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Dhaka Savar Building Collapse” by rijans, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In the article “’We Can’t Compete on Human Rights’: Creating Market-Protected Spaces to Institutionalize the Emerging Logic of Responsible Management“, which has just come out at the Academy of Management Journal, Nora Lohmeyer, Sarah Ashwin and myself argue that the protection of labor and environmental standards in the global economy relies on the construction of “market-protected spaces”, institutionally bound spaces that suspend the dominance of the market logic on selected issues based on a binding regulatory infrastructure that allows prioritizing responsible management practices. This conclusion is based on years-long research on the consequences of the deadly Rana Plaza accident in Bangladesh in which thousands of garment workers were killed or injured. Our research shows that voluntary corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives are not enough to address systemic, complex social or environmental problems in the global economy. We agree with De Bakker, Matten, Spence, and Wickert (2020), who

see an urgent need to address an “elephant in the room” of corporate social responsibility (CSR) research: the systemic constraints exerted by the current economic paradigm that might not be reconcilable with responsible business conduct.

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Laudatio delivered by Leonhard Dobusch at the 38th EGOS Colloquium, July 7, 2022, at WU Vienna, Austria.

How can we assess what a pioneering and lasting contribution to “the social sciences dealing with organization, organized and organizing” is, as is required for anyone receiving an EGOS Honorary Membership. To do so, as a proxy, let me briefly sketch what is particular for organization studies as a discipline – and not just particular, but particularly great:

  • Organization studies is truly transdisciplinary. At EGOS, Business scholars meet sociologists and political scientists and anthropologists and communications scholars and also the occasional economist.
  • Probably because of its transdisciplinarity, organization studies is also characterized by great methodological openness and diversity. Organization studies was about mixed methods long before it was considered cool.
  • And, related to both these features, organization studies is a field that sports theoretical pluralism.

And this triad of transdisciplinarity, methodological openness and theoretical pluralism is also, what Sigrid not just contributed to, but rather what she lived, what she exemplified, what she spearheaded.

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The Book

Governance across borders: transnational fields and transversal themes. Leonhard Dobusch, Philip Mader and Sigrid Quack (eds.), 2013, epubli publishers.
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