Young Scholars Workshop on Corporate Purpose

Pre-conference workshop

Young Scholars Workshop on Corporate Purpose

  • 20 September 2023
  • Copenhagen

Call for papers

Deadline: 1 August 2023

Submissions are invited from young scholars for a paper development workshop on September 20, 2023, hosted by the Center for Corporate Governance at Copenhagen Business School.

A growing research agenda examines how corporate governance, sustainability and corporate purpose are increasingly related. Corporate governance has come to focus on how companies organize purpose and sustainability activities.  It is increasingly clear that corporate purpose needs to be rooted in corporate governance through commitments by shareholders, boards and managers. Boards face growing demands to tackle challenges such as climate change, protection of labor and human rights, supply chain due diligence and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion). Shareholders engage in ESG investment and climate activism. ESG incentives are increasingly included in executive pay.

However, scholarship has remained rather silent on how this growing sustainability agenda influences the role of boards, owners and other corporate governance actors. It remains unclear how they manage these new pressures for social and environmental actions from public regulators, institutional investors, buyers, employees, and other stakeholders.

This paper development workshop is intended to explore the emerging research agenda that links corporate governance to purpose and sustainability. It seeks to shed light on how shareholders, boards, and managerial incentives address corporate purpose and sustainability. The workshop is primarily aimed at young scholars (PhD students, post docs, assistant and associate professors) who are developing new work and are seeking to establish themselves in their profession. The goal of the workshop is to provide them with an opportunity to discuss their work with leading professors in the field to further develop and strengthen their scholarship.

We welcome submissions that explore the relationship between corporate governance, purpose and sustainability (such as, but not limited to the topics below):

  • What is the role of long-term ownership in corporate purpose and sustainability?
  • What is the relation between owner identity and corporate purpose/sustainability?
  • Do boards require new skills – e.g., climate competencies - to address this changing agenda and if so, which competences are needed?
  • In what ways is the governance of boards changing to address this agenda? For example, do boards establish sustainability committees or require that CEO compensation is linked to sustainability performance?
  • To what extent do boards create value and impact by ESG initiatives?
  • How are boards responding to new government requirements for sustainability?


The workshop is organized by Jette Steen Knudsen, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy Tufts University (Otto Mønsted Visiting Professor at Copenhagen Business School) and Steen Thomsen, Center for Corporate Governance, Copenhagen Business School.

We have room for a limited number of papers. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided with special thanks to a grant from the Carlsberg Foundation. Travel and accommodation costs are not covered.

Professor Ruth Aguilera, D’Amore Kim Business School at Northeastern University, Professor Bill Judge, Old Dominion University and Terry McNulty University of Liverpool Management School will attend the workshop and provide feedback on papers.

Please submit a paper in progress or an extended paper abstract of about 2,000 words by 1 August 2023, to Trine Vestergaard and copy to Elyse Nightingale Meaker Decisions will be made by August 15. Final papers are due September 1.

To view details of the 3-day event, visit: 





Solbjerg Pl. 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Elaine McPartlan