Joint Sustainability Governance Group: Paper Development Seminar No.1

The Joint Sustainability Governance Group, a joint research cluster between the Centre for Business and Development Studies and CBS Sustainability, invites to their first Paper Development Seminar.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 10:00 to 12:00

Hosted by the Centre for Business and Development Studies (CBDS) and CBS Sustainability, Society and Communication at Dalgas Have 15, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg,a joint research cluster between the Centre for Business and Development Studies and CBS Sustainability, invites to their first Paper Development Seminar.


Tax Avoidance and Corporate Irresponsibility – CSR as Problem or Solution?

Steen Vallentin & Jeremy Moon
Discussant: Lars Thøger Christensen

This paper addresses the relationship between the theory and practice of CSR (corporate social responsibility) and corporate tax avoidance. We argue that CSR scholars and practitioners have only recently begun to address matters of taxation and provide some explanations for this failure or neglect, ranging from silo mentality to different ideologies regarding business and society. Furthermore we argue that CSR can be considered both as a problem and a solution in regard to corporate tax avoidance and develop both lines of reasoning. With regard to the solutions part, we argue that companies should exercise self-restraint in the face of legal loopholes and be responsive and engaged with tax authorities and the spirit of the law – and that a responsible approach to corporate taxation can find justification in a political view of the corporation and its social responsibilities.

This paper is currently in book chapter form, and is seeking ideas for how to best adapt it into a journal article.

“Push” and “Pull” in Multi-stakeholder Initiatives

Luisa Murphy
Discussant: Martin Skrydstrup

This paper examines the relationship between the organizing characteristics and interactions among actors in multi-level MSIs. Drawing on the metaphor of “push” and “pull” from supply chain and marketing literature, I question prevailing assumptions about the hierarchical, core-periphery, organizing characteristics of MSIs which “push” global rules to local networks. Through a single case study of a multi-level MSI, the ASEAN CSR Network (2011), I find that MSIs are characterized not only by “push” (global rules) but also by non-hierarchical organizing characteristics which “pull” national approaches into the MSI, which ultimately influence the MSI’s effectiveness in addressing sustainability issues.  This paper makes two contributions to the private governance literature. First, it shows that multi-level MSIs can serve as brokers for both “push” (global rules) and “pull” (national approaches) by highlighting their co-existence in multi-level MSIs. Second, it develops an interactional model which shows how the organizing characteristics and interactions between “push” and “pull” result in three interactions (coordination, orchestration, conflict) which influence multi-level MSI effectiveness.

This is paper is part of Luisa’s PhD, and she’s looking for constructive feedback to help finish it off for submission of her PhD in December.


Steen Valentin centers his research around CSR (corporate social responsibility) and sustainable development in a broad sense. He has a particular and critical interest in the political-ideological underpinnings of CSR as theory and practice - along with the roles that governments take in promoting and enabling CSR. Within the broader realm of sustainable development, his focus is on social relations and dynamics and how they partake in making or breaking sustainable solutions. We may, for instance, speak of the ‘social constitution of the circular economy’.  This is not to belittle the technical and environmental sciences, but to call for a strengthened understanding of the socio-political context of technical solutions and environmental indicators – along with a better understanding of the social drivers of and barriers to sustainable development. To understand the workings of ‘the social’ is to understand how technology intersects with culture and how regulation intersects with markets. In relation to the public sector, he does research on trust-based leadership. Here, the focus is on the relational value of trust and social capital as counterpoints to the economic instrumentalism of New Public Management.

Luisa Murphy is a PhD Fellow in corporate sustainability at Copenhagen Business School and supported by the VELUX Endowed Chair in Corporate Sustainability. Her research examines multi-stakeholder initiatives, anti-corruption and human rights. She holds a MSc from the University of Oxford, where her thesis focused on the intersection between business and human rights. Luisa also brings legal experience from the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, DC.

The page was last edited by: CBS Sustainability // 11/15/2021