Two important characteristics by which IABS seeks to distinguish itself from other professional organizations in the business & society field are its focus on developmental, not yet fully matured work and the facilitation of contacts between emerging scholars and established thought leaders in this field. Founded in 1990, today IABS has over 300 members worldwide from over one hundred universities in more than twenty countries as well as members from various corporations and not-for-profit organizations.
IABS’s Research Domain covers the various aspects of the interface between management and the social political dynamics of the surrounding society. It includes, among others, research on corporate social responsibility and performance, emerging social issues for business, business ethics, environmental affairs, and business and government relations.
IABS organizes Annual Conferences, which meet in countries around the globe. The conference is intended as an assessable forum, in which new ideas can be tested, which need not necessarily be crystallized as full papers. Instead submissions are done in the form of five-page abstracts laying out an original idea or project. Papers presented at the conference are selected through a blind review process, and may be worked up as 12-page summaries published in the Conference Proceedings.
IABS also sponsors Business & Society, the only peer-reviewed scholarly journal devoted entirely to research, discussion, and analysis on the relationship between business and society.
IABS is guided by a Board of Directors, headed by the President. It includes the following elected positions: President, Immediate Past President, President-Elect, Conference Chair, Conference Chair-Elect, and six Representatives-at-Large. The membership elects two members of the Nominating Committee each year, who serve in addition to the President, Immediate Past President, and President-Elect. The membership also elects two members of the Best Paper Award Committee. The President appoints a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Newsletter Editor who normally serve three-year terms. The President also appoints a Best Paper Award Committee Chair, an Audit Committee Chair, and a Membership Committee Chair annually; all three of these chairs each select two additional members for their committees. The Fellows elect a member of their number to serve as their IABS Board Representative for a three-year term. The Board contracts with a Journal Editor for Business and Society, IABS sponsored publication, for a three-year term. The Board also selects a Proceedings Editor to serve a three-year term. Elected members of the Board, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Fellows Representative, and all three Editors (BAS, Newsletter, and Proceedings) attend Board meetings; Committee Chairs may be requested to attend as well.
IABS’s articles of association are laid out in its Constitution and Bylaws. Changes to the Constitution and Bylaws are to be approved by the annual business meeting.
Senior members are eligible to be elected to the IABS Fellows, which functions as a form of institutional memory and provides a structure for fostering relationships with emerging scholars.