Birmingham Business School Responsible Business Academic Symposium 2021: Call for Papers

Dates:
Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 15:00-18:00
Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 14:00-17:00
Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 15:00-18:00

Location:
Online, via Zoom.

Researchers are invited to submit a 500-word abstract to be considered for presentation at the symposium. The event includes nine tracks that are outlined below. Abstract submissions and any queries should be sent directly to the track that best fits the area of research to be presented. The contact details of each track chair are listed below.

Abstracts that do not fit one of the tracks specified next should be sent to the symposium chair, Dr Caroline Moraes (c.moraes@bham.ac.uk).

The deadline for submitting your abstract has been extended to 30th June, 2021.

Symposium Theme

Grand challenges sparked by societal risks and problems of global magnitude continue to impact businesses of all sizes and sectors, and economies across the world. At the same time, global societal challenges highlight the responsibilities of businesses not only toward their shareholders, but also towards diverse stakeholder groups and particularly the environment. We have had a year like no other. The pandemic continues to demand the world’s attention and significant business and societal action and resources.

Concurrently, the tangible impacts of our climate crisis are already manifesting across the globe and negatively impacting communities at local levels. According to the United Nations (UN, 2021), 2019 was the second warmest year in recorded history; while reduced mobility during 2020 may have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by about 6%, this is still below the 7.6% annual reduction needed to limit the devastating impacts of global warming on nature and all life on Earth. Global challenges such as our climate crisis cannot be addressed by single stakeholder groups and demand that businesses, governments and civil society work together to address our global climate emergency.

As the UK prepares to co-host Cop26, the UN’s climate change conference seeking to stir urgent global climate action, we invite business researchers, responsible business practitioners, NGOs and scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to join us at our Second Responsible Business Symposium. The aim is to share cutting edge research and research-informed best practice in tackling the impacts of climate change on business and society, so that we can tackle the societal changes needed to develop more sustainable and resilient societies and economies going forward. The symposium will likely include academic and industry discussion panels, poster and practitioner video exhibitions, cross-disciplinary networking breakout rooms and research presentations.

Tracks

1. Behavioural responses to climate change

Track chairs: Dr Johannes Lohse (j.lohse@bham.ac.uk) and Professor Fiona Nunan (f.s.nunan@bham.ac.uk), Birmingham Centre for Environmental and Energy Economics and Management (BCEEEM)

Almost all human activities contribute to climate change. Therefore, any efforts to combat climate change will require significant changes in how we live, work, eat, travel, and organise our societies. In this track we wish to explore how these changes in behaviour can be understood and supported. Studies can cover voluntary actions to reduce carbon emissions as well as behavioural responses to existing climate change policies. They can explore how to best design policies from a behavioural perspective and which barriers might exist to accepting new climate change policies. Topics can also cover how individuals process information about climate change, what might stop misinformation about climate change from spreading and the role of business in behavioural change. Finally, topics may cover the role of behaviour change at the level of policy makers and the political economy of climate change with a particular focus on partisanship. The track is open to multiple methods and disciplines, so we will welcome submissions that are accessible to conference attendees from diverse disciplinary backgrounds.

2. Climate Change, Sustainability and the Business of Socially Responsible Housing

Track chair: Dr Halima Sacranie (H.Sacranie@bham.ac.uk), Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM)

This track aims to bring together research in the areas of socially responsible housing and sustainability. We invite contributions that include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Mapping the social impacts of, and social inequalities related to, climate change on households and communities.
  • Reframing the decarbonisation and sustainable housing agenda by using social justice, community investment and co-creation approaches.
  • The move from linear models toward circular economy in social housing development and asset management.
  • Embedding environmental accountability and social purpose: sustainable housing finance models and triple bottom line reporting frameworks for housing organisations.

3. Climate Finance

Track chairs: Dr Danny McGowan (D.McGowan@bham.ac.uk) and Dr Huw Macartney (H.Macartney@bham.ac.uk), Sustainable Finance Innovation Centre (SFiC)

There is growing recognition that stock markets and financial intermediaries play a vital role in tackling climate change through the allocation of capital and credit. This session focuses on green finance and asks, are expanding financial markets detrimental to the environment? Do they cause harm by fueling economic growth and the concomitant emission of pollutants? Or do they steer economies towards sustainable growth by favoring green sectors over brown ones? What role does the financial sector play in the economic recovery from natural disasters.

4. Consumption, Marketing and Climate Change

Track chairs: Dr Emma Surman (E.L.Surman@bham.ac.uk) and Dr Sheena Leek (s.h.leek@bham.ac.uk), Department of Marketing

The consumption of goods, services and experiences inevitably impacts the planet through depletion of finite resources, damage to wildlife and their habitats, and the production of greenhouse gases creating climate change. As such, consumers’ increasing levels of consumption coupled with the development of a throwaway society are major contributors to the problem of climate change and changing consumer behaviour is seen as part of the solution to producing a greener sustainable future. This track invites contributions that include, but are not limited to:

  • changes in consumer behaviour to address climate change including limiting, altering or resisting consumption;
  • low carbon consumption and lifestyles;
  • the opportunities for, and possibilities of, collective consumer action;
  • community responses to address climate change and environmental and planetary health; and
  • changes to marketing practices in response to climate change and the extent to which marketers and organisations are committed to enabling consumers to make low carbon choices.

5. Embedding Climate Change Knowledge in the Curriculum

Track chairs: Dr Inci Toral (I.N.Toral.1@bham.ac.uk) and Dr Nicki Newman (N.L.Newman@bham.ac.uk)

This track aims to bring together the important and related areas of climate change, sustainability and responsibility, and how we embed these within our teaching. UNESCO has identified the empowerment and mobilisation of young people as one of its priorities in its Global Action Plan for Education for Sustainable Development (UNESCO, 2018). Therefore, embedding these issues in our curriculum can no longer be seen as ‘nice to have’ or the job of a specialist module on responsible business. Moreover, the world has seen the digitalisation of education this past year at a rate we never envisaged. While many technology organisations such as Microsoft, Google and Tesla are working on environmentally friendly solutions, they are also involved in environmental protection projects through artificial intelligence. These technological innovations give us many new topics and tools to consider when shaping and redesigning the HE agenda. This track hopes to bring together examples of best practice in embedding technology and sustainability in all parts of our curriculum, from programme design to module content and assessment.

6. Encouraging responsible policing and credible criminal justice interventions during a pandemic

Track chairs: Professor Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay (S.Bandyopadhyay@bham.ac.uk) and Dr Amy Burrell (A.Burrell@bham.ac.uk), Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing

The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged police and the wider criminal justice system and has accelerated the need to consider new ways of working. The police not only have to deal with crimes directly related to the stress of lockdown but also those arising from the adaptability of offenders to find new ways of committing crime in the changed environment. This track offers researchers the opportunity to present the work they have been doing – perhaps in partnership with police and criminal justice agencies - to address issues raised by the pandemic. This could include (but is not limited to) policing lockdown breaches, the challenges of addressing family related (e.g., domestic/intimate partner) violence during lockdown, understanding and/or forecasting the changing nature of crime due to the pandemic, and/or how to address the challenges of implementing a virtual court system.

7. Green Operations and Sustainable Supply Chain Management

Track chair: Dr Yufeng Zhang (Y.Zhang.6@bham.ac.uk) and Dr Ali Esfahbodi (A.Esfahbodi@bham.ac.uk), Department of Management

Green Operations and Sustainable Supply Chain Management explores interfaces between Operations & Supply Chain Management (O&SCM) decisions and their broader economic, environmental and societal implications in the international context. Expected submissions include, but not limited to, topic areas focusing on O&SCM for sustainability, governance & policy, digital transformation and innovation, among others. The track encourages communication and sharing of knowledge across disciplines leading to prospective research agenda items to tackle global grand challenges in the future.

8. The Economics of Climate Change

Track chair: Dr Christoph Gortz (C.G.Gortz@bham.ac.uk), Department of Economics

Climate change can have substantial implications for economic growth and the functioning of markets. This track is concerned with the economic costs of climate change, and economic developments as a response to climate change. Submissions include but are not limited to the following topics: the impact of climate change on markets for goods and energy; green R&D and green innovation; the economic consequences of air pollution, floods and natural disasters; and the implications of climate change for growth, investment and economic development.

9. Post COVID working and climate change

Track chairs: Dr Holly Birkett (H.Birkett@bham.ac.uk) and Dr Sarah Forbes (S.Forbes@bham.ac.uk)

This track will explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on working practices for example the move to homeworking during the pandemic and consider the implications of such changes for the environment and climate change in the future.