Area of Expertise
- Business - Environment
- Business and Sustainability
- Business Ethics
- Corporate Governance
- Diversity in Workforce
- Environmental Management
- International Business
- International Governance
- Public Policy
- Strategic Management
Dirk Matten is a Professor at the Schulich School of Business, where he holds the Hewlett Packard Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility and is the Associate Dean of Research, a role he previously served from 2014 to 2018. He is also the founding director of Schulich’s Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business. He has a doctoral degree and the habilitation from Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf in Germany. In 2019/20 he was the Gourlay Visiting Professor of Ethics in Business at Trinity College of the University of Melbourne. He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of London, the University of Nottingham, Copenhagen Business School and at Sabancı University in Istanbul. He has taught and done research at academic institutions in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Turkey, and the USA.
He has published 29 books and edited volumes as well as more than 90 journal articles and book chapters, which have won numerous prestigious awards. In August 2018, his paper with Jeremy Moon on ‘Implicit and Explicit CSR received the highly prestigious “Academy of Management Review Paper of the Decade Award”. In the same year he was also ranked #44 in the ‘Top 100 Corporate Social Responsibility Influence Leader’ ranking (next to CEOs and CSR leaders of Unilever, Google, Apple etc. He is the only academic scholar on the list). In 2019 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from his school as well as the York Research Leader Award.
2019 York Research Leader Award, York University, Toronto, Canada
2019 Lifetime Achievement Award, Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, Canada
2018 Winner of the “Paper of the Decade” Award from the Journal ‘Academy of Management Review’, Chicago, 2018
2018 Ranked in the “Top 100 Corporate Social Responsibility Influence Leader” award list of Assent Compliance
2017 Emerald Citations of Excellence Award (for ‘Contesting the value of “Creating Shared Value”’ paper)
2017 Insight Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SHHRC), $87,000 for a project on ‘Openacity’
2016 Schulich School of Business ranked No 1 globally in Green MBA ranking by Corporate Knights Magazine, Toronto (for a third year in a row)
2011 Schulich School of Business ranked No 2 globally in the Beyond Grey Pinstripes Report for ‘integrating issues of social and environmental stewardship into curricula and research’ by The Aspen Institute, New York City
2010 Ranked as the 6th most cited German management professor, http://www.wiwi.uni-muenster.de/io/forschen/downloads/DP-IO_01_2010.html.
2010 Ranked among the ‘Top 100 CSR Leaders’ globally in an independent poll by the think tank ‘CSR International’ (www.csrinternational.org)
2010 ‘A to Z of CSR’ ranked as ‘Noteworthy Title’ by the Reference and User Services Association (www.asa.org)
2008 Most cited paper published in Academy of Management Review
2006 Max Weber-Award for Business Ethics (Category Textbook) [Max Weber-Lehrbuch-Preis für Wirtschaftsethik] from the ‘Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft’, Cologne, for Crane & Matten ‘Business Ethics’
2006 Nomination for Carolyn Dexter Best International Paper Award, Academy of Management Conference, Atlanta
2006 Honorary Chair in Business Ethics [Leerstoel Jeff Van Gerwen s.J.], University of Antwerp, Belgium
2005 Textbook Award of the Association of University Professors of Management, Germany [Verband der Hochschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft e.V.] for Crane & Matten ‘Business Ethics’
2005 Appointment as academic member of the ‘World Corporate Ethics Council’ (others include Samuel Huntington and Jeremy Rifkin, see www.cca-institute.org)
2003 Best paper at the 16th European Business Ethics Network Conference, Inclusion in the Best Paper Special Issue of the Journal of Business Ethics
2002 Carolyn Dexter Best International Paper Award, Academy of Management Conference, Denver
2002 Best paper at the 15th European Business Ethics Network Conference, Inclusion in the Best Paper Special Issue of the Journal of Business Ethics
2002 Best Paper Award of the International Management Division, Academy of Management Conference
2002 Best Paper Award of the International Management Division, Academy of Management Conference
2001 Finalist for the Best Paper Award at the 63. Meeting of the German Association of University Professors in Management, Freiburg, Germany
De Bakker, F.G.A., Matten, D., Spencer, L.J. and Wickert, C. (Forthcoming), "The Elephant in the Room: The Nascent Research Agenda on Corporations, Social Responsibility and Capitalism", Business & Society, 59(7), 1295-1302.
Lee, S. and Matten, D. (forthcoming) (Forthcoming), "COVID-19 and the Future of CSR Research", Journal of Management Studies, 58(1), 280-284.
Research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) flourished pre-COVD-19 and could reasonably claim to be one of the most widely read and cited sub-fields of management. However, the pandemic has clearly challenged a number of existing CSR assumptions, concepts, and practices. We aim to identify four key areas where CSR research has been challenged by COVID-19 – stakeholders, societal risk, supply chain responsibility, and the political economy of CSR – and propose how future CSR research should be realigned to tackle them.
Matten, D. and Moon, J. (2020), "The Meaning and Dynamics of Corporate Social Responsibility, Academy of Management Review", Academy of Management Review, 45(1), 7-28.Keywords
We reflect on our 2008 article, “‘Implicit’ and ‘Explicit’ CSR: A Conceptual Framework for a Comparative Understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility,” first recalling its origins. We contextualize this reflection piece with a stylized interpretation of CSR “then” (the turn of the twenty-first century) and “now” (2019). We then focus on two themes: CSR’s meaning and its dynamics. Regarding the meaning of CSR, we indicate the advantages of our capacious CSR definition and elaborate on the underlying theorization of our CSR framework regarding corporations’ need for legitimacy with their core stakeholders, societies they operate in, and regulators they are subject to. We propose that the configuration of these legitimacy relationships informs the nature and balance of implicit and explicit CSR. Turning to CSR dynamics, we build on research on the hybridization of implicit and explicit CSR and explore two underlying phenomena—explicitization and implicitization of CSR. We conceptualize explicitization as the process by which norms and rules associated with implicit CSR are adopted in explicit CSR policies, practices, and strategies. We conceptualize implicitization of CSR as the process by which norms and rules of business responsibility are informed by what were hitherto explicit CSR policies, practices, and strategies of corporations, and are built into general obligations of business.
Deibert, R., Flyverbom, M. and Matten, D. (2019), "Governance of Digital Technologies, Big Data, and the Internet: New Roles and Responsibilities for Business", Business & Society, 58(1), 3-19.
The importance of digital technologies for social and economic developments and a growing focus on data collection and privacy concerns have made the Internet a salient and visible issue in global politics. Recent developments have increased the awareness that the current approach of governments and business to the governance of the Internet and the adjacent technological spaces raises a host of ethical issues. The significance and challenges of the digital age have been further accentuated by a string of highly exposed cases of surveillance and a growing concern about issues of privacy and the power of this new industry. This special issue explores what some have referred to as the “Internet-industrial complex”—the intersections between business, states, and other actors in the shaping, development, and governance of the Internet.
Aarat, M., Coplan, M. and Matten, D. (2018), "Business Groups and Corporate Responsibility for the Public Good", Journal of Business Ethics, 153(4), 911-929.
This paper analyzes the relationship between Business Groups as a distinct way of organizing economic activities and their relation to the public good. We first analyze the phenomenon of Business Groups and discuss some of their core features. Subsequently, the paper moves to analyzing the existing literature on Business Groups and corporate social responsibility (CSR) as the most common label for the topic of this Special Issue. Subsequently, specific peculiarities of Business Groups in the context of CSR and their contribution to the public good are fleshed out. Based on this analysis, the paper delineates some implications for the field of CSR and the wider debate on the nature of the firm. We close with some perspectives for future research.
Crane, A., Henriques, B.H. and Matten, D. (2017), "Twelve Tips for Getting Published in Business & Society", Business and Society, 58(1), 3-10.
Crane, A., Henriques, I., Husted, B. and Matten, D. (2016), "Publishing Country Studies in Business & Society: Or, Do We Care About CSR in Mongolia?", Business and Society, 55(1), 3-10.
For the past few years, Business & Society has received manuscripts from scholars based in more than 50 different countries each year. This is testament to the growth in interest in business and society issues across the globe as well as a growing desire from researchers from various national academic systems to publish in international, peer-reviewed, English-language journals. In one sense, we see this as a measure of success of the journal. However, at the same time, Business & Society typically accepts articles from only a handful of these countries each year. So the acceptance rate for the vast majority of these 50-plus countries is 0%. This is a statistic that we would like to change. The question is, however, how can we meaningfully address it? There are many potential explanations for the overwhelming failure rate of most of these submissions. These include different standards and styles of research, limited knowledge of the rules of the international publishing game, and the impact of non-native English-language skills, not to mention the potential unconscious bias on the part of editors and reviewers. Notwithstanding their plausibility, our intention in this particular article is not to examine these explanations. Rather, our purpose here is to explore one particular phenomenon that we believe is holding back many prospective scholars from across the world from successfully publishing in Business & Society—namely the submission of poor-quality country studies. Country studies make up a substantial proportion of the manuscripts we receive each year. By a country study, we mean a manuscript that seeks to explore a particular issue, concept, or theory in our field in the context of a specific country, much like the apocryphal article in our title, CSR in Mongolia. Such studies are submitted by scholars from virtually every country that submits to the journal, be it about labor practices in Bangladesh, social reporting in Brazil, or stakeholder management in Burkina Faso. Every year, we publish a number of such studies, but they are also overly represented among the rather large subset of manuscripts that we desk reject. Quite simply, very few of the country studies we receive are of sufficiently high quality that they even make it out for review. We hope that if we can start to solve this problem, we can start to address the bigger problem of expanding the accessibility of the journal to scholars across the world.
Crane, A., Henriques, I., Husted, B.W. and Matten, D. (2016), "What Constitutes a Theoretical Contribution in the Business and Society Field?", Business & Society, 55(6), 783-791.
No one likes receiving rejection letters. These letters often state that the “man-uscript does not show sufficient evidence of a theoretical contribution”—or something to that effect. At Business & Society, our editorial team writes such letters with considerable regularity, both for empirical and conceptual manuscripts.1 Although we usually try to explain to authors why their paper does not meet the required standards for a theoretical contribution, we thought it would be helpful to distill some of that insight to enable prospective authors to better prepare their manuscripts prior to submission rather than face the disappointment of rejection afterward. Therefore, in this Editors’ Insights piece, we would like to share what we have learned from the hundreds of manuscripts we have dealt with at Business & Society, as well as our broader experience as authors, reviewers, and editors. In so doing, we hope to begin a conversation about what the appropriate and desired characteristics of a theo-retical contribution should be in our field.Over the years, many journal editors have opened similar discussions on what constitutes a theoretical contribution in their respective journals. In particular, journals with a specific mission with regard to theory develop-ment, such as Academy of Management Review (e.g., Byron & Thatcher, 2016; Corley & Gioia, 2011; Suddaby, 2014; Whetten, 1989) and Administrative Science Quarterly (e.g., Sutton & Staw, 1995; Weick, 1995), have discussed at some length the appropriate standards for a theoretical contribution and indeed what management theory should or should not look like. We would strongly encourage prospective authors to avail themselves of some of the excellent resources made available in these articles. In the following, however, what we would like to particularly focus on is what a theoretical contribution means in the specific context of the business and society field.
Crane, A., Henriques, I., Husted, B. and Matten, D. (2015), "A New Era for Business & Society", Business & Society, 54(1), 3-8.
It is quite a privilege to assume the editorship of a scholarly journal when much of the hard work has already been done. As the new editorial team responsible for editing Business & Society, we are inheriting a thriving enterprise that has convened a strong community of committed readers, authors, editors, and reviewers, which has a growing reputation for scholarly excellence, and that has in place an impressive process for reviewing manuscripts and putting out issue after issue, as it has done for the last 50 odd years. Our immediate predecessor, Duane Windsor, in particular has steered the journal a long way in his 8 years at the helm. This has involved instituting the online ScholarOne system for manuscript submission and review, and getting the journal listed on the Thomson Reuters Social Science Citation Index, not to mention significantly increasing the journal’s esteem and impact within the scholarly community. That being said, Business & Society, and the academic journal publishing business in general, are facing a number of challenges that suggest we are moving into something of a new era for the journal. It is not only an exciting time for us to be assuming control of Business & Society but also, it has to be said, a challenging time. Our field is experiencing considerable growth while being tasked with enhancing both the rigor and the relevance of our research. Also, the scholarly space we look to occupy is becoming increasingly competitive, whether in terms of getting the best work out there submitted to the journal, finding willing expert reviewers, or getting the attention of people who we think should be reading and citing what we publish. Even the way that people discover and access the journal is undergoing a major shift as we witness the relentless incursion of digital technology into journal publishing. With so much change around us, we thought that it would be opportune to mark our first issue as editors with a few remarks on what we see as the defining characteristics of the new era that we are facing and what we think it means for the journal going forward in terms of our aims and ambitions for Business & Society.
Crane, A., Henriques, I., Husted, B. and Matten, D. (2015), "Defining the Scope of Business & Society", Business & Society, 54(4), 427-434.
Our vision for Business & Society is for the journal to become the leading, peer-reviewed outlet for scholarly work dealing specifically with the intersection of business and society. So what counts as the intersection of business and society? As a journal, we have to determine the boundaries of the field that we are covering. Certainly, we have found that when making decisions on whether manuscripts should go out for review, we must first decide whether the manuscript fits the journal. This is not an exact science—it is always a judgment call—but as editors, we feel it is necessary to provide prospective authors some guidance on what, in our opinion, fits and does not fit. As such the purpose of this Editors’ Insight is to clarify some of our thinking on this issue.
Crane, A., Palazzo, G., Spence, L.J. and Matten, D. (2014), "A reply to ‘A response to Andrew Crane et al.’s article by Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer’", California Management Review, 56(2), 151-153.
Matten, D., Palazzo, G. and Scherer, A.G (2014), "The Business Firm as a Political Actor: A New Theory of the Firm for a Globalized World", Business & Society, 53(2), 143-156.
Crane, A., Matten, D., Palazzo, G. and Spence, L.J. (2014), "Contesting the Value of ‘Creating Shared Value’", California Management Review, 56(2), 130-153.Keywords
This article critiques Porter and Kramer’s concept of creating shared value. The strengths of the idea are highlighted in terms of its popularity among practitioner and academic audiences, its connecting of strategy and social goals, and its systematizing of some previously underdeveloped, disconnected areas of research and practice. However, the concept suffers from some serious shortcomings, namely: it is unoriginal; it ignores the tensions inherent to responsible business activity; it is naïve about business compliance; and it is based on a shallow conception of the corporation’s role in society. [Michael Porter and Mark Kramer were invited to respond to this article. Their commentary follows along with a reply by Crane and his co-authors.]
Brammer, S., Jackson, G. and Matten, D. (2012), "Corporate Social Responsibility and Institutional Theory: New Perspectives on Private Governance", Socio Economic Review, 10(1), 3-28.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a pervasive topic in the business literature, but has largely neglected the role of institutions. This introductory article to the Special Issue of Socio-Economic Review examines the potential contributions of institutional theory to understanding CSR as a mode of governance. This perspective suggests going beyond grounding CSR in the voluntary behaviour of companies, and understanding the larger historical and political determinants of whether and in what forms corporations take on social responsibilities. Historically, the prevailing notion of CSR emerged through the defeat of more institutionalized forms of social solidarity in liberal market economies. Meanwhile, CSR is more tightly linked to formal institutions of stakeholder participation or state intervention in other advanced economies. The tensions between business-driven and multi-stakeholder forms of CSR extend to the transnational level, where the form and meaning of CSR remain highly contested. CSR research and practice thus rest on a basic paradox between a liberal notion of voluntary engagement and a contrary implication of socially binding responsibilities. Institutional theory seems to be a promising avenue to explore how the boundaries between business and society are constructed in different ways, and improve our understanding of the effectiveness of CSR within the wider institutional field of economic governance.
Bondy, K., Matten, D. and Moon, J. (2012), "An Institution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Multi-National Corporations (MNCs): Form and Implications", Journal of Business Ethics, 111, 281–299.Keywords
This article investigates corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an institution within UK multi-national corporations (MNCs). In the context of the literature on the institutionalization of CSR and on critical CSR, it presents two main findings. First, it contributes to the CSR mainstream literature by confirming that CSR has not only become institutionalized in society but that a form of this institution is also present within MNCs. Secondly, it contributes to the critical CSR literature by suggesting that unlike broader notions of CSR shared between multiple stakeholders, MNCs practise a form of CSR that undermines the broader stakeholder concept. By increasingly focusing on strategic forms of CSR activity, MNCs are moving away from a societal understanding of CSR that focuses on redressing the impacts of their operations through stakeholder concerns, back to any activity that supports traditional business imperatives. The implications of this shift are considered using institutional theory to evaluate macro-institutional pressures for CSR activity and the agency of powerful incumbents in the contested field of CSR.