EGOS Colloquium in Hamburg, Germany (July 2-4, 2020)
Submission Deadline: January 14, 2020
Jochen Markard, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Birthe Soppe, University of Innsbruck, Austria & University of Oslo, Norway
Taran M. Thune, University of Oslo, Norway
Call for Papers
We live in a world facing a variety of grand challenges connected to environmental and societal sustainability, including food, water and energy security, climate change, natural disasters, poverty and inequality. How societies and organizations deal with such challenges, and commit to developing more sustainable futures, while discontinuing unsustainable businesses and practices is a key concern and research topic (Ferraro et al., 2015; Geels et al., 2017; George et al., 2016; Markard et al., 2012). This sub-theme will bring together scholars who study grand sustainability challenges and transformation from different perspectives, including systems and organizations. We are particularly interested in contributions that explore new approaches, perspectives, and methods. In organization studies, sustainability issues have received increasing attention in recent years (Bansal & Song, 2017; Linnenluecke & Griffiths, 2013; Whiteman et al., 2013). Organization scholars have addressed sustainability topics from different theoretical perspectives, including institutional theory (Lefsrud & Meyer, 2012; Slager et al., 2012), institutional entrepreneurship (Garud & Karnoe, 2003; Wijen & Ansari, 2007), social movements (Doblinger & Soppe, 2013; Sine & Lee, 2009), category studies (Georgallis et al., 2019), and political strategy and tactics (Hiatt et al., 2015; Levy & Egan, 2003). In fact, we see much interest in organizational responses and business implications related to grand challenges, seeking to improve firm-level strategies and organizational processes. However, given the magnitude and persistence of today's sustainability challenges, there are also concerns that the focus on firm performance is too narrow and established theories and methods do not suffice (Delbridge and Fiss, 2013; Gladwin et al., 1995; Hahn et al., 2010). One such field for new inspiration is emerging under the label of 'sustainability transitions' (Markard et al., 2012). Sustainability transitions are long-term, fundamental transformations of established socio-technical systems including energy, transport, water and food that are associated with, and triggered by, grand sustainability challenges. Like researchers in organizational studies, transition scholars are concerned with the role of organizations in developing more sustainable modes of production and consumption (Berggren et al., 2015; Farla et al., 2012). Transition research, however, has a strong focus on higher-level transformation, such as the disruption of existing socio-technical systems and industries. Taking a systems perspective, researchers study the interplay of a broad variety of actors, institutions, policies, and technologies in the development of more sustainable pathways. We see significant potential to intensify research at the intersection between transition studies and organization studies. In fact, the systems-oriented sustainability transitions literature and the organization literature addressing sustainability have largely evolved independently of each other, calling for much needed research bridging the two. We believe that organizational studies can greatly benefit from the insights of transitions research, and vice versa. In line with the overall EGOS Colloquium 2020 theme, we use this sub-theme to bring together innovative research on sustainability challenges and larger societal transformation that goes beyond the 'usual' approaches and frameworks. We invite research that explores the overlap between systems and organizational perspectives. We welcome researchers who share an interest in building bridges between different strands of research, different levels of analysis, or different theoretical perspectives (e.g. discursive, material, relational, systemic). Such connection and broadening are necessary to advance insights into the dynamics of sustainable transformation, including the role of and consequences for organizations. Possible topics include but are not restricted to:
We are looking forward to receiving your contributions!