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Grand challenges

We co-create world-leading research that addresses grand challenges in work, governance and innovation, across our economy and within our organisations.

As a leading international centre for business and management research, we recognise our role in addressing the grand challenges facing contemporary society.

We understand that organisations must change radically to help address issues like inequality, social exclusion, and climate change. We also understand that this change is fundamentally necessary to enable them to continue delivering high quality and sustainable products and services in a very different world.

Since 2015, we’ve adopted an ethos that drives our activities to prioritise real-world relevant research, which is world class, underpinned by intellectual curiosity and focused on five flagship grand challenges - decent work, fair and sustainable economies, future organisations, good governance and responsible innovation.

The complexity of challenges such as these means we cannot research from afar or in isolated areas of interest and expertise. Instead, we’ve optimised engagement and networking opportunities to collaborate, co-produce and co-create.

We’ve stopped doing research at people and instead work with them to help solve pressing grand challenges – around inequality and fairness in the workplace; on ensuring organisations and the workforce are ‘fit for the future’; and building a sustainable economy with fair, resilient and low-carbon supply chains.

Professor Calvin Jones Deputy Dean for Public Value and External Relations

Working together with our community of partners and collaborators in this way has meant adopting a very different academic mindset.

We’ve embraced opportunities to move beyond journal rankings and metrics to consider research studies on their merits and viewed in relation to social, economic and environmental impact.

Decent work

Decent work

We focus on the rapid technological transformation of work and the impact of different ways of working, in combination with long-standing challenges of job quality, employee wellbeing, voice and participation, and workplace inequalities.

Fair and sustainable economies

Fair and sustainable economies

We co-create knowledge to support the development of economies that deliver shared prosperity and environmental sustainability, and work with governments and partners to address inequalities and promote full economic participation and inclusion.

Future organisations

Future organisations

We challenge theory and practice to inform the reshaping of business and co-produce solutions that enable organisations to navigate complex problems linked to technological change, demographic shifts, the climate emergency, and transient populations.

Good governance

Good governance

We focus on issues related to public management and policy, including the use of evidence by governments, while researching corporate governance across the economy, examining transparency, accountability, inclusion, ethics, and values.

Responsible innovation

Responsible innovation

We take an interdisciplinary, stakeholder-based approach to identify the drivers, processes and outcomes of innovation, and evaluate the social, financial and behavioural consequences of technical and technological change.