CfP: Organizing Organization for Responsible Innovation in Asia

Special Issue - Asia Pacific Journal of Management

Organizing Organization for Responsible Innovation in Asia

Guest Editors:

Sanjay Kumar Singh, Ph.D.
School of Business, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Ireland

Manlio Del Giudice, Ph.D.
University of Rome “Link Campus”, Rome, Italy

Arvind Malhotra, Ph.D.
Kenan-Flagler Business School, The University of North Carolina at Chapel HillUSA

Ann Majchrzak, Ph. D.
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Background and focus
Responsible innovation (RI) refers to taking interest in future through collaborative management of science and innovation in the present context (Stilgoe, Owen & Macnaghten, 2013). RI has focused on socio-ecological needs & challenges and committed to continuously engage relevant stakeholders to anticipate potential problems, mutual learning and improved decision-making (Wickson & Carew, 2014). Thus, the technological innovation needs to have any harmful consequences for the well-being the society and the environment at large (Swierstra & Jelsma, 2006). However, the evidences suggest for time lag between development of technology & understanding their positive & negative impacts, if any, on the health and the environment (Owen, Baxter, Maynard, Depledge, 2009). This suggests the need to invest in technological forecasting (Deuten, Rip & Jelsma, 1997) to minimize if any, the harmful effects of technological innovation. At the same time, we also find a mention of the inherent limitations associated with the regulatory frameworks and the risk management techniques to minimize the harmful consequence of technological innovation. To overcome these limitations, it has been suggested that the actors engaged in technological innovation act virtuously to realize the idea of responsible innovation (Pandza & Ellwood, 2013). Therefore, the business organization engaging in the process, service, & product innovation(s) while leveraging scientific research and technological developments in the field should be responsible for its potential negative consequences, if any, on the human being, the society, and the planet. In other words, responsible innovation asks agents involved in technology innovation to follow regulatory & societal rules, norms, and principles (Pandza & Ellwood, 2013).

The collective role of innovators and/or innovating organization(s), especially as social actors, needs to be responsive to each other from ethical, sustainable and societal desirability perspectives.  Responsible innovation is not a new concern but remains an important theme of research and innovation practice with different framing across the time and the place (Genus & Stirling, 2018; Stilgoe et al., 2013). The literature on responsibilities, risk, and governance of science & technology goes back many years (Jonas, 1984). However, the four key dimensions of responsible innovation - anticipation, reflexivity, inclusion, and responsiveness (Stilgoe et al. 2013), require a fresh thinking and requires unpacking of theorizing responsible innovation in the context of organizing innovation-focused organizations in to address the triple bottom line (i.e., the people, the profit, and the planet) so as to satisfy concerns of all relevant stakeholders.

According to Stilgoe et al. (2013), anticipation (i.e., the systematic proactive thinking for socially robust risk research), reflexivity (i.e., the moral responsibility that asks for openness and leadership), the inclusion (i.e., inclusion of all impacted stakeholders), and the responsiveness (i.e., addressing grand societal challenges) is required for the governance of science & innovation. Extant literature suggests that organizations with focus on responsible innovation deploy innovative structures to engage with its stakeholders (Malhotra, Majchrzak & Niemiec, 2017), practices environmentally focused HRM practices (Singh, Del Giudice, Chierici & Graziano, 2020). Furthermore, the previous literature suggest responsible innovation to depend upon corporate ethical policies (Singh, Chen, Del Giudice & El-Kassar, 2019), use knowledge management tools (Santoro, Thrassou, Bresciani & Del Giudice, 2019) and proactively addressing the dark side of innovative business model (Malhotra & Van Alstyne, 2014).

Having said that, we know little about how to organize organization in Asian context to have reflexive character, engage in inclusive dialogues with key stakeholders, and be responsive to both present and future grand societal challenges. Similarly, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) argues for “most critical shift” necessary to attain ambitious 2030 Agenda that calls for integration of ‘people’, ‘planet’, and ‘prosperity’ components of sustainable development “in and through” science, technology and innovation (STI) policy (UNESCAP, 2016). UNESCAP (2016) makes it a point for the Governments in Asia and Pacific region of the world to institutionalize action-orientated STI programs in sync with the development strategies to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Of course, it goes without saying that organizations across industry in Asia are mandated to organize themselves in a manner suited well to integrate ‘people’, ‘planet’, and ‘prosperity’ components of sustainable development goals of the UN through responsible innovation. In other words, the UNESCAP (2016) calls for contextualized management research with Asia relevance towards global contribution to scholarship on responsible innovation. Therefore, while building on bridging policy studies and innovation (Kern et al. 2019), digital transformation of innovation (Nambisan et al. 2019), inter-organizational relationship (Zhou, Wu & Li, 2019) and the bright & dark-side of political ties (Wang, Zhang, & Shou, 2019), this special issue focuses on questions that investigate how to organize an organization for responsible innovation in Asia. Adding to policy issues and digital transformation related to innovation, this special issue also aims to explore governance issues related to responsible innovation in Asia. Possible questions that this special issue intends to explore, but is not limited to, are:

  • Does responsible innovation in an organization in Asia require responsible leadership across all the levels and the functions to be responsive to the grand societal challenges? And, if so, what kind of leadership is required for responsible innovation in organization in Asian context?
  • How can an organization in Asia reinforce a shift in responsible thinking amongst the actors wherein they reflexively and proactively consider what not do to more responsibly, going beyond just focusing on what to do, especially when it comes to the design of processes and products?
  • How should an organization be organized in Asia to absorb creative tension between technically feasible and societally viable innovation? Should an organization in Asia provide guidelines and frameworks for deployment and use of innovatively designed processes and market offerings to minimize negative societal impacts? What should such guidelines and frameworks be in Asia?
  • How can an organization be organized to anticipate societal impacts and making tradeoffs between commercial interests and societal interests in Asia? What are some of the processes and practices that enable proactively and reflexively making such tradeoffs in Asia?
  • What characterizes responsible HR systems in organization in Asia context to attract, develop, sustain, and retain talented actors who crave for openness and responsible leadership within cultures of science and innovation, especially in a multi-generational workplace, whereby each generation has a different notion of what is responsible innovation?
  • What dynamic capabilities help an organization in Asia to adjust its course of actions in response to new knowledge in the field, emergent viewpoints, and norms, and rapidly changing external context?
  • What kind of leadership and organizational culture develop and sustain systematic thinking to increase resilience, to decipher new opportunities for responsible innovation in Asia and to shape schemas for socially robust risk research?
  • What makes a value-sensitive organization in Asia that encourages the culture of openness and transparency to serve the aim of responsible innovation?   
  • What organizational culture frameworks inculcate and strengthen social, ethical and political stakes of the organization in Asia that accompany techno-scientific advances?
  • What organizational design promotes institutional reflexivity in the governance of science and innovation in Asia?
  • What techno-structural interventions should an organization in Asia engage in to preempt the detrimental consequences of new technologies and new processes on the people and the planet?
  • Which organizational design in Asia encourages and sustains continuous engagement with relevant stakeholders and even inclusion of “non-experts” on scientific advisory boards with a clear purpose to expand the inputs to and delivery of governance of science and innovation?

Submission Processes & Deadline:

  • The paper submission deadline is June 30, 2021.
  • Submissions be prepared as per Asia Pacific Journal of Management (APJM) submission guidelines:
  • All submission to undergo APJM’s standard reviews & revisions after initial scree by the Guest Editors.


Deuten, J.J., Rip, A., & Jelsma, J. 1997. Societal embedding and product creation management. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 9(2): 131-148.
Genus, A., & Stirling, A. 2018. Collingridge and the dilemma of control: Towards responsible and accountable innovation. Research Policy47(1), 61-69.
Jonas, H. 1984. The imperative of responsibility: In search of an ethics for the technological age. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Kern, F., Rogge, K. S., & Howlett, M. 2019. Policy mixes for sustainability transitions: New approaches and insights through bridging innovation and policy studies. Research Policy, 48(10), 103832.
Malhotra, A., & Van Alstyne, M. 2014. The dark side of the sharing economy… and how to lighten it. Communications of the ACM, 57(11): 24-27.
Malhotra, A., Majchrzak, A., & Niemiec, R. M. 2017. Using public crowds for open strategy formulation: mitigating the risks of knowledge gaps. Long Range Planning, 50(3): 397-410.
Nambisan, S., Wright, M., & Feldman, M. 2019. The digital transformation of innovation and entrepreneurship: Progress, challenges and key themes. Research Policy, 48(8): 103773.
Owen, R., Baxter, D., Maynard, T., Depledge, M. 2009. Beyond regulation: risk pricing and responsible innovation. Environmental Science & Technology, 43(14): 6902–6906.
Pandza, K., & Ellwood, P. 2013. Strategic and ethical foundations for responsible innovation. Research Policy42(5): 1112-1125.
Santoro, G., Thrassou, A., Bresciani, S., & Del Giudice, M. 2019. Do knowledge management and dynamic capabilities affect ambidextrous entrepreneurial intensity and firms’ performance?. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.
Singh, S. K., Chen, J., Del Giudice, M., & El-Kassar, A. N. 2019. Environmental ethics, environmental performance, and competitive advantage: Role of environmental training. Technological Forecasting and Social Change146: 203-211.
Singh, S. K., Del Giudice, M., Chierici, R., & Graziano, D. 2020. Green innovation and environmental performance: The role of green transformational leadership and green human resource management. Technological Forecasting and Social Change150, 119762.
Stilgoe, J., Owen, R., & Macnaghten, P. 2013. Developing a framework for responsible innovation. Research Policy42(9): 1568-1580.Swierstra, T., & Jelsma, J. 2006. Responsibility without moralism in technoscientific design practice. Science, Technology, & Human Values31(3): 309-332.
United Nation Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP 2016). Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Bangkok, Thailand. Available at (accessed May 12, 2020).  
Wang, T., Zhang, T., & Shou, Z. 2019. The double-edged sword effect of political ties on performance in emerging markets: The mediation of innovation capability and legitimacy. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 1-28.
Wickson, F., & Carew, A. L. (2014). Quality criteria and indicators for responsible research and innovation: Learning from transdisciplinarity. Journal of Responsible Innovation1(3): 254-273.
Zhou, J., Wu, R., & Li, J. 2019. More ties the merrier? Different social ties and firm innovation performance. Asia Pacific Journal of Management36(2), 445-471.

Bio of Guest Editors:

Sanjay Kumar Singh, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Management in College of Business, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). His research interests include HRM, knowledge, innovation, performance, sustainability and ethics. Dr. Singh has published in Journal of Business Research, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Personality and Individual Differences, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Journal of Knowledge Management, International Journal of Information Management, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, and International Marketing Review. He can be reached at

Manlio Del Giudice, Ph. D. is Professor of Management, University of Rome “Link Campus” in Italy. He is affiliated as Research Full Professor of Entrepreneurship and Management at the Paris School of Business, in Paris, France. His research interests include knowledge management, entrepreneurship, Innovation, technology transfer, and cross-cultural management. Professor Del Giudice has published in Journal of World Business, Journal of International Management, Journal of Business Research, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Journal of Knowledge Management, R & D Management, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, The Journal of Technology Transfer, and International Marketing Review. He can be reached at

Arvind Malhotra, Ph.D. is Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Kenan-Flagler Business School, The University of North Carolina at Chapel HillUSA. His area of research focus on crafting innovation problems, open innovation approaches, crowd creativity, crowdsourcing for innovation, using crowds to solve complex societal problems and the future of work. Dr. Malhotra’s research has been published in leading academic journals such as Harvard Business ReviewSloan Management ReviewAcademy of Management Perspectives, Information Systems ResearchMIS Quarterly, Journal of Service ResearchJournal of Services MarketingJournal of Academy of Marketing SciencesManufacturing and Service Operations ManagementJournal of Management Information SystemsJournal of Knowledge Management and Communications of the ACM. He can be reached at

Ann Majchrzak, Ph.D. is Professor of Data Science and Operations at USC Marshall School of Business, CA, USA. She researches on knowledge integration, digital and open innovation. Dr. Majchrzak has been published in MIS Quarterly, Journal of Management Information System, Academy of Management Perspectives, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Discoveries, Organization Science, Human Resource Management, California Management Review, Sloan Management Review, and Long Range Planning. She can be reached at