Panel 4

Panel 4 - Open, with a set session


Peter Lund-Thomsen ( MSC, CBS

Michael W. Hansen ( CBDS, MSC, CBS

Title & Content:

An Emerging field of knowledge: Businessand Development Studies?

Motivation (from the Introduction chapter of the forthcoming book):

With the liberalization of world trade, privatization of state enterprises, and deregulation of national economies, the role of business in the Global South has become increasingly important in the last three decades (Utting, 2005). More recently, the rise of the BRICS and firms originating from these countries have challenged the traditional hegemony of Western multinational companies as market leaders and trendsetters in international business (Ramamurti, 2012; Matthews, 2006; Lund‐Thomsen and Wad, 2014; Knorringa and Nadvi, 2016). In the international community’s recently adopted development agenda – the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the private sector is envisioned to play a key role, partly by delivering capital, innovations, goods and services aimed at solving development problems, partly by engaging in partnerships with other development agents (GRI/UN Global Compact/WBCSD, 2015).

In academic terms, the literature on the role of business in the Global South has spanned a range of interrelated topics such as global value chain/global production network analysis (Gereffi et al., 2005; Yeung and Coe, 2015); multinational companies and spillovers on local industries (Blomström and Kokko,
1998; Narula and Pineli; 2016); linkages and foreign direct investment (Altenburg, 2000; Giroud and Scott‐ Kennel, 2009); base‐of‐the‐pyramid strategies (Hart, 2005; Prahalad, 2005); the role of industrial clusters in promoting local economic development (Schmitz, 1999; Giuliani, 2016); (social) entrepreneurship (Gough et al., 2014) and microfinance (Yunus, 2007); corporate social responsibility (Jamali, 2010; Jeppesen and
Lund‐Thomsen, 2010); business and climate change (Newell, 2012); and business and poverty reduction (Nunnenkamp, 2004; Kolk and Tulder, 2006; Blowfield and Dolan, 2014). These literatures directly or indirectly examine how ‘business’ affects ‘development’?

While business impact on development is addressed more or less directly by numerous literatures as
suggested above, there is a lack of consolidation and integration of these literatures and the knowledge
they have produced. Thereby, possibilities for cross fertilization and synergies between the various
literatures may be lost (Hansen and Schaumburg‐Müller, 2010). Hence, this book aims at consolidating the
current status of academic work on business and development, and identifies state‐of‐the‐art within this
emerging academic discipline.

The panel will shed light on key discussions from the comprehensive collection of cutting edge theoretical
and empirical contributions to this field that the book contains. Compared to more traditional business
school accounts of business in the Global South which focus on the challenges and opportunities of doing
business in the Global South (see e.g. Meyer and Peng, 2011), this anthology explores whether, how and
under what conditions business’ contributes to the achievement of economic, social, and environmental
goals in the Global South. The presenters hope to provide a fruitful ground for a following lively debate
with the participants.