5a. Corporate sustainability management: strategies, business models and entrepreneurship

Track Chairs:

Rupert J. Baumgartner. Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz, Austria. rupert.baumgartner@uni-graz.at

Arun Sahay. Birla Institute of Management Technology, India. arun.sahay@bimtech.ac.in

Romana Rauter. Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz, Austria. romana.rauter@uni-graz.at

Sjors Witjes. Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development, University of Utrecht, Netherlands. s.witjes@uu.nl

Goals and objectives of the track

Companies are central actors in any kind of (un-)sustainable development. Given this central role, different concepts and frameworks have been developed to support companies to integrate sustainability issues into their business activities and to measure the success of such initiatives. A central objective of this track is to discuss corporate sustainability management (including strategies, business models, and entrepreneurship) in relation to its effects on Sustainable Development in general. This track, therefore, offers a forum to discuss about recent developments, results as well as ongoing transdisciplinary research activities in the fields of sustainability management, sustainable business models and sustainable entrepreneurship.

Following main questions are of interest:

  • What is the contribution of sustainability strategies, business models and sustainable entrepreneurship to Sustainable Development?
  • How can strategies and business models be implemented, both in companies and in a network of companies?
  • Are current sustainability management approaches and strategies a sufficient contribution to Sustainable Development or are there limitations (for instance relative vs. absolute sustainability performance) which should be taken into account?
  • Which factors support or hinder the implementation of sustainability management approaches, strategies and business models in business practice?
  • How can manager deal with trade-offs between economic goals and environmental/social goals?
  • What is the role of leadership and organizational culture for sustainability management?
  • Which frameworks and tools support sustainable entrepreneurship?
  • How can corporates themselves become sustainable in the wider context of people, planet and profit?

Themes and topics

We encourage descriptive as well as explanatory contributions and invite contributions that specifically, but not exclusively, deal with the following topics:

  • Sustainability management/CSR and sustainability strategies: experiences, developments, barriers and actors.
  • Sustainability management/CSR and Resilience.
  • Strategic sustainability management.
  • Leadership and sustainability management.
  • Sustainability management and organizational culture.
  • Sustainable business models.
  • Sustainable entrepreneurship.
  • Corporate Sustainability Actions and Behaviours.


You may submit your abstract by visiting the ExOrdo abstract submission system (you will be required to setup an account first): http://isdrs2017.exordo.com



Rupert J. Baumgartner is professor of sustainability management at the Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz, Austria. Since 2011 he is director of this Institute and since 2012 Vice-Dean for research of the Faculty for Regional-, Environmental- and Educational Sciences/University of Graz. Before joining the University of Graz he was senior researcher in the field of strategic management and industrial ecology at the Åbo Akademi University in Finland and at the University of Leoben, Austria. His main research interests are corporate sustainability management, sustainability assessment, LCA, industrial ecology, interorganisational management and innovation. He is board member of the International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS).

Dr.Arun Sahay is professor of Strategic Management was a hard core business executive who turned into an academician in later part of his life. He has been a champion of both the corporate and academic world. During his tenure as Chairman and Managing Director of Scooters India Limited¸ he was initiator of ISO 14000 accreditation. He was one of the pioneers in India to introduce sustainable practices in industry. As a mastermind in strategy¸ he was invited to serve on many Corporate Boards as well as those of the technical and management Institutions. He has won many corporate and individual awards in environmental management. He had hosted the 14th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference held in New Delhi. His agenda for the society is to better the quality of research on sustainability and to increase the membership, especially from less represented continents like Asia. His current research interests are Sustainability - especially Corporate Sustainability, CSR, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Romana Rauter is a specialist in the field of Innovation and Sustainability Management. She works as an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research at University of Graz. She received her doctorate in Social and Economic Sciences with a thesis addressing the topic of inter-organisational knowledge transfer between research organisations and SMEs. She  was a Visiting Scholar at the Nijmegen School of Management at the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, in 2014. Her current main research interests include open innovation, sustainable innovation , new and sustainable business models, strategic sustainability management and knowledge transfer.

Sjors Witjes is a researcher and lecturer on Corporate Sustainability at the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development of Utrecht University. As a consultant, Sjors has been part of Corporate Sustainability integration processes in companies in Europe, Latin America and the US and has supported the United Nations, the European Union, governments and standardisation organisations on Corporate Sustainability. In his academic work in he has been developing methods for an improved understanding of Corporate Sustainability integrating into organisational systems.