The Ownership Project at Oxford Saïd

Ownership and corporate purpose

Oxford colleges

A unique platform to gauge the impact of corporate ownership on society, including its impact on inequality, quality growth, and shared prosperity.

Examining ownership and corporate purpose

Our work will deliver the highest quality independent analysis of how ownership influences businesses and the communities in which they operate.

Starting with family firms, which represent over 80% of all businesses,  we are investigating how ownership influences the endurance, value, conduct and stakeholder relationships of corporations.

The programme identifies:

  • How financial and non-financial objectives become embedded in business
  • How individual purpose translates into organisational purpose
  • Dynamics in times of corporate transition and during changes to the operating environment
  • How ownership affects and values different types of capital

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.

Research reports

In Pursuit of Inclusive Capitalism

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

How do 21st century corporations reconcile profit with purpose?

John Coutts' recent article in the the 2017/18 Oxford Said Review reveals how research at Oxford Saïd is shedding new light on the concept of purpose.

Advisory Councils

Walkways in Business School

Academic and business leaders from across the global business community support the translation of our research into impact

Our experts use their knowledge and expertise to advise, guide and challenge our methods and observations to ensure the enduring benefit of our outputs both to their businesses and to society at large. They actively support us in disseminating the results through their professional networks.

External partnerships

We are partnered with networks dedicated to the examination of business and its leadership, through initiatives that will redefine the purpose of the 21st century firm.

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

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