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Established in June 2014, the Mutuality in Business joint research partnership between Saïd Business School and the Catalyst think tank at Mars, Incorporated has focused on the development of a business management theory for the Economics of Mutuality with corresponding teaching curriculum, new management practices, and case study research.

The research programme has combined the pursuit of normative questions - what is mutuality and how should it be enacted? – with grounded, ethnographic research on current thinking and practices. This has led to the development of field experiments and case studies examining how large corporate actors conceive of and pursue responsible business practices, and how these relate to their financial and social performance. 

To date, this research has been undertaken by Oxford researcher partnered with Mars Catalyst's interdisciplinary team of thought leaders, but in 2016 it expanded to include work by Danone Ecosystem and it's envisaged that other companies will participate in the research programme in the future.

The Mutuality in Business research outputs:

Working papers

This series presents original research conducted by the Mutuality in Business Project. This Working Paper series includes case studies on three innovative route-to-market programmes; the outputs of focus group discussions; and other core academic research under development. 

Briefings

This series takes key management concepts, such as psychological ownership, and provides a comprehensive primer. In particular, these are meant for managers who wish to understand both academic debate on a key topic and its broader significance for management practice.   

Making Business Mutual case studies 

This series of case studies explores how mutual approaches to business can help companies and their partners tackle some of the most pressing global challenges. The businesses featured in this series share a commitment to objectives beyond purely financial performance, as well as a serious intent to implement mutual practices through new forms of ownership, governance, leadership, measurement and management.

The cases explore a diverse set of issues and practices, including the measurement of multiple forms of capital, ecosystem shaping approaches, leadership development, and sustainable manufacturing. These cases were first presented at the annual Responsible Business Forum, the convening event of the Mutuality in Business Project, which brings together global companies, MBA candidates, scholars and activists to share their experience in confronting key challenges in their ecosystems to generate financial, social, and environmental value.

Responsible Business Forum

The forum, sponsored and organised in close partnership with Mars Catalyst, tackles head-on the tough questions of whether companies are succeeding or failing commercially, socially and environmentally and what needs to be done to improve their performance. It explores current practice and asks big-picture questions regarding the purpose of the 21st century firm. Can doing business more responsibly actually deliver stronger finanical metrics in the longer term through the introduction and measurement of social, human, and environmental business innovation? 

Read more

Watch the highlights

Reflections

These introductory essays from Professor Colin Mayer CBE and other members of the Mutuality in Business research team consider some of the fundamental research questions being explored by the Mutuality in Business project.

 

 
Mutuality in business

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

View the RBF content hub

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

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.

Contact Us
Mutuality in Business Team
01865 422 875