Whatever an organisation’s form, there is always a way to embed purpose. This cluster of Responsible Business research projects examines purpose through differing lenses, deepening our understanding of what business is, and what business should be, over the coming decades.

Doing now what the world needs next

fish eye view of a city

André Hoffmann, Roche Holdings: How embedding purpose helps companies endure for the longer term

The Economics of Mutuality Lab

Economics of Mutuality Forum

The adoption and impact of mutuality metrics

A collaborative project with the Economics of Mutuality Foundation exploring mutuality as a new principle for organising business. 

Our research explores the concept of mutuality in business and develops a business management theory for The Economics of Mutuality, teaching curricula, new management practices, and business case studies.

Oxford Initiative on Rethinking Performance


Transforming business practices and leadership to become more purposeful

Using applied research and in collaboration with industry partners, the study answers the increasing need for 21st-century companies to understand and demonstrate how they create (and destroy) value beyond financials - how they earn their profits, not just how much profit they earn.

Born out of the Mutuality in Business project, the initiative seeks to establish a global centre of knowledge to develop, support and host bold discussions, contemporary thought and innovative ideas around holistic performance measurement and valuation.

Enacting Purpose Initiative


Organisations are spending an increasing amount of time defining and articulating corporate purpose. While this in itself is not a simple task, it is even more challenging to authentically enact purpose, linking board objectives to strategy and outcomes. Saïd Business School are working together with leading universities, corporations and professional service firms including the Law School at the University of California Berkeley, Brighthouse (a BCG company), Federated Hermes, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (WLRK), and the senior leadership teams of around 50 global corporations from across Europe and the US to produce practical and policy guidance on this subject during 2021.

The initiative is chaired by Rupert Younger, Director of the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation, and co-chaired by Colin Mayer CBE, Peter Moores Professor of Management Studies, together with Robert G Eccles, Visiting Professor of Management Practice at Oxford Saïd.  Guidance reports will contribute to the British Academy's The Future of the Corporation initiative, among others.

Changing conceptions of corporate purpose

Man in foyer

Our work explores how the idea of 'corporate purpose' itself has shifted in content and impact over several decades.

Launched in 2015, in collaboration with the Beacon Institute EY Global, our work is part of a broader research initiative at Oxford to unpick the key issues in 21st century stakeholder capitalism and responsible leadership, in collaboration with corporate partners and in the service of world-leading executive education.


We present regular seminars on responsible business during the academic year.

If you are a Saïd Business School student, faculty or staff and would like to attend any of the seminars, contact Kimberley Payne.