CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS, EBEN Research Conference, 12-13 October 2023, Paris, France

Multiple responsibilities of organizations: grasp all, lose all?

Given increased social, ecological, digital and political challenges, the economic and legal requirements, companies face multiple and sometimes conflicting responsibilities. They are responsible toward many stakeholders --employees, customers, suppliers, states, communities and others--, at various geographical levels --local, regional, global--, and over different time frames --short, medium and long term.


This multiplicity of issues, in a complex world subject to recurring crises, makes it more and more difficult to draw boundaries around companies’ responsibilities and to organize them efficiently and meaningfully.

This situation raises some fundamental questions such as:

  • What are the responsibilities of companies?
  • What is the right or proper scope of responsibilities?
  • How to distinguish between authentic corporate responsibility and social or green washing? What does ‘authentic’ or ‘genuine’ corporate responsibility mean?
  • Can we engage in, discuss, define and implement corporate responsibility without talking about ethics?
  • How should firms be organised and governed for social/environmental/legal/ethical … responsibilities?

The 2023 EBEN research conference has three objectives. First, it aims at exploring the links, complementarities, and tensions between all these responsibilities. Second, it aims at building bridges between the concepts of corporate responsibility, sustainability, business ethics, compliance both from a theoretical and practical points of view. Third, it aims at opening fruitful dialogues between the academic and practitioners’ communities working on those concepts and issues.

To explore and clarify the conceptual, organizational and operational boundaries of corporate responsibilities, we invite submissions from various disciplinary fields including but not limited to philosophy, ethics, legal, management, organisation studies, and sociology. We also encourage submission drawing on broad range of methodological approach, including qualitative, quantitative, and conceptual work.

Here are some topics of particular interest :

  • From an organizational point of view, how to draw the boundaries between business ethics, compliance, legal, sustainable development and CSR departments or activities?
  • What is the relative role of the compliance function compared to business ethics (especially in departments which encompass both functions)?
  • From a conceptual point of view, how could we frame the relationships between ethical responsibilities and the social, societal and environmental responsibilities?
  • In a context where company’s missions are revisited (Benefit Corporations, mission-led companies), is there a ‘right’ purpose for a given company to pursue in order to fulfil its responsibilities, and which one in particular?
  • Organizations’ governance evolves drastically: anti-corruption, human rights "due diligence", human rights protection, whistle-blower status, new mission definition etc.. In what ways can ethics be a resource and a compass to set up a responsible governance?
  • How can business ethics inform organisational structures and forms of corporate governance that are required for companies to fulfil their social/environmental/ethical … responsibilities?
  • How to link business ethics and business responsibilities to respect Human Rights considering recent developments in France and in the EU regarding legal parent duties of care and due diligence obligations?
  • How to navigate between compliance and ethical reasoning?
  • What are the points of convergence and divergence between corporate responsibility and business ethics theories? How can they complement each other?
  • How to articulate both teaching in business ethics and corporate responsibility: can we teach one without the other?

Session types and submission formats

Three different types of session will be held during the conference:

Session type Submission format
Papers: full paper presentations 3 to 5 pages abstract
Discussions: presentation of early-stage project (no paper ready yet) 1 page abstract
Workshops: ideas for themes that could be the subject of a cross-discussion (common theme to be discussed, researchers involved, research in progress) 1 page description

Application and deadlines

  • Submission deadline: May 15th, 2023 (decision on acceptance before July 15th 2023)
  • Submission should be made via email:
  • Registration: shortly after acceptance notification by mid-July 2023, authors of accepted papers will receive an online registration link. The conference program and other details will also be released on the conference website.
  • Participation fees: 300 euros for professors and 100 euros for Ph.D students (proof of enrolment in a Ph.D program required)

 Practical details

The conference will take place at ESSCA School of Management on its Parisian campus in Boulogne Billancourt (92100).

If you have any questions, please contact us at . For more information, please visit the conference website:

 Organising institutions

The 2023 EBEN Research Conference is organized by EBEN France in partnership with three academic institutions: ESSCA, Excelia and Audencia business schools.

The organizing committee consists of:

  • Elisabeth Gressieux, ESSCA School of Management, France, professor of business ethics and CSR –
  • Cécile Ezvan, Excelia Business School, France, professor of strategy, business ethics and CSR -
  • Céline Louche, Audencia Business School, France, professor of Business and Society -




Annex: Indicative bibliography


References in philosophy:

  • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics. (2014) Crisp, R. (Ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  • Arendt, H. (1971). Thinking and moral considerations: A lecture. Social research, 417-446.
  • Bentham, J. (1996). The collected works of Jeremy Bentham: An introduction to the principles of morals and legislation. Clarendon Press.
  • Jonas, H. (1985) The imperative of responsibility: In search of an ethics for the technological age. University of Chicago press.
  • Kant, I., & Schneewind, J. B. (2002). Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. Yale University Press.
  • Levinas, E. (1979). Totality and infinity: An essay on exteriority (Vol. 1). Springer Science & Business Media.
  • Ricoeur, P. (1992). Oneself as another. University of Chicago press.
  • Tronto, J. C. (2020). Moral boundaries: A political argument for an ethic of care. Routledge.
  • Young, I. M. (2010). Responsibility for justice. Oxford University Press.
  • Habermas, J. (1996). Between facts and norms: Contributions to a discourse theory of law and democracy. W. Rehg (Trans.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Rawls, J. (2001). Justice as Fairness. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.


Contemporary references in business ethics and corporate responsibility:

  • Carroll, A. B., & Laasch, O. (2020). From managerial responsibility to CSR and back to responsible management. In Research Handbook of Responsible Management (pp. 84-90). Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Crane, A., Matten, D., Glozer, S., & Spence, L. J. (2019). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press, USA.
  • Hoffman, W. M., Neill, J. D., & Stovall, O. S. (2008). An investigation of ethics officer independence. Journal of Business Ethics, 78(1), 87-95.
  • Jamali, D., & Mirshak, R. (2007). Corporate social responsibility (CSR): Theory and practice in a developing country context. Journal of business ethics, 72(3), 243-262.
  • Laasch, O. (2018): Just old wine in new bottles? Conceptual shifts in the emerging field of responsible management. CRME Working Papers, 2018, Vol. 4, No. 1.
  • Laasch, O., Moosmayer, D. C., & Antonacopoulou, E. P. (2022). The Interdisciplinary Responsible Management Competence Framework: An Integrative Review of Ethics, Responsibility, and Sustainability Competences. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-25.
  • Norman, W. (2011). Business Ethics as Self-Regulation: Why Principles that Ground Regulations Should Be Used to Ground Beyond-Compliance Norms as Well. Journal of Business Ethics, 102, 43-57.
  • Painter, M., Pouryousefi, S., Hibbert, S., & Russon, J. A. (2019). Sharing vocabularies: Towards horizontal alignment of values-driven business functions. Journal of Business Ethics, 155(4), 965-979.
  • Painter-Morland, M. (2006) "Redefining accountability as relational responsiveness." Journal of Business Ethics 66.1: 89-98.
  • Voegtlin, C., Patzer, M., & Scherer, A. G. (2012). Responsible leadership in global business: A new approach to leadership and its multi-level outcomes. Journal of business ethics, 105(1), 1-16.
  • Waddock, S. (2004). "Creating corporate accountability: Foundational principles to make corporate citizenship real." Journal of Business Ethics 50.4 (2004): 313-327.


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