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Calls for Papers

Industrial Marketing Management: Unethical, controversial, and illegal corporate practices in the business-to-business market

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Call for Papers

Unethical, controversial, and illegal corporate practices in the business-to-business market

Deadline for submission: August 1, 2025

Overview and purpose of the special issue
Internationally or unintentionally, firms across countries and industries engage in unethical, controversial, and even illegal and fraudulent activities (Gurrieri, Brace-Govan, & Cherrier, 2016; Khanna, Kim, & Lu, 2015; Stäbler & Fischer, 2020). A case in point is British Petroleum’s recent withdrawal of a misleading advertising campaign after it was accused of greenwashing by the popular media (www. Business-to-business firms may engage in such deviant corporate practices in all spheres of their business operations, such as Marketing (e.g., deceptive advertising, product overclaim, price manipulation, brand transgression), Environmental Management (greenwashing), outsourcing and supply chain (use of child labor, exploitation of cheap labor), Finance and Accounting (Tax avoidance, earnings management). While some prior studies have examined some types of corporate malpractices in a broader context (Clark, Riera, & Iborra, 2022; Stäbler & Fischer, 2020; Alcadipani & de Oliveira Medeiros, 2020), this topic remains surprisingly under-researched in the context of business-to-business market. Notably, compared to the burgeoning literature on responsible business practices, literature on irresponsible and unethical corporate practices received relatively less research attention in the context of business-to-business market. While a few studies explored this topic in a business-to-business market context (e.g., Vangeli, Małecka, Mitręga, & Pfajfar, 2023; Anand, Bowen, Spivack, Vessal, & Rangarajan, 2023; Guo, Wang, Hwang, Jin, & Zhou, 2022; Khan & Kamal, 2021), the extant stock of knowledge remains scant and fragmented, however. In particular, the antecedents and consequences of deviant corporate practices of business-to-business firms have received little research attention, resulting in a limited understanding of this significant phenomenon. This special issue is aimed at enhancing the existing stock of knowledge pertaining to business-to-business firms’ unethical, controversial, and illegal corporate practices.


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