Call for Papers: Futures Imagined

Navigating Entrepreneurship, Digitalization, and Sustainability in Contemporary Business Research

Co-Edited by

Monika Imschloß
Markus Reihlen
Matthias Wenzel (all Lüneburg, Leuphana University)
Thomas Gehrig (Vienna University)

In conjunction with the Conference of the German Academic Association for Business Research (VHB)in Lüneburg, March 6-8, 2024, we invite submissions for a Special Issue focusing on debates in entrepreneurship, digitalization, and sustainability in varying areas of business research, as well as their interrelationships and intersections.

In the evolving landscape of modern business, the nexus of entrepreneurship, digitalization, and sustainability emerges as a crucial domain, demanding rigorous exploration, nuanced understanding, and impactful advice for business practice. Together, this nexus connects three central pillars of contemporary business transformation, ones that define difficult-to-challenge aims (sustainability) as well as broadly diffused, pervasive, and promising media (digitalization) and mechanisms of change (entrepreneurship) for achieving these aims. This nexus raises important questions such as:

• How does the transition towards a more sustainable society affect the purpose of an organization and vice versa?
• How can achieving sustainability goals be fostered, accelerated, or thwarted by digitalization as a medium and entrepreneurship as a change mechanism?
• How do or should ambitions toward greater sustainability change prevalent understandings of how entrepreneurship and digitalization should be pursued?
• How can we, as business research scholars, organize ourselves to discuss, understand, and advance explanations of these dynamics across boundaries, demarcating different fields of business research?
• How can the business research community inform business practice with rigorous understandings and explanations of these dynamics?

This special issue invites scholars to inquire about these or other questions regarding the interconnections and interplays of the three aforementioned pillars of contemporary business transformation. In line with the conference’s distinctive spirit to foster debates across business disciplines, we seek contributions reflecting important debates and insightful exchanges, deviating from the traditional pathways of traditional research paper submissions. In doing so, this Special Issue wants to position innovative dialogues and unconventional academic discourses front and center. For this, we introduce two types of paper formats: “curated” and “essay”. All contributions should clearly address the outlined questions and should challenge or encourage debates around the role of entrepreneurship, digitalization, and sustainability in contemporary business transformation and/or ways for the business research community to discuss and address them.

Curated Submissions

We invite submissions of curated manuscripts focused on entrepreneurship, digitalization, and/or sustainability and/or ways for the business research community to address them, aiming to foster vibrant discussions on emerging issues and innovative approaches within these domains. Curated submissions assemble a collection that portrays a multifaceted academic conversation on these issues, reflecting their pivotal roles in contemporary business transformation (approx. length 13,000 words). Note: A Curated submission typically comprises a collection of 3-5 shorter manuscripts concentrically aligned to a specific topic or theme.

Essay Submissions

Showcasing intellectual discussions shaping, understanding, altering, and enriching the realms of entrepreneurship, digitalization, and/or sustainability and/or ways for the business research community to address them within the broader spectrum of management disciplines. Essay submissions offer a platform for sharing thoughtful and thoroughly crafted perspectives on these issues, encouraging a rich discourse enriched by an academic, well-grounded position and reflection (approx. length 8,000 words). Note: Literature reviews or conventional theory papers will not be considered for this special collection but can be submitted as independent stand-alone publications.

Submission Guidelines and Deadlines

When preparing your submission, please check the Schmalenbach Journal of Business Research website for style requirements and paper length guidelines:

Manuscript submission for the review process will be made to the Editorial Manager of Springer. Please mention explicitly “Special Issue – VHB 2024” in the comment section.

Submission deadline: September 30, 2024

First reports committed before: January 31, 2025

Final revisions due: October 31, 2025

Expected publication date: Spring 2026

Inquiries on the Special Issue should be sent by email to the Schmalenbach Journal of Business Research Guest Co-editors

• Monika Imschloß (
• Markus Reihlen (
• Matthias Wenzel (,
or the Editor-in-Chief
• Thomas Gehrig ( .