Whatever an organisation’s form, there is always a way to embed purpose. This cluster of Responsible Business research initiatives examines purpose through differing lenses, deepening our understanding of what business is, and what business should be, over the coming decades.

The Ownership Project at Oxford Saïd

Women in a conference

Examining ownership and corporate purpose

Our work explores how ownership relates to the endurance, value, and conduct of corporations, funded by the Ford Foundation.

Mutuality in Business

Mutuality in Business Forum

The adoption and impact of mutuality metrics

A collaborative project with the Mars Corporation exploring mutuality as a new principle for organising business. 

Our research explores the concept of mutuality in business and develops a business management theory for The Economics of Mutuality, teaching curricula, new management practices, and business case studies.

Changing conceptions of corporate purpose

Man in foyer

Our work explores how the idea of 'corporate purpose' itself has shifted in content and impact over several decades.

Launched in 2015, in collaboration with the Beacon Institute EY Global, our work is part of a broader research initiative at Oxford to unpick the key issues in 21st century stakeholder capitalism and responsible leadership, in collaboration with corporate partners and in the service of world-leading executive education.

Corporate sustainability reporting


Who should be responsible for setting standards for nonfinancial information?

In a world of disruptive economic change, with unprecedented challenges from global warming, social inequality and corporate governance, how best can capital markets receive the information they need to function properly? The notion that corporate sustainability reporting should be mandated and standardised by the US Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board for it to be most useful for investors, will be debated on the 11th December at the Oxford Union.

Download the Green Paper.

We present regular seminars on responsible business during the academic year.

If you are a Saïd Business School student, faculty or staff and would like to attend any of the seminars, contact Helen Fletcher.