A Short History

The Network was formed during 2004 and so has become an established organisation which currently has over 1000 members located all over the world – so we are a truly international organisation with members united by a common interest in aspects of social responsibility. While some people have been involved since the inception of the Network, many have joined us later as part of our development. So we think that it is appropriate to give a brief history of the establishment and development of the Network. 

The starting impetus was the decision to organise a conference on corporate social responsibility. As a result of this decision, on three days in September 2003 around 140 delegates from 30 countries from around the world gathered in London at London Metropolitan University for a conference on the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility. Over the three days the delegates engaged in discussion on a range of issues concerning this topic and around 100 papers were presented. Topics covered ranged from business ethics to social reporting to implications for biodiversity to sustainable construction, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the backgrounds and expertise of the participants. Conversation about many of the important issues raised during the conference continued into the evenings at the dinners organised for delegates at a variety of London hotels and the success of the conference was continued into a variety of collaborative projects instigated among the international delegates during the conference. 

This success demanded repetition and this led to the start of the international series of conferences. Subsequent conferences have taken place in such countries as all over the world including Australia, Brazil, India, South Africa, USA and many other countries around the world. We are currently preparing for future conference and the Call for papers has been issued for the next conference with plans under development for future conferences. the 10th conference which will be held in New Orleans in 2011. You can find full details of all past and future conferences on the website, together with some pictures from each of the past conferences. The conferences are intended to be interdisciplinary and welcome contributions from anyone who has a perspective on this important issue. This includes academics, researchers, business people, NGO managers, government officials and politicians, consultants and scholars – and all groups have been represented at previous conferences. Recently we have introduced a theme to each conference but other contributions are always welcome. And we continue to develop the conferences just as we continue to develop all aspects of the Network activities. 

One of the distinguishing features of the conferences is our focus on subsequent publication of papers presented. We publish a book of selected paper from each conference (with Springer) but also encourage every participant to publish their work, either in our books or Social Responsibility Journal (our official journal) or in any other output the author selects. Indeed we consider publishing so important that we give advice during the conference on getting published. Less experienced participants consider this to be very valuable.

One of the important outcomes from the success of this first conference was the establishment of the Network to bring together interested scholars from all over the world. The Network has been proactive in developing both the conference series and its other activities. This website is a reflection of this and every member is encouraged to become actively involved and to contribute to our growth.

The second important outcome of the first conference was the establishment of Social Responsibility Journal – with our partners Emerald – as an academic journal to publish work by members and others in this important and growing area. The journal is now in its 14th year and continues to grow in strength and reputation. It is firmly established as the official journal of the Network and you will find further details on the website. It is of course appropriately indexed and you can find details on the website. If you have not yet studied the journal then we encourage you to do so and to submit your papers to it.

We also publish a book series – Developments in Corporate Governance and Responsibility (DCGR) – with our partners Emerald. These are edited books focusing on development within the discipline. If you are interested in contributing, or editing a collection then please contact David.

The Network continues to develop as dynamic and vibrant organisation and this is  due to the strength of our membership. The main reason for the existence of the Network however is to enable us as scholars concerned with various aspects of social responsibility to communicate with each other, share information, join together in research projects, develop courses and course material and various other activities. The strength and vibrancy of the Network is of course only the same as that of its members. So we are inviting you to share opportunities for collaboration and to contribute to any of our various publishing outlets.