Visiting Scholar in Strategy and Innovation
Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street
Ray is an expert on structure and strategy within transnational corporations (TNCs), on political and technological development within emerging economies, and on the future of knowledge occupations in a global context.
His research projects have looked at issues relating to the family-controlled firm and the emergence of new forms of corporate social responsibility (CSR), particularly since the Millennium Social Contract initiated by the UN in 2000. He has also investigated issues relating to technology transfer from European multinationals to Asia, human resources management in the multinational enterprise and the future role of professional associations in a global economy.
Among many public appointments, Ray has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Bologna, Italy; a Trustee and Council Member of the Tavistock Institute, London; and a member of the United Nations Working Party on Financial Failure in the ASEAN Region, New York. He was formerly Chief Editor and a member of the Editorial Management Committee of Human Relations and is a founder member of many professional associations related to his work, including the British Academy of Management and the European Academy of Management.
Ray’s varied career spans aviation engineering and local government as well as academia, with an initial focus on community and social enterprise. He became a full-time academic in the mid-1960s, initially as a lecturer at the London School of Economics and London Business School. In 1973 he became Professor in Manpower Studies at Aston University, where he was subsequently Head of the Strategic Management Division and Director of Aston Business School Research Institute. Ray joined Saïd Business School as Leverhulme Research Fellow in 1998.
Ray is also a Permanent Senior Common Room Member and Supernumerary Lecturer at Brasenose College, Oxford. He is Professor Emeritus at Aston University, and holds current Visiting Professorships at Doshisha University, Kyoto, the British University in Egypt, Cairo, and the Beijing Institute of Technology.
- human resources management in the multinational enterprise
- global and international regulation
- corporate social responsibility
- the future role of professional associations
- technology transfer
Ray has a DLitt from Cambridge University, an MA/BA (Economics Tripos) from Cambridge, an MSc in Industrial Relations from the London School of Economics, and a Dip Pol Econ Sci from Ruskin College, Oxford.
Ray’s research has focused on the development of different national business systems in relation to three major forces:
- The family-controlled firm
- Foreign direct investment and the political relationship of the transnational corporation with host governments and local elites
- The emergence of global and international agencies as both regulators and interpreters of regulations at local level
View Ray's research.
Ray has taught at all programme levels within the School since his arrival in 1998.
Most recently, this has been in undergraduate tutorials and doctoral supervision, both up to 2012. He directed the MSc (Management Research) in the School over 2002–06, and taught courses on Comparative National Business Systems and on Strategic Innovation Systems.
Ray has also engaged in several overseas MBA programmes, most recently as Visiting Professor at Doshisha Business School and also as Visiting Professor at the British University in Egypt and the Beijing Institute of Technology.
When appropriate, Ray uses videoed role play scripted by outlines of real life cases, something he pioneered at London Business School in the 1970s and used to stimulate learning in labour management, internal strategic planning and inter-firm relations. His goal is to emphasise that all strategy leads to un-forecastable outcomes. It is important to gain an understanding of the reasoning behind the decision from all affected stakeholders if the strategy is to be adjusted as it unfolds. To do that one should use agenda that include the various competing logics brought to the table and also stretch to those that have to implement the strategy in the varying local contexts in which they have to be operationalised. Apart from gaining commitment this will also ensure that the feedback on its operationability is reliable and not just meeting bureaucratic targets that have become completely dysfunctional.