Faculty & Research
The School

Research collaborations across the University

Faculty and researchers at the School are involved in numerous interdisciplinary projects across the whole university network, drawing on the full scope of Oxford’s knowledge and insight, to tackle world-scale problems. Some examples include:

Managing complexity: CABDyN

Complex systems and networks, characterised by large-scale interactions and interdependencies, are a persistent feature of modern life.

The CABDyN Complexity Centre was launched in 2003 to study the structure and dynamics of such systems, bringing together researchers from more than ten departments across the University of Oxford, ranging from the physical, biological and computational sciences to the social, economic and political sciences.

CABDyN stands for Complex Agent-Based Dynamic Networks, where the acronym reflects some of the techniques used to model complex systems and networks. The centre has close links to a number of overlapping and related activities and groups, including the Oxford Martin School, the Networks Cluster at Keble College’s Advanced Studies Centre, the Nuffield Network of Network Researchers (NNNR) at Nuffield College, the Complexity Economics Programme of INET@Oxford, and the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group (SENRG) at the Department of Experimental Psychology.

The centre is co-directed by Felix Reed-Tsochas, James Martin Lecturer in Complex Systems at the Saïd Business School, and Janet Smart, Senior Research Fellow at the Saïd Business School. With a background in theoretical physics, Felix Reed-Tsochas is also Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Complexity and delivers the Managing Complexity course on Oxford’s MBA programme.

Promoting effective global policies on taxation

The Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation is a multidisciplinary research centre, based at the Saїd Business School. It is led by Michael Devereux in close collaboration with the Faculty of Law and the Department of Economics. Judith Freedman, Professor of Tax Law, is the Director of Legal Research in the Centre, and Stephen Bond, Professor of Economics, is one of the Centre’s programme directors. Other Oxford faculty are members of the Centre’s Steering Committee, including Tony Venables, from the Department of Economics, Clare Leaver from the Blavatnik School of Government, and Glen Loutzenhiser from the Law Faculty. The centre aims to promote effective policies for the taxation of business. Its findings are based on rigorous analysis, detailed empirical evidence and in-depth institutional knowledge.

INET Oxford – Leading Edge Multidisciplinary Economic Research

The Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School (INET Oxford) is a multidisciplinary research institute dedicated to applying leading-edge thinking from the social and physical sciences to international economic challenges.

INET Oxford was established in May 2012 as a partnership between the Oxford Martin School and the Institute for New Economic Thinking in New York (INET). The Institute includes over 50 scholars from schools and departments across the University.

INET Oxford is applying its multi-disciplinary perspective to issues ranging from financial system stability, to economic growth and innovation, economic inequality, ethics and economics, sustainable economic growth, and economics education. Institute researchers work closely with policy-makers and leaders in business and civil society to bring new economic ideas into debates and practice in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

At the Saïd Business School the CABDyN Complexity Centre is co-directed by Felix Reed-Tsochas and is part of INET Oxford. Reed-Tsochas’s group is working on issues that include the dynamics of financial and economic networks.

Addressing key problems with financial markets and risk

The Oxford-Man Institute of Quantitative Finance (OMI) provides a unique opportunity for academics and commercial researchers to work alongside each other on a daily basis, creating tools and insights that allow a better and deeper understanding of financial markets, their behaviour, their stability, and their interdependence.

The team is drawn from academic institutions around the world, including several University of Oxford departments: Economics, the Mathematical Institute, Statistics, the Saïd Business School, Computer Science, Law and Engineering.

The intersection of medicine and business

A number of faculty members at the School are harnessing the University of Oxford’s illustrious history in medical science to create important links with business and leadership practice:

How neuroscience affects executive decision-making

Understanding how the brain works is one of the last great frontiers of modern science. Oxford is particularly strong in basic and clinical neuroscience, linking the function of genes and cells to systems and behaviour.

This has enabled Professor Thomas Powell to pioneer the emerging field of neurostrategy. His research focuses on group decisions in large organisations, and how the brain functions when faced with decisions involving large resource commitments and multiple stakeholders. He also conducts research on firm performance and the philosophical foundations of strategy.

Professor Powell teaches on various Oxford Executive Education and degree programmes, where he reveals the neurological micro-foundations of executive decision-making.

Lifelong leadership skills for surgeons

University Lecturer in Operations Management at the Saïd Business School, Steve New’s  work has concentrated on process improvement in public and private sector organisations. In recent years, he has been involved in major research projects in collaboration with the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences.  This has led to his involvement in the design and delivery of the MSc in Surgical Science and Practice.

Building a bridge between professional and clinical skills, this degree helps future surgeons work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams within complex organisations, adapting to changing circumstances throughout their careers. The syllabus covers management skills, quality improvement, leadership, teamwork and patient safety, as well as an introduction to the principles of medical education and clinical research methods.