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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
An editorial of a “Volume 1, Issue 1” is a starting point with heavy consequences. There is the hope that there will be as many volumes and as many issues as possible, and of course a relevance and a great interest for its audience.
Society and Business Review (SBR) has been launched because business is, as ever, in society (and not beside) and because it is affected by all kinds of ongoing societal pressures and changes.
Management science has now got enough legitimacy within human sciences to be able to accept that business is in society and to address something beyond “externalities”. As a result SBR will try to foster and share knowledge and ideas in order to assist businesses to enhance their commitment in societies. By being international and interdisciplinary in scope, SBR will seek to provide a platform for debate amongst diverse academic and practitioner communities by considering social issues and disciplines in different parts of the world. Articles that highlight models and structures that advance the interests, dignity and well being of all people and communities in societies, in a sustainable manner, are particularly welcome. In doing so, SBR seeks to promote an ethos of meaningful collaboration, reflection, critical review and discussion informed by the results of relevant research and/or praxis.
SBR will publish a diverse range of theoretical, methodological and substantive debates as well as practical developments in the field of social issues of business activities worldwide. It will particularly draw attention to the impact of changes of the business/corporate social concerns and practices on people, the sustainability of different economic activities, how societal issues influence the scope of business activities, through contradicting social philosophies and business.
The journal will also invite manuscripts on more “established” themes such as effective corporate social responsible activities, control systems, regulated leadership, the role and contribution of societal communities and the growing importance of environmental issues in the wake of ever-greater environmental threats. In addition, it will invite considerations on the redefinition and evaluation of global social responsibility models, the links between society and business, the changing nature of societies and of the relationship and responsibilities of companies towards various communities as well as the role and the impact of local and international regulatory agencies, governmental laws on companies' behaviour.
SBR will be as “open” as possible, especially beyond the normative functionalist model and beyond managerial voluntarism, which are two main parts of the “mainstream” in management science today. Business is insociety, where it has to be considered as a social activity among others. The editing policy is based on the will to give a better theoretical framework in the management science field – which is widely under theorised and in the topic of social issues in management, which is probably more under theorised. Our world is probably not so global as it is said to be, even if we deal with concepts and societal issues. As academics, we have to produce more knowledge than ideology, even if knowledge is always ideological to some extent.
We can see the new importance taken by management through the real transversality of numerous managerial themes today:
Is it possible to say something about knowledge management without taking into account the so-called “knowledge society”?
Is it possible to speak about governance without knowing that its characteristics are also taken as relevant for democratic life in societies today?
Is it possible to study corporate social responsibility and sustainable development without societal issues (and not only business consequences)?
We hope that SBR will be essential reading for both academics with research interests in society and business and for practitioners seeking knowledge of practical developments in this field.
This first issue is completely illustrative of these aspects through papers devoted to general reflections on what are the consequences of having business in societies as well as more “applied” studies.
“Business in society or an integrated vision of governance” by Yvon Pesqueux and Gaetan Breton is, in a way, a programmatic paper of what “society and business” means.
“From administrative humanism to the awareness of anomalies: the role of human sciences” by Fernando Cruz Kronfly is a critic addressed to the humanist rhetoric in management.
“Extended stakeholder theory” by Laszlo Zsolnai is a reflection on how business organisations affect the fate and survival of natural ecosystems and the life conditions of present and future generations.
“Globalisation and corporate governance: issues for management researchers” by Florence Palpacuer seeks to highlight the diversity of ideological positions adopted by management researchers in the globalisation and corporate governance debate.
“Stakeholder salience and engagement in political organisations: who and what really counts?” by Eleanor O'Higgins and Joseph Morgan looks at the relationship between stakeholders and the focal organisation in a more generic sense, beyond the business sphere.
“The meaning of corporate social responsibility in a local French hospital: a case study” by Nada Kakabadse and Cécile Rozuel presents the results of a study on a local public hospital in France examining how various stakeholders actually understand corporate social responsibility.
As Editor I look forward to your participation in, and contributions to SBR over the coming years.
Here is to a long life for SBR!