I am a Professor of Business and Society and the director of the Centre for Business, Organisations and Society (CBOS) at the University of Bath, UK. I am a multi-award winning author and teacher, as well as being a popular speaker and media commentator.
For the past 25 years, I have been examining the changing roles and responsibilities of the corporation in the global economy. I specialise in issues of corporate social responsibility and business ethics, with a particular focus on modern slavery, the political role of business, cross-sector partnerships, and CSR communication.
With over 100 publications, including books, articles, chapters, and reports, I am one of the most widely-cited researchers in responsible business. My goal is to use the power of academic research to drive positive change in the world. At Bath we call this #research4good.
In addition to my academic roles, I am a member of the Transparency in Supply Chains Advisory Group at the Home Office for the UK Government, a founding member of the Data Strategy Board for TISCreport, and since 2017 part of the Development Committee of the Slavery and Trafficking Risk Template (STRT), a free, open-source industry standard template for companies to manage their supply chain risks.
I frequently provide research insights on responsible business to audiences in academia, business, government and civil society. In recent years, many of my speaking engagements have been on the topic of modern slavery in business, as well as corporate social responsibility and CEO activism. I am also a passionate and vocal speaker about engaged scholarship and how to drive real world impact from academic research.
I have given keynote talks on these topics at conferences across the world, including in the UK, USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, India, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, and Spain, among others.
As former journal editor, current editorial board member, and widely published author, I also spend a lot of time supporting others to improve their publishing skills through talks and mentorship at academic professional development workshops.
I have been teaching courses in responsible business for over 20 years. During this time, the issue has moved from the fringe to the mainstream but one thing has never changed - it is fundamental to good business, and to the flourishing of our societies and the planet.
I specialise in teaching highly interactive, small-group classes. I take a problem-based approach to teaching where we start with a social or business problem and then explore how theory and management tools can help to make sense of it and design solutions.
Some of my most memorable experiences in the classroom have been when students have stepped outside to tackle real world problems such as youth homelessness, or confronted the challenges of redeveloping slums. I also always look to bring practitioner insights directly into the classroom, whether it is sustainability professionals, social activists, or convicted fraudsters.
In addition to university teaching, I also design bespoke training events for client organisations. If you are interested to find out more, click below to drop me a line.
Research is at the heart of my work, asking new questions about responsible business and finding creative ways of merging theory and data with practice. For me, research doesn't just give you good answers, it also helps you ask the right questions. I spend most of my time engaged in research looking to inform responses to critical social and environmental issues, such as inequality, climate change, human rights, or modern slavery.
My favourite research projects are those that start with a major societal problem and then I work with other researchers and key stakeholders to decide what the most important questions are that need answering and how we can go about tackling them through rigorous academic research. If you have a problem or a project that you think might benefit from such an approach do click below to contact me with more information.
A range of different funders have supported my research, including the British Academy, the UK Department for International Development, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the UK Economic and Social Sciences Research Council, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Business needs to change to meet the needs of a sustainable society. At the Centre for Business, Organisations and Society, a pathbreaking research centre at the University of Bath, my colleagues and I are helping produce the evidence base we need to get there.