RETHINKING THE ENTERPRISE: SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, PARTICIPATION AND ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY

Guest editor: José Miguel Rodríguez (University of Valladolid)

Proposed date for publication in the REC: December 2019

Since the last decade of the twentieth century, efforts have been multiplied to transmit to the public a new image of corporations, which presumably were abandoning the financial-shareholder approach typical of neoliberal globalization.  A group of professionals at the service of companies or other entities, an "industry" of consultants from different origin, and an academic emporium of diverse scientific fields converged to spread the good news of the stakeholder, pluralistic or communitarian enterprise.

However, the content of that message has tested by business behavior in the Great Recession initiated in 2007/2008. The discussion about the corporate social responsibility crisis quickly began. With certain frequency, who previously appeared in the media announcing the new approach now adopted decisions with high social costs, without analyzing other alternatives. The lamp that was going so much lighting seemed to lack oil, and was just decorative craftsmanship. The most feared came: social responsibility of business was described as simulation and ideation; and not very heterodox academics declared its demise.

However, some professionals seem to have learned critically from the experience and are reinventing their work; those who call themselves "social entrepreneurs" emerge, and certain consultants and institutions are interested in the "impact investment".  Are we facing "green shoots"? Time will tell…

Additionally, different academics have known how to connect their criticism to neoliberalism and its reflections about post-capitalism with this important topic of rethinking the enterprise, to look for an advance in participation and economic democracy. Debates of long tradition return to scene, including the reform of the company and its types/ways of organization. The state-owned enterprises, the self-management or the cooperatives can perhaps be placed in a broader perspective, looking for new "contracts of corporate governance" and also taking into account the theory of stakeholders. For example, let's not forget that since 2001 in France there are cooperative societies of collective interest, with a broader range of stakeholders than in Spanish cooperatives.

To present a global view of this, Revista de Economía Crítica (REC) organizes a special issue with the title:

 "RETHINKING THE ENTERPRISE: SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, PARTICIPATION AND ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY"

 We welcome submissions on the following topics (list is indicative and not exhaustive):

  • Conceptualization and academic approaches about the enterprise, its role, responsibility and social impact, from a transversal or multidisciplinary perspective (economic analysis, sociology, political science, economic ethics, etc.) and various forms of organization (capitalist company, state-owned company, self-managed company, ...).
  • The neoliberal corporation and its social responsibility in the context of financial globalization.
  • Analysis of corporate strategies during the Great Recession.
  • The crisis of corporate social responsibility: critical perspective, limitations, and the end of its history?
  • Experiences and initiatives committed to advancing for a responsible and participatory corporation.
  • Rethinking the enterprise, in line with reflections on post-capitalist society and economic democracy, as well as from the theoretical foundations of the social and solidarity economy.

 A selection of up to six papers will be published.

 Requirements for submission:

  • Abstract: 200 words maximum. 
  • Full text: 6,000 words.
  • Deadline for abstract: November 30, 2018.
  • Accepted/rejected decision: January 10, 2019.
  • Deadline for full text: June 30, 2019.
  • Publication: December 30, 2019.

Submissions should be sent to: revistaec@gmail.com, with the subject "Rethinking the enterprise".

For more information: REC website www.revistaeconomiacritica.org.