Responsible business

Contributing to a sustainable business agenda

Woodland

We have an interdisciplinary approach to the questions of responsible business.

Business in the 21st century is not just about making money. We emphasis business’s responsibility for the social well-being of employees and communities, and for the natural environment.

This responsibility is known by many names – corporate social responsibility, inclusive capitalism and the purposeful company – but here we have gathered them under the banner of ‘responsible business’.

Doing business responsibly is not just the reserve of start-ups and tech firms, but it applies across the board, from global multinationals and major public-private partnerships to traditional manufacturing and service firms. This is of global and immediate significance, and it works. 

Colin Mayer

Colin Mayer MBE on creating positive change through responsible business practice

Levers for change

The Skoll Centre is an internationally renowned social impact centre. It seeks to maximise the impact of social entrepreneurship to transform unjust or unsatisfactory systems or practices around the world and address critical social and environmental challenges.

In another area, the CRESSI research project explored how the economic underpinnings of social innovation can enhance the lives of the most marginalised and disempowered citizens in society.

Furthermore, entrepreneurs participating in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme implement business innovations that consistently grow their company revenues, creating jobs at rates that outperform the broader economy, in addition to making behavioural changes that promote a new approach to doing business.

Metrics that matter

Our world-class Corporate Taxation and Corporate Reputation centres advise and coach high-level policymakers, leading global organisations and multinationals to ensure that their approach to business enhances productivity without sacrificing integrity or accountability to customers and shareholders. 

How can companies improve their performance and long-term returns to investors while, at the same time, promoting the interests of communities, employees, the environment and natural capital? Research projects such as Mutuality in Business and The Oxford Ownership Project look at how to improve company performance using metrics beyond making money – those that recognise plural interests and common interdependencies. 

I am heartened by looking at the firms that are taking positive action in order to address some of these issues; that are worried about people, planet and profit at the same time.

Peter Tufano

Peter Moores Dean and Professor of Finance

New ways to lead

How do companies and business leaders negotiate the challenges and opportunities of new ways of working? Our academics, working with colleagues across Oxford, are global thought leaders on the topic. We integrate change-making new management theory with experience from practitioners in the field to produce transformational teaching programmes that will significantly enhance the performance of the firms, partnerships and individuals that participate in them.

From megaproject management and major project leadership through to Executive, MBA and diploma programmes, and on to impact investing, our programmes encourage participants to question the usual management models and ways of thinking, widen their perspectives, and understand their own challenges and capabilities.

Our undergraduate, postgraduate and executive students are challenged to become leaders with purpose and a conscience. They return to the world of business ready to create businesses fit for the 21st century. Furthermore, through our global Oxford Business Alumni Network, participants can further develop their relationship with Oxford and like-minded individuals from across the globe.