Business & Society—New technologies for business and society: Achieving multiple goals with multiple

When:  Jun 30, 2024 from 09:00 to 23:59 (CET)
Associated with  Entrepreneurship (ENT)


Papers submission deadline: June 30, 2024  

Guest Editors (in alphabetical order):

  • Valentina Cucino, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy
  • Giovanni Battista Dagnino, University of Rome LUMSA, Italy
  • Giulio Ferrigno, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy
  • Andreas Kaplan, Kuehne Logistics University, Hamburg, Germany
  • Paavo Ritala, LUT University, Lappeenranta, Finland  

Business & Society Editor  

Colin Higgins, Deakin University, Australia  

Consulting Editor  

Liang CHEN, Singapore Management University, Singapore  


New, exponentially growing and adopted technologies are becoming key drivers of the economic and societal transition (Deloitte, 2017; Di Vaio et al., 2020; Loureiro et al., 2021). Common examples of such technologies include artificial intelligence and machine learning, additive manufacturing, augmented and virtual reality, digital biology and biotechnology, nanotechnologies, robotics, autonomous vehicles, among others (Haenlein & Kaplan, 2021; Kaplan & Haenlein, 2020). These novel technologies are impactful drivers of economic and societal transition due to a phenomenon known as “accelerated convergence” (Bohnsak et al., 2022; Deloitte, 2013). As technology adoption continues to grow exponentially, the interactions between the different subgroups of the technology will create a myriad of new opportunities for individuals, firms, industries, and societies (see also Dabrowska et al., 2022). The increasingly improving price-performance ratio, facilitated by cost reductions and substantial progress in areas such as computing power, bandwidth, and data storage, helps in providing efficient and effective solutions to today’s business problems, thereby making new technologies focal for firms’ competitive advantage (Arifin, 2019; Denning, 2022).  

New technologies may have a positive impact on many societal problems in novel and unpredictable ways (Fountaine, McCarthy, & Saleh, 2019; Margherita, 2022; Tuovinen, 2022). Consider, for instance, a medical device that uses advanced data science and artificial intelligence to enable physical sensors extrapolating the likelihood of disease (Houfani et al., 2  2021), or a solar-powered car that uses advanced lighting and touchscreen technology to enhance the driver’s comfort and travel safety (Ahmad et al., 2021). Moreover, Internet of Things may measure climate change parameters such as ocean temperature and monitor their trends in real time. In such cases, the value of new technologies goes beyond functionality, productivity, effectiveness or efficiency – in addition, technologies are capable of bringing about social change (den Hond & Moser, 2023; Kline, 2001).  

Firms can utilize new technologies to address grand challenges (den Hond & Moser, 2023), such as climate change (George et al., 2021) and achieving green growth (Fernandes et al., 2021). Furthermore, new forms of organizations that utilize new technologies, such as digital platforms (e.g., the Next Closet) or machine learning, can enable circular business models, allowing for more efficient use of resources and the circulation of excess resources across different stakeholders (Blackburn et al., 2023; Ciulli et al., 2020), and support sustainable business models (Ferreira et al., 2021). In addition, digital platforms can also be used to scale up solutions for societal challenges, as occurred in the case of Patient Innovation platform for disseminating knowledge on chronic disease prevention (Rauch & Ansari, 2022). Nonetheless, the intricate nature of digital platforms, which are sometimes social enterprises, might lead to emergence of tensions between social (and environmental) objectives and economic objectives (Kannothra et al., 2018).  

The potential embedded in new technologies calls for collaboration between management, business, and society scholars to address global challenges that captivate academic attention (Brammer et al., 2022). When applied to societal challenges, new exponential technologies can create sustainable solutions, although research still lacks evidence on the when, how, and why of their impact.  

The role of new technologies in business and society debates has predominantly been examined from limited, instrumental perspectives (Haefner et al., 2021; Loureiro et al. 2021). However, since technology is presented as a solution to pressing social problems and grand challenges, it requires a comprehensive examination. Given the multitude of societal challenges we face (post-Covid-19, resource preservation, climate change, social stability), a multidisciplinary approach is crucial (Brown et al., 2022; de Bakker et al., 2019). This special issue focuses on the social good dimension; i.e., what improves or reduces the well-being of society (Crane et al., 2015). By society, we mean the “system” (Luhmann, 1995), the “structures and interactions” (Giddens, 1984) that pursues interests that may overlap, but often transcend, the narrow profit goals of the individual company (Tykkyläinen & Ritala, 2021). Social issues include the well-being ramifications ensuing from climate change and loss of biodiversity, poor working conditions across supply chains, and relationships between corporations and local communities.  

New technologies can offer multiple types of organizations a range of benefits; however, there are various tensions and complexities that should be resolved to reach both social and economic goals. In fact, the development of new technologies clearly requires increased costs and augmented efforts. For example, according to institutional theory, organizations often integrate different institutional logics, including a philanthropic social logic that operates through nonprofit legal structures, and a market logic driven by sales revenues and for-profit models (Smith et al., 2013). The combination of these diverse logics (Pache and Santos, 2010; Stubbs, 2017) becomes crucial to understand organizations that purposefully and simultaneously generate economic, social, and/or environmental value to intentionally transform the market structure (McMullen & Warnick, 2016). Additional motivations for exploring the phenomenon arise 3  from the paradox theory (Smith & Levis, 2011; Smith & Tracey, 2016), which suggests that the paradoxical tensions experienced at the individual level impact the relationship between organizations and individuals.More concretely, the convergence of non-economic opportunities and the coalescence of different, even opposing, stakeholders following divergent logics and pursuing conflicting missions may explain why firms and organizations can suffer from greater tensions, and the ways in which they are capable to manage these tensions ultimately determine their impact and longevity (Battilana et al., 2015; Markman et al., 2016). This unique setting, coupled with the opportunities of new technologies, is the core interest of this special issue.  

This special issue invites researchers to (1) examine the impact of new technologies on a range of economic, social, and environmental issues (2) investigate how a social issue impacts the choices of an organization to adopt new technologies; and, more broadly, (3) explain how and why new technologies can support multiple types of organizations in pursuing a social issue as they struggle to innovate and cultivate new capabilities to respond, adapt, and thrive their businesses. We welcome conceptual, empirical, and methodological contributions from various research fields, from micro-level studies of business functions to macro-oriented analyses of firms, organizations, ecosystems, and industries, exploring how new technologies can be used to fulfill societal needs. As such, we aim to open avenues on how and why new technologies may turn helpful for the good of our society and raise new ethical, normative, or social considerations for business to address. Therefore, this call for papers offers a timely focus to explore a range of relevant open issues on the role of new technologies in improving community and societal well-being when they are properly applied by and within firms and organizations.  

Overall, we envision of receiving submissions from business and society scholars, as well as from business and management scholars and practitioners interested in elaborating policy guidelines and managerial implications. We encourage business and society scholars who draw from multiple scientific fields – including psychology, sociology, ecology, public policy, environmental studies, and various branches of socio-ecological studies (such as, among others, environmental ethics) – to submit research outcomes that significantly contribute to this debate. However, authors must also consider that the primary audience of Business & Society is business schools, and therefore their manuscripts must address this audience in a way that is meaningful and relevant.  

Below listed are some key themes and questions that illustrate intriguing topics to tackle. The key themes and the questions are neither exhaustive nor comprehensive, and we welcome other complementary lines of investigation addressing the connection between the rise of new technologies and business and society. We particularly welcome submissions that take a multidisciplinary and comprehensive perspective, and favor submissions spreading out from all the world’s geographies and cultures.  

1) New Technologies and Social and Environmental Consequences  

  • What types of new technologies (such as machine learning, big data, artificial intelligence, the cloud, digital platform and the internet of things) contribute to how business addresses important global challenges (such as climate change, wars and military conflicts, water contamination, human rights violation, global health issue, poverty, children's poor access to healthcare, education and safety, and access to food and hunger)? 
  • What theories, models and frameworks shed light on the bright (and the dark) side of new technologies and their social implications? 
  • What are the ethics of using new technologies?
  • How do new technologies respond to societal challenges through designing and launching new products or services, firms, and organizations? 
  • What is the role of new technologies in fostering societal well-being? 
  • How can new technologies help to achieve both economic and social goals at scale? 
  • What are the negative implications of new technologies on how businesses tackle significant global challenges (such as climate change, wars and conflicts, water contamination, human rights violations, global health issues, poverty, limited access to healthcare, education, safety, food, and hunger)?  

2) Resources and Institutional Environment  

  • What is the role of institutions (i.e., supranational institutions, government and central administrative authorities) in developing the firms’ awareness of the societal impacts of new technologies? 
  • Do new technologies favor better resource utilization in areas with fragile or contested institutions, or do they lead to the misplacement of scarce resources? 
  • How can governments, businesses, and development agencies foster the growth of new technologies that empower poor and marginalized communities? 
  • What policy measures are required to foster the development of responsible new technologies to tackle grand challenges (such as sustainability, inequality, and poverty)?
  • What are the potential harms of institutions utilizing new technologies?  

3) Tensions, Contradictions, and Solutions  

  • What types of tensions and contradictions multiple types of organizations face when they develop and implement new technologies? 
  • How do multiple types of organizations overcome barriers and constraints (e.g. old technologies, skills, knowledge stocks, and path dependencies) to support out-of-thebox thinking, action, and transformation of existing businesses? 
  • How do multiple types of organizations located in emerging economies and operating in rapidly changing political and technological settings manage the challenges of developing new capabilities and product and service innovation? 
  • How do multiple types of organizations use new technologies for peripheral development? 
  • How do multiple types of organizations manage new technologies to create “generative resilience” in the community? 
  • How multiple types of organizations can mitigate the tensions of the dark sides of new technologies? 

4) Organizations with Multiple Goals  

  • How can organizations achieve business objectives through new technologies? 
  • What are the growth patterns of benefit corporations adopting new technologies?  
  • How can organizations manage the trade-off between the pursuit of a dual purpose, namely satisfying the social good or solving a social problem, and achieving business objectives? 
  • What social goals can be achieved first by organizations without compromising the jobs of their employees? What other social goals can be pursued after achieving profits goals? 
  • ● What is the relationship between social and profit goals whenorganizations develop new technologies? What features characterize this relationship? 
  • ● How can new technologies negatively impact the relationship between employees and organizations?  

5) New Technologies and Societal Impact  

  • What is the societal impact of new technologies?  
  • How can the societal impact of enabling technologies be measured? Which metrics and KPIs can be adopted? 
  • What methods can be used to investigate the impact of new technologies on individuals, communities (societies) and firms?
  • How do universities and public bodies digitally transform their capabilities for the good of our society? 
  • How can sociological theories explain the link between new technologies and their societal impacts? 
  • What are the detrimental outcomes of new technologies and their effects on society?  

The guest editors welcome informal enquiries by prospective authors that may get in touch by emailing them at:;;;;  

Preparing Your submission

To be considered for this special issue, submissions must fit with the aim and scope of Business & Society. Authors are strongly encouraged to refer to editorial insights published in Business & Society to understand the fit with the journal’s scope, vision and expectations related to rigor and contribution. A collection of these is available at (  

Manuscripts should be between 7000-12,000 words, including tables, figures, and references. Manuscripts should be prepared following the Business & Society author guidelines (  

Authors should submit their manuscripts through ScholarOne Manuscripts at Manuscripts should be prepared following the Business and Society author guidelines, which can be found at:    

Authors should submit their manuscripts through  

Please ensure to select the special issue ‘New Technologies for Business and Society’ within the submission portal so that it is received by the SI editors and does not go into the general stream of submissions. 

Submission Process 

All manuscripts must be submitted between June 1 and June 30, 2024. All submissions will be double-blind peer-reviewed by multiple reviewers.  

Non-native English speakers are strongly advised to have their manuscript proofread properly prior to making their submissions. All submissions will be preliminarily screened by the guest editors and, if they fit into the special issue theme and have reached a sufficient level of academic quality, they will be sent out to undergo the Business & Society regular double-blind peer review process. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2024. The special issue is expected to be published by the Winter of 2025.  

Post-submission: The guest editors intend to organize a Special Issue Development Workshop (SIDW) sometime in October-November 2024. Further details about the SI DW location, time, and structure will be made available in due time. Authors of papers who have received a first round “revise and resubmit” decision on their manuscript will be invited to attend this paper development workshop specifically aimed at helping them improve their work. Participation in the workshop does not guarantee the acceptance of papers in the Special Issue. In addition, though deeply encouraged, attendance to the workshop is not a prerequisite for authors to have their paper accepted for publication in the Special Issue.  

Special opportunity for prospective authors

The Guest Editors also aim to organize an online pre-submission “Paper Development Workshop”, to provide prospective submitting authors some relevant developmental guidance. Participation in this workshop is not a precondition for submission to, nor does guarantee acceptance of papers presented in the special issue. The workshop will be organized in May 2024 in the form of a virtual plenary followed by virtual paper development roundtables, that bring together paper authors with senior scholars to favor in-depth feedback and advice. To be considered for the workshop, please send a proposal or extended abstract (up to 1000 words) to guest editor Valentina Cucino ( by April 15, 2024.  

About the Guest Editors

Valentina Cucino is Assistant Professor in Management at the Institute of Management and Department EMbeDS, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa. She holds a PhD in Management Innovation, Sustainability, and Healthcare. Her research interest and teaching mainly deals with innovation management, purpose-driven innovation and university- industry technology transfer. Her works have been published in journals such European Journal of Innovation Management, Journal of Knowledge Management, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Management Research Review, R&D Management, Studies in Higher Education, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, and The TQM Journal. 

Giovanni Battista Dagnino is Chair of Management and Professor of Digital Strategy at the University of Rome LUMSA, Palermo Campus, Italy, where he is founding director of the MSc Program in Economics and Management and Chair of the Departmental Committee on Sustainability. He is also Co-director of the LUMSA EMBA Program and member of the Scientific Committee of LUMSA Human Academy Foundation. Professor Dagnino is known internationally for his pioneering work on coopetition strategy, an area of study and practice that he contributed to set off over a decade ago, as well as for initiating the scrutiny of temporary competitive advantage. He is currently conducting investigation projects on digital transformation strategy and digital mindset, big data and advanced analytics. He is Co-Editor of the Journal of Management and Governance and serves/d on the editorial boards of Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal among others. In addition, he co-edited several special issues. He has authored/edited fifteen books and over 50 articles in leading management journals, such as Academy of Management Perspectives, California Management Review, Global Strategy Journal, International Journal of Management Reviews, Organization Studies, and Strategic Management Journal. Web site:

Giulio Ferrigno is a Senior Assistant Professor at Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa. He has held visiting positions at the University of Cambridge, Tilburg University, and the University of Umea. His main research themes include strategic alliances, big data, Industry 4.0, and innovation management. His works have been published in Small Business Economics, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, International Journal of Management Reviews, R&D Management, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Review of Managerial Science, European Journal of Innovation Management, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing. He is an Associate Editor of Technology Analysis & Strategic Management.

Andreas Kaplan’s research focuses on decrypting the digital world, mainly artificial intelligence and social media. According to John Wiley & Sons, with a series of seminal publications and +42k mentions on Google Scholar, Kaplan ranks among the top 50 business authors worldwide. Furthermore, a widely reported Stanford University study acknowledged Kaplan as one of the world’s most-quoted and influential scientists. He is an internationally acclaimed author, keynote speaker, and advisor to governments and corporations. Professor Kaplan engages especially in analyzing the future impact of advances in artificial intelligence on countries’ economies and society at large. He asks questions about AI’s opportunities as well as its risks. Much of his work addresses the necessity for regulation, education, a human approach to digitalization, and ethics regarding AI and its consequences for humanity. Kaplan is a founding member of the European Center for Digital Competitiveness. Kaplan did his Habilitation at the Sorbonne (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) and his PhD at the University of Cologne/HEC Paris. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the École Nationale d’Administration (ENA), an MSc from ESCP Business School, and a BSc from the University of Munich. 

Paavo Ritala is a Professor of Strategy and Innovation at the School of Business and Management at LUT University, Finland. His main research themes include ecosystems and platforms, the role of data and digital technologies in organizations, collaborative innovation, sustainable business models, and circular economy. His research has been published in journals such as Journal of Management, Research Policy, Journal of Product Innovation Management, R&D Management, Technovation, Long Range Planning, Industrial and Corporate Change & California Management Review. He is closely involved with business practice through research projects, executive and professional education programs, and in speaker and advisory roles. Prof. Ritala is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of R&D Management and he serves in the editorial review board of Journal of Product Innovation Management. In addition, he has co-edited several special issues in different management and innovation journals.  


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