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Linkages and Complementarities between Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Journal call for papers from Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

Guest Editors

Eduardo Simões, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (University Institute of Lisbon) (ISCTE-IUL), Lisbon, Portugal, [email protected]
Ana Patrícia Duarte, ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal, [email protected]
Kanji Tanimoto, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, [email protected]
Ana Margarida Simaens, ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal, [email protected]
Vasco Rato, ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal, [email protected]


Most people now expect organisations to be accountable for ensuring ethical internal and external processes – including relationships with stakeholders – and ask for a higher level of transparency in decision processes affecting society at large (Burchell and Cook, 2006; Carroll and Shabana, 2010; Treviño, den Nieuwenboer and Kish-Gephart, 2014; Welsh, Ordóñez, Snyder and Christian, 2015). The same is true of environmental and social sustainability problems, which are increasingly important topics in public debates and concerns among individuals and communities (Murray, Haynes and Hudson, 2010; Stubblefield Loucks, Martens and Cho, 2010).
For this special issue of the Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal (SAMPJ) – in collaboration with the Fifth Symposium on Ethics and Social Responsibility Research (5th SESRR) – we invite authors to submit manuscripts that examine the linkages and complementarities between ethics, social responsibility and sustainability issues in diverse organisational contexts. The constructs of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate sustainability have emerged from different streams in the literature and have both conceptual similarities and differences. Some argue that CSR is grounded in normative arguments, while corporate sustainability originated in a systems approach (Bansal and Song, 2017). In addition, while scholars in the 1970s focused mostly on CSR as opposed to the economic realities of profit maximisation processes, in more recent decades, attention has also been devoted to corporate sustainability, often with a focus on its environmental dimension.
Although CSR and corporate sustainability are clearly distinct constructs (Bansal and Song, 2017; Setó-Pamies and Papaoikonomou, 2016), the literature reveals a growing tendency towards a more integrated approach to both topics that incorporates social, environmental and economic concerns into the equation. This trend seems quite compelling because, as Montiel (2008: 260) argues, ‘contemporary businesses must address economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental integrity before they can lay claim to socially responsible behaviour or sustainable practices.’ Hence, despite the separate pasts, the constructs of CSR and corporate sustainability could share a common future (Montiel, 2008), and organisational ethics may well be the ‘magnetic force’ behind this rapprochement. In fact, the strategic integration of CSR and sustainability practices and policies in daily organisational routines involves an element of ethical evaluation (Vinnari, Vinnari and Kupsala, 2017) and, as such, it is not fully possible without the explicit scrutiny of the ethicality of underlying decision-making processes and behaviours (Kibert, 2002).
The 5th SESRR seeks not only to promote discussions about theoretical models and empirical research results but also to debate policies, strategies, and practices. Issues such as the prevention of misconduct in organisations or the relationship between organisational ethics and sustainability strategies will be discussed in specific forums involving scholars, practitioners and decision-makers. These are some of the topics that can be addressed by papers submitted to this special issue.

Contributions may focus on, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Contextual determinants of ethical decision-making
  • Ethical problems in leaders’ decision-making processes
  • The case for ‘unethical’ personality traits: ‘black triad’ and other related concepts
  • Practical support for ethical decision-making in organisations
  • Ethical issues in big data and individual data privacy
  • Ethics, sustainability, CSR and stakeholders’ responses
  • CSR and sustainability: ethical challenges in higher education organizations
  • Ethical issues in green and social accounting and reporting
  • Ethical decision-making and behaviour as support and "raison d'être" of CSR and sustainability activities
  • Sustainability ethics: Making explicit the tacit ethical assumptions of sustainability policies

Authors are invited to contact the guest editors should they want to suggest a theme of inquiry or validate whether a research topic falls within the scope of the special issue.

Submitting and Schedules

  • Papers submitted to the special issue will undergo a typical double-blind review process
  • Submissions to the journal must be made using ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system
  • Author guidelines can be found here.
  • The submissions window opens on 1 October, The link will be available on this website on this date
  • The submission deadline is 20 November 2019

Associated with the following conference

This special issue of SAMPJ is in collaboration with the 5th SESRR to be held in Lisbon, Portugal, on 6 and 7 June 2019. However, submissions to this special issue may be made directly without submitting to the conference.
See this link for more information:

Important dates for the Special Issue

•    ScholarOne open for submissions: to be defined by Emerald
•    Submission deadline for the special Issue: 20 November 2019

Important dates for the 5th SESRR

•    5th SESRR submission deadline: 15 January 2019
•    Dates of the 5th SESRR: 6 and 7 June 2019


Bansal, P., and Song, H.-C. (2017). Similar but not the same: differentiating corporate sustainability from corporate responsibility. Academy of Management Annals, 11(1), 105-149.
Burchell, J. and Cook, J. (2006). It’s good to talk? Examining attitudes towards corporate social responsibility dialogue and engagement processes. Business Ethics: A European Review, 15 (2), 154-70.
Carroll, A. and Shabana, K. (2010). The business case for corporate social responsibility: a review of concepts, research and practice. International Journal of Management Reviews, 12(1), 85-105.
Kibert, C. J. (2012). Working toward sustainability: Ethical decision-making in a technological world. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Montiel, I. (2008). Corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability: separate pasts, common futures. Organization & Environment, 21(3), 245–269.
Murray, A., Haynes, K. and Hudson, L. J. (2010). Collaborating to achieve corporate social responsibility and sustainability? Possibilities and problems. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 1(2), 161-177.
Setó-Pamies, D. and Papaoikonomou, E. (2016). A multi-level perspective for the integration of ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability (ECSRS) in management education. Journal of Business Ethics, 136 (3), 523-538.
Stubblefield Loucks, E., Martens, M. L. and Cho, C. H. (2010). Engaging small-and medium-sized businesses in sustainability. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 1(2), 178-200.
Treviño, L.K., den Nieuwenboer, N.A. and Kish-Gephart, J.J. (2014). (Un)ethical behavior in organizations. Annual Review of Psychology, 65 (1), 635-60.
Vinnari, M., Vinnari, E. and Kupsala, S. (2017). Sustainability matrix: interest groups and ethical theories as the basis of decision-making. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 30(3), 349-366.
Welsh, D.T., Ordóñez, L.D., Snyder, D.G. and Christian, M.S. (2015). The slippery slope: how small ethical transgressions pave the way for larger future transgressions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100 (1), 114-127.

More information on the Guest editors

Eduardo Simões has a Doctorate in Social and Organisational Psychology from the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Lisbon, Portugal. He lectures and conducts research on ethical decision-making in organisations both at the individual and group level. As an organisational consultant and trainer, he has taught decision-making methods to a wide variety of executives and managers over the past 20 years. His research has been published in journals such as Management Research and the European Journal of Management and Business Economics. He is the co-editor of the book, Research on Ethics and Social Responsibility, published by the Business Research Unit of ISCTE-IUL in 2011, and he also co-organised a special issue of Management Research on ethics, social responsibility and sustainability in 2014. Currently, he is the co-editor of the special issue, ‘Ethical Decision-Making Processes in Organisations and Public Administration’ of the journal, Administrative Sciences. Email address: [email protected]

Ana Patrícia Duarte received her Doctorate in Social and Organisational Psychology from ISCTE-IUL. She is currently a researcher at the same university. Her research focuses broadly on organisational behaviour and corporate social responsibility. She has published in journals such as Management Research, Tourism and Management Studies, Tourism Planning & Development, the International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management and the European Journal of Management and Business Economics. She has also served as a peer reviewer for various journals and conferences and co-organised a special issue for Management Research on ethics, social responsibility and sustainability in 2014. Email address: [email protected]

Kanji Tanimoto received his Doctorate in Business Administration from Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan. He is Professor of Business and Society at the School of Commerce, Waseda University, Japan. He recently was Visiting Professor at the Free University of Berlin, Cologne Business School, Durham University and National Taipei University. Prior to joining Waseda, he was a professor at the Graduate School of Commerce, Hitotsubashi University. He is Founder and President of an academy: Japan Forum of Business and Society, which is the first academic society in this field in Japan. He is an editorial member of some journals. He has been consulting and providing advices to leading Japanese companies on CSR management over the last 20 years. He also has engaged some government committees on business & society and social business. His research interests include the relationship between business and society, corporate social responsibility, social business and social innovation. He has published numerous books and papers. Email address: [email protected]

Ana Margarida Simaens has a Doctorate in Business from Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands. She lectures and conducts research on strategic management, sustainability, ethics and social responsibility, particularly regarding third sector contexts. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Business Ethics and Public Management Review. She has served as the managing editor of the Global Economics and Management Review, a peer-reviewed journal published by Elsevier, and has been a member of the Publications Committee at the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organisations and Voluntary Action, which oversees the academic journal Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. She has also served as a peer reviewer for various journals and conferences. Email address: [email protected]

Vasco Rato graduated in Architecture and completed a MSc. in Construction and a PhD. in Civil Engineering. He is Associate Professor at ISCTE-IUL, teaching sustainability at the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning and researching at ISTAR-IUL Information Sciences, Technologies and Architecture Research Center and VitruviusFabLab-IUL on performance-based multi-criteria material selection for a sustainable architecture. He has academic and corporate professional experience in materials for architecture and buildings renovation, project management, construction technology and energy efficiency in buildings. Email address: [email protected]