corporate governance as well as other related areas such as sociology and transversal areas such as digitalization or innovation.

Despite the growth of works published on this topic in the last years, there are several gaps both in the analysis of how and whether SDGs drives company’s growth, which factors lead to the implementation of “sustainable” innovations and which fosters organizational development in the digital transformation era. Also, we still have limited knowledge on what drives the adoption of “sustainable” innovations by organizations, what fosters their implementation, and what are the subsequent effects on organizations (governance, processes, strategies) and performances (economic, environmental, and social). 

The Special Issue welcomes original works to fill these gaps. Both theoretical, empirical, conceptual, and experimental studies that offer fresh and critical insights are welcome. We are open to a wide range of research methods as long as they are consistent with the aims and scope of this Special Issue in the food & beverage sectors. Topics covered include (but are not limited to):

  • Selection and validation of the most suitable KPI for evaluating and managing SDGs in companies;
  • Reporting, disclosing and communicating sustainability to external stakeholders;
  • New frameworks and models for managing and increasing sustainable development goals;
  • Policies and programs for boosting the organizations’ sustainable growth;
  • Design and technical characteristics of effective information systems for sustainable growth;
  • Sustainability of the planet and social economy;
  • Circular economy and social economy;
  • Consumer behaviour;
  • Consumer perception;
  • Grand challenges;
  • Sustainable Consumption;
  • Sustainable tourism and social economy.


Deadline and Submission Details

The submission deadline for all papers is 30th September 2021.

The publication date of this special issue is fall 2022.

To submit your research, please visit:

To view the author guidelines for this journal, please visit:


Contact the Guest Editor:

NAME: Alba Yela Aránega

INSTITUTION: University of Alcalà

EMAIL: [email protected]


NAME: Alberto Ferraris

INSTITUTION: University of Turin – Department of Management & Ural Federal University

EMAIL: [email protected]


NAME: Baima Gabriele – Department of Management

INSTITUTION: University of Turin

EMAIL: [email protected]


NAME: Stefano Bresciani – Department of Management

INSTITUTION: University of Turin

EMAIL: [email protected]



Annan-Diab, F., & Molinari, C. (2017). Interdisciplinarity: Practical approach to advancing education for sustainability and for the Sustainable Development Goals. The International Journal of Management Education15(2), 73-83.

Baima, G., Santoro, G., Busso, D. and Quaglia, R. (2020). Exploring the outcomes of the external revealing of knowledge: A case study in the craft beer industry. Business Process Management Journal, 26(5), 1183-1201.

Bebbington, J. and Unerman, J. (2018). Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: An enabling role for accounting research. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 31(1), 2-24.

Bogers, M., Chesbrough, H. and Strand, R. (2020). Sustainable open innovation to address a grand challenge: Lessons from Carlsberg and the Green Fiber Bottle. British Food Journal, 122(5), 1505-1517.

Bresciani, S. (2017). Open, networked and dynamic innovation in the food and beverage industry. British Food Journal, 119(11), 2290-2293

Bresciani, S., Ferraris, A., Santoro, G. and Nilsen, H.R. (2016). Wine sector: companies' performance and green economy as a means of societal marketing. Journal of Promotion Management, 22(2), 251-267.

Burlingame, B. (2014). Grand challenges in nutrition and environmental sustainability. Frontiers in nutrition1(3), 1-2.

Elkington, J. (1998). Partnerships from cannibals with forks: The triple bottom line of 21st‐century business. Environmental quality management8(1), 37-51.

Ferraris, A., Vrontis, D., Belyaeva, Z., De Bernardi, P., & Ozek, H. (2020). Innovation within the food companies: how creative partnerships may conduct to better performances?. British Food Journal, DOI: 10.1108/BFJ-07-2019-0502.

Franceschelli, M. V., Santoro, G., & Candelo, E. (2018). Business model innovation for sustainability: a food start-up case study. British Food Journal, 120(10), 2483-2494.

Giacosa, E., Ferraris, A., & Monge, F. (2017). How to strengthen the business model of an Italian family food business. British Food Journal. 119(11), 2309-2324.

Kaljonen, M., Salo, M., Lyytimäki, J. and Furman, E. (2020). From isolated labels and nudges to sustained tinkering: assessing long-term changes in sustainable eating at a lunch restaurant. British Food Journal, 122(11), 3313-3329.

Kumar, R., Singh, R. K., & Dwivedi, Y. K. (2020). Application of Industry 4.0 technologies in Indian SMEs for sustainable growth: Analysis of challenges. Journal of Cleaner Production, DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.124063.

Munro, V. (2020). The Universal Sustainable Development Goals for Purpose and Change, CSR for Purpose, Shared Value and Deep Transformation, Emerald Publishing Limited, 85-117.

Nosi, C., Zollo, L., Rialti, R. and Ciappei, C. (2020). Sustainable consumption in organic food buying behavior: the case of quinoa. British Food Journal, 122(3), 976-994.

Pizzi, S., Caputo, A., Corvino, A., & Venturelli, A. (2020). Management research and the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs): A bibliometric investigation and systematic review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 276, 124033.

Vrontis, D., Bresciani, S. and Giacosa, E. (2016). Tradition and innovation in Italian wine family businesses. British Food Journal, 118(8), 1883-1897.