Call for papers: International Business Review

Special issue of the International Business Review

International business, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development

Deadline for submission: 1 June 2008

Guest editors:
Ans Kolk, University of Amsterdam Business School
Rob van Tulder, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Call for papers
While attention to the social and environmental impacts of international business is not new, the past years have seen renewed interest due to pressing global problems such as climate change, poverty and HIV/Aids, in which firms are called upon to play a positive role, and thus contribute to more sustainable development. This applies most notably to multinational enterprises (MNEs), given their global influence and activities in which they are confronted with a range of issues, stakeholders and institutional contexts, in both home and host countries. For MNEs, this is part of a balancing act of what can be called corporate social responsibility (CSR), in which they consider their various responsibilities: economic, legal, ethical, environmental and social. In the European context, the term triple P, or People, Planet, Profit, has also been coined to likewise point to the need for managers to focus concurrently on the social, environmental and economic dimensions of corporate activity, in order to help shape the (sustainable) future of societies worldwide.
It is sometimes suggested that MNEs’ CSR activities are becoming increasingly strategic, in the sense that they affect the core business of the firm and its growth, profitability and survival. In other words, CSR is moving from a public affairs to a core strategic activity. However, even if true, this is likely to be applicable only under certain conditions, depending on issue, stakeholder, country, industry and firm specific factors. The international dimension of these questions is extremely relevant, but has not yet been addressed systematically in international business research. Corporate social responsibility and sustainable development provide fertile areas in which both existing international business theories can be tested, and from which new insights into the dynamics of the interaction between MNEs and their national and international contexts can be induced. This includes for example, the exact workings of the interactions between Ownership or Firm-Specific Advantages, and Locational or Country-Specific Advantages, and whether or under what conditions CSR (components) may create competitive (dis)advantages at different locations.
This special issue aims to publish papers on CSR and sustainable development that are embedded in international business literature, and aim to contribute to our field as indicated above. We welcome innovative papers, both conceptual and empirical, both qualitative and quantitative, on CSR topics in relation to, for example:

  • Degree and spread of internationalisation/regionalisation
  • Headquarter-subsidiary relationships and subsidiary roles
  • Competitive advantage, growth and development
  • Firm performance
  • Foreign direct investment
  • Convergence/divergence
  • Supply chain management, offshoring/outsourcing
  • Networks and alliances
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Marketing in consumer and business-to-business markets
  • Issue management, reputation and brands
  • Codes of conduct and labelling programmes
  • Business-government relationships
  • The provision of global public goods
  • International stakeholder management
  • Submission guidelines:
    All paper submissions should conform to International Business Review’s standard guidelines for authors, details of which can be found at the IBR website:

    Deadline: Manuscripts must be received by 1 June 2008

    Papers for this special issue can only be submitted electronically via online submission site at and select this “Special Issue: Sustainable Development” as the article type.

    Questions about the special issue can be directed at the guest editors via e-mail: (Ans Kolk) or (Rob van Tulder)

    This special issue of International Business Review will be published in Spring 2010.

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