Call for Papers: Leading Wellbeing in Rural Contexts

Papers are now being invited for inclusion in a special edition of the Journal of Corporate Citizenship. Issue 68, which will be published in December 2017, will focus on ‘Leading Wellbeing in Rural Contexts’ and addresses the question: ‘What are the unique challenges of rurality for communities and businesses, and how can we address them?’.

Worldwide, 46% of the population are classified as rural [1], although there is considerable variation across developing and developed countries. There are related demographical challenges which are impacted by the availability of, and access to, services. These challenges are complex but the combined effect of positive migration to rural areas of people at older ages and net out-migration of younger people is an established trend in OECD countries that inevitably results in population ageing [2]. Moreover, an ageing population can stretch the community’s ability to provide skilled care, transportation, appropriate housing and social activities, services and opportunities that are often in short supply in rural areas regardless of their age composition.” [2]

There is some limited discussion, although a lack of detailed literature, on the role of the voluntary and third sector in rural communities, with some indication that their role is different – and possibly more significant – than in urban areas.

Business-community relations in rural contexts (and the particular challenges of service delivery) is an emerging academic field, in which the literature is disparate across many disciplines and sectors but rural businesses cannot be immune from the issues identified.  Questions then arise over how they impact in terms of recruitment or the welfare of employees and their families.

From an international perspective, it may be that the solutions to rural issues, if not the issues themselves, are different in developed and developing countries. In the broad field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), such differences are in evidence at a global level (North-South) and within countries (urban-rural divide) [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. Developed countries seem to seek to apply or adapt an urban service within a rural context.  Alternatively, developing countries build services fit for rural contexts from scratch, because there is often no legacy urban infrastructure to adapt. An example of this is the progress of digital services using mobile communications to provide healthcare, social and legal services in developing countries. As fixed line telephony was (and continues to be) limited, these rural areas have gone straight to a mobile solution and often have more sophisticated digital services as a result. [9] Alternatively, many rural areas in developed countries experience poor internet connectivity.

The model for rural corporate citizenship or CSR may vary too, ranging in developing countries from one-off financial donations to meet specific, urgent needs, to large telecommunication corporates sponsoring major development projects where there is an opportunity for them to be involved in building the infrastructure. These compare to a greater reliance on volunteering in developed economies. Explorations and evidence of these questions is limited, offering an opportunity for review articles and early stage work within this special issue.

There is an emerging understanding of the key differences between rural and urban services, the importance of context, place and community [10], and the need to harness input from the private, voluntary and third sectors more effectively. It may be that it is necessary to discover and develop a way to deliver rural services differently, recognising limitations of the geopolitical context and supporting people to create a new paradigm that is community based, rather than service based.


We would welcome contributions of case studies, literature reviews and in-depth research articles to this Special Issue. Possible research explorations may include but are not restricted to:

  • Analysis of issues and associated solutions with regards to rural services, infrastructure and related technological challenges
  • Understanding the role of different sectors and cross-sector collaboration in the design and delivery of rural services and infrastructure
  • Reviewing workforce development issues and solutions
  • Case studies of innovative rural service design and delivery

This Call for Papers was launched on 1 November at the ‘Leading Wellbeing in Rural Contexts’ conference at the University of Cumbria, Ambleside. Organised jointly by Brathay Trust and University of Cumbria, this one-day conference turned the spotlight on the unique challenges presented in supporting wellbeing in an environment where public, private and voluntary sector providers are professionally isolated. .

Types of Articles

In addition to articles linking the theory and practice of corporate citizenship, the JCC also encourages innovative or creative submissions. Innovative submissions can highlight issues of corporate citizenship from a critical perspective, enhance practical or conceptual understanding of corporate citizenship, or provide new insights or alternative perspectives on the realities of corporate citizenship in today’s world. Innovative submissions might include: critical perspectives and controversies, photography, essays, poetry, drama, reflections, and other innovations that help bring corporate citizenship to life for management practitioners and academics alike.

For this Special Issue we are interested in longer more analytical, theoretical and applied articles, case studies and review articles that examine the literature within different fields and compare and contrast diverse standpoints, contexts and experiences. Shorter items such as project reports, research in progress and book reviews would also be welcomed.

In addition, we welcome Turning Points which are commentaries, controversies, new ideas, essays and insights that we hope will be provocative and engaging, raise the important issues of the day and provide observations yet to be the subject of empirical and theoretical studies.

We are open to a wide range of contributors. We encourage submissions from academics as well as practitioners working in the public, private and the voluntary sectors from diverse geographical, cultural and political contexts.


Authors should send an abstract of approximately 300 words to: no later than 31 January 2017.
Those selected for the Special Issue will be asked to submit completed papers of between 4,000-6,000 via the JCC online author submission system no later than 31 May 2017.

For more information, see the JCC author guidelines at

  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: 31 January 2017
  • Full paper submissions: 31 May 2017
  • Revised paper submissions: 31 August 2017
  • Publish: December 2017

The issue will publish as the Journal of Corporate Citizenship 68 (December 2017). JCC is published in print and online formats. It is also included as part of Greenleaf Publishing’s online collections, available at


The Editorial Team
Professor Alison Marshall & Dr Elaine Bidmead, Cumbrian Centre for Health Technologies (CaCHeT), University of Cumbria;
Dr David F. Murphy, Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS), University of Cumbria
Victoria Halliday:

Selected References

  1. World Bank (2016). Rural Population (% of total population). Online at Agriculture & Rural Development Accessed 28.09.16
  1. Brown, D. (2010). Rethinking the OECD’s New Rural Demography. Centre for Rural Economy Discussion Paper Series No. 26. Newcastle University. January 2010. Online at Accessed 13.10.2016
  1. UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (2004). Managing Corporate Social Responsibility for Rural Development in Least Developed Countries. Conference Room Paper, New York: UN Public-Private Alliance for Rural Development. Online at Accessed 10.10.16
  1. Murphy, D.F., & Shah, R. (2004). Enhancing Business-Community Relations: The Role of Volunteers in Promoting Global Corporate Citizenship. Bath, Bonn: New Academy of Business and United Nations Volunteers.
  1. Werna, E., Keivani, R. and Murphy, D.F. (2009). Corporate Social Responsibility and Urban Development: Lessons from the South. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  1. Visser, W (2008). Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries. in Crane, A. et al (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Pres, pp. 473-499. Online at Accessed 10.10.16
  1. Pradhan, S. and Akhilesh Ranjan, A. (2010). Corporate Social Responsibility in Rural Development Sector: Evidences from India. In School of Doctoral Studies European Union Journal. Issue 2, 139-147. Online at Accessed 10.10.16
  1. Arato, M., Speelman, S. and Van Huylenbroeck, G. (2016). Corporate Social Responsibility Applied for Rural Development: An Empirical Analysis of Firms from the American Continent. 8 (1) 102; doi:10.3390/su8010102. Special Issue, 5th World Sustainability Forum – Selected Papers. Accessed 10.10.16
  1. Pew Research Centre (2014). Emerging Nations Embrace Internet, Mobile Technology. Survey Report, Washington, DC: Pew Research Centre. Online at Accessed: 12.10.16
  1. Michael Mustafa, M., Scholes, L., Ramos, H.M., and Man, T.W.Y. (Eds.) (2016). International Journal of Management Practice. Special Issue on the Role of Context in Understanding Asian Family Firms, Vol. 9 (4). Online at Accessed 25.10.16

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s