Christopher Wickert
Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility, Director VU Business & Society Knowledge Hub

Christopher Wickert is Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as well as Director of the VU Business & Society Knowledge Hub. He is also Research Director at the Department of Management & Organization at VU Amsterdam. His research examines CSR and corporate sustainability as well as the broader relationship between business and society by drawing on various strands of organization and management theory. Christopher's research is generally driven by his interest in how to organize societal transformation towards greater social and ecological sustainability.

Christopher obtained his PhD in Management from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland in 2013. During his doctoral studies, he has also conducted research and taught at University of Zurich, University of St. Gallen and at IESE Business School in Barcelona. Prior to becoming a researcher, he worked as a consultant with the United Nations Global Compact Office in New York. He holds an MSc degree in business administration from WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany.

In his research, Christopher explores different patterns of corporate social responsibility implementation in globally integrated companies, paying particular attention to how firm size influences the way companies organize CSR. Furthermore, Christopher has been studying a range of phenomena under the umbrella of CSR, such as the evolvement and diffusion of CSR standards, the influence of organizational identity orientation on the implementation of CSR practices, or the prevalent mismatch between CSR “talk” and CSR “walk” in small and large firms. Furthermore, he has investigated dynamics at the individual level of analysis by looking at CSR professionals inside large corporations and their concomitant struggles when selling CSR issues intra-organizationally. Christopher is also interested in Critical Management Studies (CMS), philosophy of science, business ethics, and social entrepreneurship. In 2019, he published a book with Cambridge University Press, "Corporate Social Responsibility (Elements in Business Strategy)", which provides a critical introduction to contemporary approaches to CSR.

He is also affiliated with Makerere University Business School in Kampala, Uganda, where he is involved in different research and capacity-building projects that aim to promote local CSR initiatives in rural agricultural value chains, as well as educational reforms in Ugandas higher education sector.

Christopher’s research has appeared in journals such as Academy of Management Discoveries, Business & Society, Harvard Business Review, Human Relations, International Journal of Management Reviews, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Organization & Environment, Organization Studies and Strategic Organiaztion, as well as in several book chapters. He is currently General Editor of the Journal of Management Studies.


Latest Publications:

  1. Wickert, C., & van Witteloostuijn, A. (2022). Taking the P in political corporate social responsibility seriously. Journal of International Business Studies, forthcoming.
  2. Risi, D., & Wickert, C., & Ramus, T. (2022). Coordinated enactment: How organizational departments work together to implement CSR. Business & Society, forthcoming.
  3. Risi, D., Vigneau, L., Bohn, S., & Wickert, C. (2022). Institutional theory-based research on corporate social responsibility: Bringing values back in. International Journal of Management Reviews, forthcoming.
  4. Endenich, C., Hahn, R., Reimsbach, D., & Wickert, C. (2022). Wait-and-see-ism as partial adoption of management practices: The rise and stall of Integrated Reporting. Strategic Organization, forthcoming.
  5. Ruotsalainen, R., Wessel, L., Schildt, H., & Wickert, C. (2022). The social construction of organizational moral failure: An inductive study of stakeholder responses to Nokia’s plant shutdown in Germany. Journal of Business Ethics, forthcoming.
  6. Wickert, C. (2021). Corporate social responsibility research in the Journal of Management Studies: A shift from a business-centric to a society-centric focus. Journal of Management Studies, 58(8), 1-17.
  7. Wickert, C., Post, C., Doh, J., Prescott, J., & Principe, A. (2021). Management research that makes a difference: Broadening the meaning of impact. Journal of Management Studies, 58(2), 297-320.
  8. Wickert, C. (2021). Corporate social responsibility research in the Journal of Management Studies: A shift from a business-centric to a society-centric focus. Journal of Management Studies, 58(8), 1-17.
  9. De Bakker, F.G.A., Matten, D., Spence, L., & Wickert, C. (2020). The elephant in the room: The nascent research agenda on corporations, social responsibility, and capitalism. Business & Society.
  10. Kourula, A., Moon, J., Salles-Djelic, M.-L., & Wickert, C. (2019). New roles of government in the governance of business conduct: Implications for management and organizational research. Organization Studies, 40(8), 1101–1123


  1. Wickert, C., & Risi, D. (2019). Corporate Social Responsibility (Elements in Business Strategy). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  2. Gümüsay, A., Marti, E., Trittin-Ulbrich, H., & Wickert, C. (2022). Organizing for societal grand challenges. Research in the Sociology of Organizations. (edited volume)


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