Wednesday, October 08, 2014 at 4pm

Mutual Benefits the Aim of Saïd Business School Research: MBA News

Mutuality to underpin new Saïd Business School research.

The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School is to look into ways of curing the malaise afflicting the traditional model of the firm, which is all too often viewed with unease and skepticism in the years of the Great Recession.

It hopes to develop a new theory for business management from a study of mutuality, whereby a purely profit-driven approach to business would be replaced with one that is more amenable to the potential costs and benefits for society.  

The study, formed in partnership with Mars, Incorporated, will treat the concept of mutuality as: “the aim to create lasting positive benefits across stakeholders through an organization's activities, including its employees, suppliers, customers and communities,” according to a press release for Saïd Business School.

Mutuality’s principles to inform analysis

Management professor and former dean at Saïd Business School, Colin Mayer, talked of the school’s desire to:  “embed responsible, inclusive capitalism in business school education and thinking,” adding that the project would “develop measures of mutuality, evaluate its effect on business practice and performance, and examine the factors that influence its adoption in corporations.”

Mayer, who has teaching experience at Columbia, MIT and Stanford and was Saïd Business School’s first professorial appointment when it was founded in the mid-1990s, will lead the one-year project into mutuality with a view to a four-year program being established thereafter.

The question of what businesses can do to address human, social and environmental issues in the modern world is also the inspiration behind the school’s scholarship fund for promising social entrepreneurs. With four new scholars this fall, Saïd Business School’s Skoll Centre is celebrating 10 years since the initiative’s start.

“In celebrating the tenth anniversary, I look back to the launch of the program when Jeff Skoll saw the increasing need for entrepreneurial approaches to social problems and for new models for a new century,” said the Skoll Centre’s director, Dr Pamela Hartigan.

Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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