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    Reminder: IMP Forum Seminar

    THE IMP FORUM in JBIM - Call for papers: ‘Business and sustainable development’

    The aim of the IMP FORUM SEMINAR in Ancona is to discuss research on the empirical phenomenon of ‘Business and sustainable development’

    as well as related conceptual and methodological issues. We also welcome papers on the general phenomenon of business interaction.

    Nowadays ‘sustainable development’ is gaining increasingly importance. New approaches and technologies such as circular economy and the rise of the Industry 4.0 have been increasingly highlighted as means that help business and society to move towards sustainable development (McDowall et al., 2017). It is evident that technological development and innovation are not enough to meeting future resource needs in a sustainable manner. New ways of organizing (at single company level, at inter-organizational level and at network level), sensible public policies and public-private partnerships are needed to face such a great challenge. Indeed, production and distribution processes emerge as combinations of different technologies, often dispersed in the business network. Development towards sustainability is likely to affect businesses and their way to operate, the way they relate to other businesses and the dynamics of business networks. We are convinced (as the IMP colleagues who have already addressed these issues) that the IMP perspective (e.g. Håkansson and Snehota, 2017), with its focus on interactions, relationships and networks, can generate new and valuable insights on sustainable development by tackling the problem from a theoretical, methodological, managerial and policy making perspective.

    In the call for the special issue we put some attention on the agribusiness/food sector, but studies focusing on any other empirical setting (e.g. construction industry) are equally welcome. Questions to address in order to gain better understanding of the challenge of sustainable development include:

    -Why and how companies initiate innovation processes (including new approaches/technologies such as Industry 4.0 and circular economy) to embrace sustainable development? How are customer and/or suppliers involved in these processes?

    -How do companies collaborate (among them and with public actors) to meet the increasing need of food? How do they try to reduce food losses along production and supply chains?

    -How are businesses (in Europe but also in emerging countries) changing to face the challenge of sustainable development (e.g. developing short supply chains/sustainable supply networks)?

    -How do business relationships/networks morph while pursuing sustainable development?

    -What kind of intra- and inter-organizational changes is required to put in place new production systems (based on the requirements of renewable energy and circular material flows, increased digitalization and automation, new manufacturing technologies) driven by sustainable development goals?

    -What’s the role of small respectively big firms and their interaction patterns in these processes?

    -How is procurement transforming to embrace sustainable development, and in particular the public procurement?

    -What are assumptions behind actual policies for sustainable development? Do they reflect the way companies (and public actors) work for achieving sustainable development?

    Time table for paper production:

    -Provide abstract (maximum two pages) of a paper for the general or the special track (see page 3) by June 3rd 2019. Abstracts will be reviewed by the organizing team within one week.

    -Submit full (finalized or work in progress) version of the paper by September 15th 2019.

    Time table for the seminar:

    -The seminar starts at 12.00 on Thursday 3rd October and will be concluded at 12.00 Friday 4th October.

    -There is no fee for the seminar, which includes two free lunches and a dinner. However, participants have to cover their own travel and accommodation costs. Further information about Hotels, venue and transportation will be provided.

    In order to take part in the seminar, please send the abstract to the following e-mail address:

    Welcome to send in abstracts to THE IMP FORUM Seminar in Ancona 2019!


    Håkansson, H., and Snehota, I. (2017) (eds). No business is an island: Making sense of the interactive business world. Bingley: Emerald Publishing Limited.

    McDowall, W., Geng, Y., Huang, B., Barteková, E., Bleischwitz, R., Türkeli, S., Kemp, R., Doménech, T. (2017). Circular economy policies in China and europe. Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 21, p. 651–661.
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