Faculty & Research
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The Mars and Saïd Business School collaboration

Group signing with Mars

Standing, left-right: Arlo Brady, Barry Parkin, Kelly McGrail, Frank Akers, Jay Jakub, Colin Mayer, Ruth Yeoman, Bruno Roche, John Hoffmire. 

Sitting, left-right: Stephen Badger and Dean Peter Tufano

Saïd Business School, Oxford University and Mars Inc. have embarked upon a pioneering, multi-year research partnership to look at mutuality as a business model. The objective of the collaboration is to better understand the value of mutuality and its application in different organisational and economic contexts. The research seeks to develop a new business management theory based around mutuality, aiming to inform the future business education curriculum and stimulate new thinking on how business can better society.

This is a fitting and timely collaboration. Mutuality is at the heart of Mars’ business and has been since 1947, when Forrest E. Mars Sr. wrote that business should promote a ‘mutuality of services and benefits among all stakeholders.’ Mutuality has allowed Mars to define success in much broader terms than just profit. Beyond Mars, there is a growing belief that a mutual way of doing business is the responsible way to lead and to grow. Fittingly, Saïd Business School has been at the forefront of exploring the role of business in social enterprise and positive social change.

The collaborative research programme will build on Mars’s thinking and experience as a company committed to mutuality and the academic expertise of the Saïd Business School. In addition, incorporated into the project will be findings from Mars’ internal think tank, Mars Catalyst, on how to measure mutuality.

In the news

September 2017 Colin Mayer and the Mutuality in Business research project featured in Wired magazine Read the blog by Jay Coen Gilbert and Charmian Love The €1bn Body Shop deal shows you can have profit and purpose  Wired
August 2017 Watch this video on moral reasoning and market organisation from The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, supported by Mars since 2007 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings
July 2017 Colin Mayer on teaching business, and trying to influence the future of the corporation. British Academy Review
22 June 2017

Why doing the right thing pays off in turbulent times

‘Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so businesses crave certainty — or at least the absence of chaos,’ writes the FT’s John Derbyshire in an article exploring the value of ethical business practices in the light of Brexit. He names Colin Mayer among those who believe that ‘the truly responsible business is… a social enterprise.’

Financial Times
April 2017 Completing Capitalism: heal business to heal the world, by Bruno Roche and Jay Jakub with foreword by Colin Mayer CBE, published Completing Capitalism
27 April 2017 27 April Kate Roll and Catherine Dolan presented Seeing Like a Corporation: Remoteness and Route-to-Market Programmes at the Bottom of the Pyramid  Infrastructures of Inclusion Workshop, LSE, London
November 2016

Kate Roll, appointed Fellow of the Global Future Council 

World Economic Forum

27 September 2016

The Mars model - companies going beyond CSR 

Daily News, Associated Newspapers of Sri-Lanka
September 2016

A new paradigm: why business needs to be reformed in the 21st century

The Oxford Saïd Review
19 May 2016

'How can those working in poverty improve their incomes?'

TMCD/ Saïd Business School Joint Research Seminar 'Innovation for Development'
4 November 2014

'Mars tried to share benefits of business without parting with profits'

The Guardian
29 May 2014

'Evaluating mutuals and employee-owned businesses: Which values are relevant?'

Politics In Spires, Blog
4 April 2013

'Freedom and meaningful Work: An exploration'

Politics In Spires, Blog
19 June 2013

'How to lead successful public service mutuals'

The Guardian


Outputs and publications

Completing Capitalism

Read about an innovative model for 21st century capitalism, in this new title authored by Bruno Roche and Jay Jakub, with foreword by Colin Mayer CBE.

View the RBF content hub

View the gallery and highlights on YouTube and learn more about the Responsible Business Forum

Making Business Mutual

How do we re-frame the parameters that drive business forward in the 21st century?