The Ownership Project at Oxford Saïd

Ownership for influence and impact

Oxford colleges

A unique platform to gauge the impact of ownership on corporate performance, responsibility and sustainability.

Purposeful ownership

Our project delivers an independent analysis of how ownership influences businesses and the communities in which they operate. With family firms representing over 80% of all businesses, our primary focus is on family owners. However, our findings are relevant across a range of ownership types.

Our research builds on the theme of corporate purpose to deliver 'profitable solutions to problems of people and planet' (Mayer, 2018). What does it mean to be a responsible business owner, now and in the future? Our findings inform solutions for owners seeking to influence their firms towards more purposeful performance.

Principal Investigators are Professor Colin Mayer CBE and Dean Professor Peter Tufano, it is directed by Dr Mary Johnstone-Louis, and funded by the Ford Foundation.

We are looking at the role of the owner in defining the ways that corporations behave and how they construe their purpose.

Dr Mary Johnstone-Louis

Senior Research Fellow, Saïd Business School

Advisory Councils

Park End Street
Park End Street

Global family business leaders, academics and professionals support the translation of our research into impact.

Our Councils offer their knowledge and expertise to ensure the enduring benefit of our outputs and support us in disseminating the results through their professional networks.

Family Advisory Council

Advisory Council

Project News

Released in October 2019, the FT's Responsible Business Education report collates and shares examples of best practice in business schools across responsible and sustainable business research, teaching, student projects, and operations. Our research was cited as an example of best practice in the teaching of sustainability, ethics and social purpose. Our research findings form the bedrock of teaching on the Oxford Programme on Ownership, launching in May 2020.

Our sponsor

ford foundation logo

Across eight decades, the Ford Foundation has invested in innovative ideas, visionary individuals, and frontline institutions advancing human dignity.

Learn more about their work in civil rights, education, arts and culture, human rights, poverty reduction and urban development.