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International Conference "Responsible Organizations in the Global Context"

The LAREQUOI Research Center for Management of the University of Versailles (France) and the Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CIED) of Georgetown University (Washington DC, USA) are co-organizing an international conference on “Responsible Organizations in the Global Context”. The conference aims to engage academics and practitioners in reflective thinking and discussion on the roles and responsibility.

du 15 juin 2017 au 16 juin 2017

June 15 & 16,  2017

The LAREQUOI Research Center for Management of the University of Versailles (France) and the Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CIED) of Georgetown University (Washington DC, USA) are co-organizing an international conference on “Responsible Organizations in the Global Context”.  The conference aims to engage reflective thinking and discussion on the various dimensions and impacts of “responsibility” for organizations (companies, institutions, government…), while taking into account international differences and similarities, as well as global challenges.

Organizations, both public or private,  are expected to be managed in order to carry out their mission in accordance with the expectations and interests of their main stakeholders. If management can be defined as a set of processes and methods used to pilot any form of organization, it can also be broken down into a wide variety of modalities, from comprehensive and meaningful approaches, to technocratic and dehumanized tools. All of these different approaches could be considered forms of management, some being quite responsible and others unaccountable. Moreover, they can be found both in market enterprises and in public and non-profit entities.

The combination of responsibility, organizations, and management is not a new trend, and a number of authors have long emphasized the relationship among these concepts. Such a link seems even more crucial today, in an era of profound uncertainty, unfettered globalization, and somewhat contradictory expectations regarding social, economic, and political requirements.

Moreover, with the development of digital technology and the use of data mining, new questions regarding ethics and responsibility are raised today. Indeed, big data and digital tools can bring significant benefits to both individuals and organizations, but at the same time they question the meaning of privacy in our society, and they highlight the risk of manipulation oriented on profit rather than on the stakeholders’ interests.

 In this context, analyzing dimensions of responsible organizations in the global perspective is essential, in view of both the intensifying pressures of international competition and the growing crisis of confidence towards some management concepts and practices. Indeed, socio-economic and political systems are facing many societal challenges that are difficult to cope with, and management methods are more and more questioned.
They are regularly suspected of serving particular interests instead of the public good. Consequently, more accountable and integrated processes might be appropriate in order to deal with the present and future stakes of our society.

The theories and practices of organizations generally lead to a distinction between responsibility and accountability, the first being more related to assuming the charge of something or someone, and the second to the necessity to report and/or explain one’s actions. Both concepts seem necessary and complementary, and might also be brought together with sustainable development, either at the corporate level or for global society.

The conference will approach the subject of “Responsible Organizations” from several perspectives: an international perspective, through analyses made in different countries or via comparative approaches; an institutional perspective, studying both commercial businesses and public or non-profit organizations; and a professional perspective, by combining the outlooks of researchers and practitioners.

Within this framework, the concept of “Responsible Organizations” can include dimensions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as well as internal management processes, such as the quality of human resource policies and leadership skills, seen as key assets for global performance. The possible synergy between the interests of diverse stakeholders - employees, shareholders, government, customers, partners, sponsors, communities, society, etc. - and global corporate performance, which has been studied for quite a long time, will be raised and examined. Concepts such as sustainability, corporate citizenship, and ethics will be part of the discussions, since they can be considered as essentiel ingredients of the organizational processes and missions.

The particular role of managers, either in public or in private organizations, can also serve as a major topic of discussion, insofar as responsible leadership could be generated and reinforced both by management systems and individual skills and actions. Indeed, managers and/or leaders are supposed to assume responsibility for organizational outcomes as well as for the processes and people they work with. Additional research topics such as individual and collective behaviors, awareness regarding communication, relationships between ethics and performance, cultural diversity, and social responsiveness can also be related to the challenges, the limits, and the possible benefits of responsible organizations.