Call for Abstracts

13th Corporate Responsibility Research Conference
Theme: Engaging Business and Consumers for Sustainable Change

Hosted by the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) and Business and Organisations for Sustainable Societies research group (BOSS)
The University of Leeds, UK
in association with Kedge Business School, France
11th–12th September 2018
(PhD workshop on afternoon of 10th September)
(Please click here for a PDF version of the Call for Abstracts)
In the industrialised societies, human activities are largely organised by business organisations. Ranging from transnational corporations to small and medium-sized social enterprises, businesses influence patterns of everyday life. In today’s market economies, consumers are assigned a central role in deciding which products and services are used and how, as well as in which quantities. Given the circumstances of economic actors holding power to shape societies, the engagement of business and consumers is vital for sustainable change to happen.
But how to get business and consumers truly engaged in addressing the grand challenges of the present ecological and sociocultural crisis? What are the roles of the state, the international community, and other public actors in this challenge? What about the potential and limitations of the civil society, including the non-governmental organisations and grassroots activist groups in engaging companies and consumers to change? And also, how much can be expected from businesses and consumers themselves both individually and collectively?
The conference is looking for theoretically informed and practically relevant papers on business and consumer involvement for sustainable change. It welcomes contributions from different disciplines and fields of study, including literatures on corporate responsibility, corporate sustainability, sustainable consumption, sustainable development, business and society, business ethics, ethical consumption, sustainable entrepreneurship, and organisation and the environment.
CRRC is the ideal place to test new ideas and to experiment with new formats. Therefore, we also welcome suggestions for special workshop streams and innovative ideas. The tradition of CRRC is to focus on participants and the debate, as well as on social activity. We aim to create an environment that is welcoming and friendly, yet succeeds in challenging the existing knowledge base and assumptions, and hence drives the debate around corporate responsibility forward.
 We invite submissions addressing the following sub-themes and to the open call:
Sub-theme 1: Sustainable Consumption and Consumer Behaviour
Chair: Prof William Young and Dr Phani Kumar Chintakayala, University of Leeds
Sub-theme 2: Corporate Responsibility for Sustainability
Chair: Dr Pasi Heikkurinen, University of Leeds and Dr Jukka Mäkinen, Aalto University
Sub-theme 3: Food Supply Chains and Sustainability
Chair: Dr Effie Papargyropoulou and Prof Chee Yew Wong, University of Leeds
Sub-theme 4: SMEs, Micro-Enterprises and Family Businesses
Chair: Dr Alice Owen and Paul Abbott, University of Leeds
Sub-theme 5: International CSR
Chair: Dr Ralf Barkemeyer, Kedge Business School
Sub-theme 6: Tensions, Conflicts and Paradoxes in Corporate Sustainability and CSR
Chairs: Prof Frank Figge, Kedge Business School; Prof Tobias Hahn, ESADE Business School
Sub-theme 7: Workplace Sustainability
Chair: Dr Sally Russell and Prof Kerrie Unsworth, University of Leeds
Sub-theme 8: Business and Global Development
Chair: Dr Anne Tallontire and Dr Jamie van Alstine, University of Leeds
Sub-theme 9: Risk Communication and Decision-Making
Chair: Dr Andrea Taylor, University of Leeds
Sub-theme 10: Sustainable Venturing and Entrepreneurship
Chair: Dr Pablo Munoz, University of Liverpool
Sub-theme 11: Circular Economy
Chair: Dr Mark Sumner and Dr Matt Davis, University of Leeds
Sub-theme 12: CSR and Crisis Management
Chair: Dr Breeda Comyns, Kedge Business School
Sub-theme 13: Stakeholders and the Natural Environment
Chair: Anna Heikkinen, University of Tampere and Tiina Onkila, University of Jyväskylä
Sub-theme 14: Change Agency in Sustainability Transitions
Chair: Satu Teerikangas, University of Turku; Tiina Onkila, University of Jyväskylä; Marileena Mäkelä, University of Turku and Katariina Koistinen, Lappeenranta University of Technology
Sub-theme 15: Sustainability and Big Data
Chair: Dr Phani Kumar Chintakayala, University of Leeds
Sub-theme 16: Modern Slavery in International Business
Chair: Dr Hinrich Voss and Prof Louise Waite, University of Leeds
Sub-themes 17-20: Open call for papers and sub-themes on Corporate Responsibility, CSR and Sustainability
Initial abstracts should be emailed to by the extended deadline of 25th May 2018. Files should be sent in MS Word format, and the file name should be first author’s surname. Please include names, affiliations and contact details of all authors. Please use a maximum of 500 words, answering the following questions:
  • Research Question: What is the research question that the submission aims to answer?
  • Theoretical Framework: What are the main concepts, models or theories used in the paper? Include 3-4 central references.
  • Method: Which method is used for the research work?
  • Findings: What are the main outcomes and results of the paper?
  • Which sub-theme is your paper aimed at or is it for the open call?
Abstracts will be reviewed and selected by the scientific committee of the conference. Authors will be notified of acceptance starting mid-May 2018.
The conference papers of a maximum of 6,000 words including references should be emailed to no later than 31st July 2018. Please note that papers will not be accepted or appear in the programme unless speaker(s) have registered in full for the conference.
Our popular pre-conference PhD Workshop will be held on the afternoon of the 10th of September. It will appeal to first-time attendees as well as those who have attended throughout their PhD career. This annual workshop provides a relaxed environment to allow lively exchange and discussion between PhD students as well as the opportunity to gain helpful advice and feedback from a panel of experienced PhD supervisors in the field. We have expanded the PhD workshop last year and we want to continue talking about postdoctoral opportunities and we will of course cover needs of PhD students throughout their studies.
The scientific committee of the conference will review all papers presented and award two prizes for the CRRC best overall paper and the CRRC best PhD paper at the conference dinner. Criteria for the selection process are contribution to the research field, quality of the research, innovativeness, and diversity of views.
We have teamed up with Journal of Consumer Ethics to organise a special issue with quality research papers from the conference. We are aiming to publish the special issue in the second quarter of 2019. Authors who want their paper to be considered for the special issue should indicate so while submitting the full paper. The Theme of the issue is the same as the conference: Engaging Business and Consumers for Sustainable Change.


31 January 2018 Call for abstracts opens
25 May 2018 Deadline for abstract submission
Starting mid-May 2018 Notification of accepted abstracts
Conference registration opens
31 July 2018 Deadline for full papers
31 August 2018 Deadline for registration
10 September 2018 Pre-Conference PhD Workshop
11/12 September 2018 Corporate Responsibility Research Conference


Full Fee PhD Students
All-inclusive package* £ 410 £ 360
Non-inclusive package (registration & dinners only) £ 360 £ 310
* Please note that the all-inclusive package includes bed and breakfast accommodation at Devonshire Hall for nights of Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th September, lunch on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; and conference gala dinner on Tuesday 11th September.
Please click here to register for the CRR Conference 2018 (registration open from 15 May 2018).
For more information on the conference please visit or contact Sue Tatterall at
We look forward to welcoming you to Leeds!
(Please click here to download the Call for Abstracts as PDF)