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News from BEQ

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Journal Awards

During this year’s virtually convened annual meeting of SBE in August we presented this year’s award for outstanding article published in BEQ in 2019. Nominations come from editors of the journal, and the selection was made by a committee of associate editors, which this year included Jerry Goodstein, Kelly Martin, and Juliane Reinecke. 

The outstanding article award winner is“Weeding Out Flawed Versions of Shareholder Primacy: A Reflection on the Moral Obligations That Carry Over from Principals to Agents” (BEQ 29[4], 519-544) authored by Santiago Mejia. This article challenges current thinking about and advocates for a middle ground approach to shareholder primacy, doing so with thoughtful and compelling arguments. As one committee member put it, “it is difficult to imagine a more fundamental topic in business ethics research.”

The award committee elected to honor two runner-up articles. One is “Can Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives Improve Global Supply Chains? Improving Deliberative Capacity with a Stakeholder Orientation” (BEQ 29[3], 385-412) by Vivek Soundararajan, Jill A. Brown, and Andrew C. Wicks. These authors bring together work on MSIs, deliberative democracy, and stakeholder theory in a way that informs empirical and well as theoretical research in areas such as political philosophy, global governance, international management, and political CSR. The other runner-up article is “Paying People to Risk Life or Limb” (BEQ 29[3], 295-316) by Robert C. Hughes. This is a timely and highly relevant article in light of the risks that essential workers have been taking in the current pandemic. Hughes develops normative arguments regarding the ethics of offering hazard pay that are clear, well-ground, and persuasive.

As we do each year, at the virtual SBE conference we also recognized a colleague who has served as an exemplary reviewer for BEQ over a period of recent years. The outstanding reviewer award spotlights the essential contributions that reviewers make to the journal’s ongoing success. This year we presented the award to Niki den Nieuwenboer (University of Kansas), an editorial board member whose reviews are consistently outstanding: thorough and constructive, with thoughtful advice for the both author and editor. As we congratulate Niki, I also take this opportunity to thank everyone in our scholarly orbit who continues to contribute energy and expertise serving as manuscript referees. I am impressed with the extent of improvement we see in papers on their path from submission to publication that is directly attributable to the prodigious efforts of our reviewers. 


Journal Metrics

Each summer brings updates to citation metrics intended to summarize academic impact of scholarly journals. The new numbers from Clarivate’s Journal Citation Reports put BEQ’s five-year impact factor at 4.116, which ranks fifth among fifty-five journals in ethics across disciplines and professional fields. Our latest Scopus CiteScore of 4.9 ranks BEQ fourth out of more than six-hundred journals in philosophy. Nice though it is to share numbers that put the journal in a favorable light, it is important to keep in mind that these and other citation metrics draw too much attention in relation to their precision and validity. To the extent that universities and other academic entities pay attention to them, they risk overreliance in processes involving funding, appointment, and promotion. As an ethics journal we should be especially mindful of how these metrics can distort rather than assist the identification of what qualifies as premier scholarship. We are fortunate that BEQ’s publisher, Cambridge University Press, is committed to fostering better practices in the evaluation of research and journal prestige that limit reliance on citation metrics of questionable value.


Special Issue Submission Window Coming

Over the summer the journal announced a call-for-submissions to an upcoming special issue of BEQ on the topic Socio-Technological Conditions of Organized Immaturity in the Twenty-First Century. The call invites prospective authors to “consider the role of (business) organizations and organizing in both control and emancipation of the individual in business and society, and to analyze possible ethical implications.” The full call appeared in the July issue of the journal, and can also be accessed through BEQ’s website here. Manuscripts in response to this call can be submitted during the window opening March 31, 2021, and closing May 31, 2021. 


Bruce Barry

Editor in Chief


BEQ, published by Cambridge University Press, is the official journal of the Society for Business Ethics.
For more information contact the editor at

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