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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Society and Business Review, Volume 9, Issue 2
This issue is built with six papers and a covering text because a set of three papers is coming from a selection made during EURAM 2013 Conference in Istanbul (Strategic Interest Group Business and Society).
In “Beyond the business/society dichotomy: the rich topicality of Gilbert Simondon’s ontological and epistemological schemas” (the covering text), Rémi Jardat is considering that Simondon’s thoughts are especially salient in reconciling some of the deepest antinomies of social sciences such as structure vs change. He is establishing a dialogue between the articles presented as part of the special section and Simondon’s reservoir of theoretical ideas that embrace ontological and epistemological schemas.
In “The cultural production of commodities understanding the art and gaps of silent and seen design”, Jeynaker and Brogger argue that every day, while navigating the boundaries between business and society, the work necessary to transform resources into wares is perpetually accomplished. Yet, the resources themselves do not undergo any alteration in matter or shape. In the authors’ view, commodities owe their genesis to the mere fact of being passed along a human chain, without any real human actants, as if the resources proceed progressively toward the environment (or milieu) that allow them to persist in their nature as wares, that is, by relying on a set of resonating meta-stable interactions.
In “Rethinking institutional entrepreneurship: the case of the construction of the orphan drug field in Europe”, Hamadache and Brabet offer a conceptual framework for considering the institutionalization of orphan drugs, which are seen as a shared area of interest – and revenue source – by both dominating and dominated groups and individuals. The paper’s main contribution consists in providing empirical proof that a so-called “institutional entrepreneur” holds the power to shape his/her environment, in a way that actually was ignored or overlooked by previous scholarship. Most importantly, this work raises a question about the nature of institutional change that, until now, has remained unsolved: in the case of the development of the new field of orphan drugs, has the institutional entrepreneur really changed the rules of the game or has it merely reinforced a pre-existing and deeply ingrained institutional order?
In “Towards a philosophy of organisation sciences: a declaration of the principles of the SPSG”, Lamy, Bazin, Magne and Rappin deal with the status of scholarly statements concerning management and call for the tools of scientific/philosophic investigation and discourse to be applied to management. Epistemology, the individual and genesis are three primary concerns addressed by the scholars.
In “Football passion as a religion: the four dimensions of a sacred experience”, Paché and Fulconis explain that professional football (soccer) is commonly thought of as a kind of religion, because of the quasi-mystical infatuation of its most faithful supporters for their favorite team. By analyzing the examples of several European clubs and applying to them a reading grid on the fundamentals of religious belief, they wish to show that professional football is accompanied by mystical devotion close to religious practice.
In “Ethics of social innovation”, Zsolnai and Ims consider that there are a lot of innovations that have created substantial benefits for large groups of people in the Western world. It is not obvious that the same innovations can create the same benefits in the developing world. Technology development has been focusing on products that can be profitably sold; the market-driven development mainly benefits the rich because the rich has much bigger purchasing power than the poor. They will then try to gain an insight in what makes an innovation successful for local communities in the developing world. There are some ethical concepts, rules and principles that should be taken into consideration to make an overall judgment on innovations in social context. The vulnerability of people and communities calls for special ethical attention.
In “Religious organizations as investors: a Christian perspective on shareholder engagement”, Van Cranenburgh, Arenas, Goodman and Louche are following this question guided by the exploratory qualitative case studies of three religious coming from the fifteenth century. By answering this question, they challenge a dichotomy that is commonplace in the twentieth century (what are the features influencing the shareholder engagement practices of Christian organizations and how are these features related to their religious nature?). This paper makes two major contributions. First, it showcases three Christian organizations where religion and investing are intertwined. Second, the paper is highlight three features that indicate the potential for Christian organizations to practice their belief through means of their investments: having a structured belief system, a long-term perspective and a grassroots network.