The sixth annual ARCS Conference was hosted by the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University on May 7-9, 2014. The Conference Chair was Glen Dowell, Associate Professor of Management and Organizations at Johnson. Junior and senior scholars from ten countries attended to discuss the latest corporate sustainability research from professors’ and doctoral students’ presentations and roundtable discussions, and to participate in lively conversations on sustainability innovation and policy. Here is the link to the 2014 ARCS Conference Program.

Several inaugural ARCS awards for scholarly contributions were presented at the conference:

Michael Toffel, Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, received the ARCS Sustainability Scholar Award, given to an “untenured, emerging scholar in the area of corporate sustainability who is likely to make significant contributions to the advancement of scholarship and practice through a body of work that is rigorous, impactful, and which speaks across disciplines”. The award was presented by Michael Lenox, Samuel L. Slover Professor of Business Administration and Associate Dean of the Darden School of Business, Academic Director of the Batten Institute at the University of Virginia, and founding President of ARCS. Lenox described Toffel as a “tireless and prolific researcher…[who is] truly a rare breed: conversant with the key concepts of economics, management, strategy, and sociology, and able to bring them together in novel and insightful ways…Mike is not only an excellent researcher, he also shows amazing zeal and capacity for creating the research community.”

The conference organizers also awarded the inaugural ARCS Outstanding Paper Award to six of the 29 papers presented. This award, based on the research paper’s potential impact on management practice and rigor of analysis, was issued to papers examining strategy, organizational theory/sociology, economics, marketing, and operations–reflecting the interdisciplinary breadth of ARCS scholars. The winners are listed below.

ARCS Conference attendees also voted on their own conference paper favorites, choosing three ARCS Conference People’s Choice Award winners from among the presenters. The winners are listed below.

The ARCS Board, the annual meeting of which immediately preceded the annual conference, elected Magali Delmas, Professor of Management at the UCLA Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Anderson School of Management, University of California Los Angeles, and Director of the UCLA Center for Corporate Environmental Performance, to become ARCS’ President for the 2014-2017 term. Delmas, who has written more than 50 articles, book chapters and case studies on business and the natural environment, focuses her research on the interactions between environmental policy and business strategy. She will build on the success of Lenox, who has served in the roles of Faculty Director and President since co-founding ARCS in 2009.

Lenox, who will remain on the ARCS Executive Committee, was recognized at the conference for his vision and outstanding leadership, developing the organization into a consortium of 19 top universities and a professional society of approximately 200 scholars from over 20 countries. In his closing remarks, Lenox reflected that “The sixth annual ARCS Conference highlighted the growing diversity and quality of scholarship in corporate sustainability. Scholars from a range of disciplines including business, economics, sociology, psychology, law, and operations presented research on a diverse set of topics with implications for both business practice and public policy. I believe the robust and growing community of ARCS scholars is a positive indicator of the rapid maturation in corporate sustainability scholarship.”

The next ARCS Conference will be held at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in May 2015. The Conference Chair is Dylan Minor, Assistant Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences.

Outstanding Paper Award Winners

Market mediators and the tradeoffs of legitimacy-seeking behaviors in a nascent category [PDF]
– Brandon Lee (Melbourne Business School)
– Shon Hiatt (Harvard)
– Mike Lounsbury (U. of Alberta)

Perceived egregiousness and boycott intensity: Evidence from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill [PDF]
– Zhongmin Wang (Resources for the Future)
– Alvin Lee (Deakin)
– Michael Polonsky (Deakin)

Time to come clean? Disclosure and inspection policies for green production [PDF]
– Sang Kim (Yale)

Public safety announcements: how the threat of media coverage affects workplace regulatory compliance [PDF]
– Matthew Johnson (Boston U.)

Is there a cost to joining a “free” voluntary program? The role of stakeholder scrutiny [PDF]
– Susan Kayser (Indiana)
– Michael Toffel (Harvard)
– John Maxwell (Indiana)

The market for corporate social responsibility (CSR): How industry structure determines CSR [PDF]
– Olga Hawn (Boston)
– Hyoung-Goo Kang (Hanyang)

ARCS Conference People’s Choice Award Winners

An exploratory analysis of cultural vulnerability and opportunity exploitation in Marcellus Shale drilling
– Joel Gehman (U. of Alberta)
– Dror Etzion (McGill)

A dynamic process model of contentious politics: Activist targeting and corporate receptivity to social challenges [PDF]
– Mary-Hunter McDonnell (Georgetown)
– Brayden King (Kellogg)
– Sarah Soule (Stanford)

Can firms pay less and get more…by doing good? Field experimental evidence of the effect of corporate social responsibility on employee salary requirements and performance [PDF]
– Vanessa Burbano (UCLA)