WS 07: The Future of Corporate Digital Responsibility

Workshop description

In recent years, corporations have faced ever-increasing pressure to face digitalization as one of the key topics that drive executive agendas. From the development of new business models, products, and services to the digitalization and virtualization of key operating processes – a trend further fueled by the need to respond to protective measures in the context of the Corona pandemic – entering the digital realm is no longer just a topic that matters to “digital native” organizations. Rather, incumbent businesses and their inherently non-digital business and operating models are also facing the need to step into the digital realm. Consequently, more and more organizations seek guidance not only on what to digitalize, but rather on how to approach this step. At the same time, in light of both social (e.g., scandals related to data leakages) and political pressures (e.g., regulatory advances such as the European Union’s GDPR and AI act initiatives), this how-question is not simply a procedural one but has become one related to norms and values. In effect, key actors in corporations – from their executives to their employees – seek guidance on what norms and values define good behaviors in an increasingly digitalized world and ramp up their efforts to devise governance approaches that ensure corporate behaviors that comply with these norms across levels. Studying this duality and developing relevant insight to inform managerial practice and policymaking are at the heart of the emergent discourse on corporate digital responsibility (CDR).

This full-day workshop on the Future of CDR makes use of a unique opportunity presented by the fact that the conference’s theme brings together a variety of CDR stakeholders who share an interest in digital responsibility. Leveraging the momentum built by the conference’s various inputs (e.g., the research projects presented), the workshop seeks to serve as an extension that offers an additional opportunity to reflect on and synthesize impressions from the main conference and further develop them in two regards: (a) strengthening and expanding the research community on corporate digital responsibility and (b) developing a specific research agenda to guide and inspire this community as it processes the main conference’s implications.

In pursuit of this two-fold goal, the proposed workshop consists of three parts. Our journey starts with a panel in which we invite CDR stakeholders to share their industry, society, and policy perspectives on the topic and provide session participants with insights regarding recent efforts and initiatives. This will allow us to expand the overview of recent research accomplishments with relevant complementary perspectives. In effect, this part of the workshop allows participants to build an understanding of current challenges and emergent opportunities related to CDR.

Complementary to this, workshop participants are provided with first insights into the results of a pre-conference activity in which representatives of various research streams within the Wirtschaftsinformatik community are asked to provide input on what digital responsibility means for research and practice in their fields. This will sketch out the opportunities and challenges the CDR community faces in terms of making meaningful contributions to the field.

The momentum built up by these first two parts will then carry the workshop into its third part in which we engage participants in an interactive workshop that builds a roadmap of current CDR-related research opportunities and facilitates the building of a research community that commits to pursuing these ideas. Participants will reflect on the inputs provided by the first two parts in light of the early conceptual and discursive structures that currently emerge in the CDR community. Complementarily, workshop participants are also invited to consider the methodological implications and challenges that an expanding research practice on CDR will likely face. This part of the workshop will also give participants an opportunity to share their own experiences and recent projects and explore common interests. The format is designed to capture any emergent thinking inspired by the main conference and further supports and substantiates its long-term impacts.

Part three consolidates the workshop’s ideation processes by pulling together a research roadmap. This provides a key crystallization point for the CDR discourse moving forward and will help to inspire new research ideas.

Intended target group: The proposed workshop is open to all interested parties, even though its focus on developing a research agenda makes it particularly suited for an academic audience. We welcome CDR researchers from all backgrounds and at all levels. To ensure that the workshop’s efforts adequately reflect the perspectives of relevant stakeholders, we encourage students and industry participants to join too.

The workshop offers 15-20 spots.

Workshop date

Thursday 21.09.2023, 10:30 a.m. until approx. 4:00 p.m.

Submissions & Proceedings

No submissions are planned for the workshop, and there will be no publication of contributions in the conference proceedings. However, the results of the workshop will be processed in a structured manner and made available to the public as a collaborative working paper.


Lara Lobschat

Universität Maastricht, l​.​lobschat​@​​maastricht​university​.​nl

Benjamin Müller

Universität Bremen,

Nikolaus Obwegeser

Berner Fachhochschule,