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Responsible Business

The Responsible Business Research Group brings together more than sixty scholars and research students who develop insightful, novel, and useful research deploying a variety of methods across business contexts. In addition to our own research, we hold regular Responsible Business Seminars with leading practitioners and researchers (details below). 

Responsible Business is at the heart of our research agenda.  In the most recent survey of UK Business Ethics research, we ranked seventh for quality publications; we are a United Nations’ PRiME (Principles of Responsible Management in Education) Champion, a member of the Responsible Research in Business & Management (RRBM) network, a Corporate Sponsor of the Institute of Business Ethics and we work with Business in the Community and the North East Initiative for Business Ethics. 

Our researchers work in four broad areas considering the individual at work, organisational sustainability and CSR, corporate governance, and the wider environment for business ethics.  These areas are introduced below:

Moral Agency at Work

Colleagues focussing on moral agency consider character, virtues and the sources and effects of meaningful work.  We are particularly concerned with how religious and other traditions frame employees’ understanding of workplace morality and with the ethical dimensions of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Strategic Sustainability and Responsibility

Strategic Sustainability and Responsibility subgroup champions dynamic, evidence-based approaches to embed sustainability and ethical responsibility at the heart of business strategy and organisation, catalysing transformative practices that redefine industry standards and educate future leaders in responsible management.

Governance and Accountability

This research theme focuses on understanding and innovating within governance structures and accountability in business practices. It adopts an interdisciplinary approach, addressing critical issues in corporate governance, social and environmental accounting, carbon disclosure, and sustainability reporting. Researchers in this theme have contributed to impactful journals and led successful case studies, exploring diverse aspects of governance and accountability. Supported by prestigious bodies like The British Academy, our research spans from feminist perspectives in accounting to inclusive digital finance, making significant contributions to journals and case studies. Emphasizing diverse research methods, the theme is a forefront of responsible business studies, actively engaging PhD students.

Financial Markets, Innovation & Sustainable Economies

In this theme, our research delves into the intricate synergy between financial markets, technological innovation, and sustainable growth. Emphasizing interdisciplinary study, our team examines how financial markets drive innovation and sustain economic practices, contributing to transformative policies and industry practices. Backed by prestigious funding and global partnerships, our projects range from agroforestry social research to sustainable diet initiatives. This theme is not only a hub for academic inquiry but also a nurturing ground for PhD students and industry collaborations, dedicated to addressing the financial and economic challenges of our times.

Responsible Business Seminars

Our public seminar series has run since 2015.  Senior business leaders and renowned researchers present practice and projects and answer questions from a diverse audience.

Title: Embedding Sustainability in Organizations

Details here: This Collaborative PhD Studentship investigates how partnerships between private sector organizations in the water industry and NGO stakeholders can contribute to addressing material sustainability issues and explores how Northumbria Water Group can identify potential NGO partners

Funding: Northumbrian Water Group  

Collaborators: Lara el Mouallem (PhD Student); Sarah Pinkerton (Northumbrian Water Group); Dr Jenny Davidson and Professor Ron Beadle (PhD Supervisory Team)



Title: Responsible Business North East

Details here: Mapping and development of responsible business agenda. The project has developed out of the worked co-ordinated by Dr Jenny Davidson and consists of two key strands. The first is a mapping of responsible business practices in the North East based around literature scan and survey of regional businesses. This will provide a platform and support strategy development for future research and partnership activities, and will contribute to the focus and further development of the partner network. The second is a series of semi-structured interviews with key figures from private, public and third sectors/speakers from NE Responsible Business events 2014-2016. These interviews will contribute to a book on Responsible Leadership in the NE, the proceeds of which will be donated to St Oswald’s Hospice.

Collaborators: Peter Walls, HRH The Prince of Wales Ambassador for Responsible Business in the North East; The Cranfield Trust, Gentoo, North East LEP, Skillsbridge, St Oswald's Hospice, Business in the Community, and Newcastle University Business School together with a growing network of public, private and third sector organisations.



Title: Blacklisting Claims: Loss of Earnings

Details here: This is an ongoing piece of Expert research which is for the Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation. The objective of the work is to calculation the loss earnings of blacklisted construction workers from the 1960s to date.

Funding: Claimant Solicitors Steering Group

Collaborators: Dr Ian Fitzgerald; Thompsons Solicitors; Cardiff University; University of Westminster.

Financial Markets, Innovation & Sustainable Economies

Dr Zary Aftab                                   

Dr Pankaj Chandorkar              

Dr Stephen Donnelly                

Dr Scott Ellis                            

Dr Efan Johnson                         

Dr William Klubinski                

Dr Savva Shanaev                                        

Prof. Rajesh Tharyan                 

Dr Dongna Zhang

Dr Emilio Carnevali

Dr Mudassar Hasan

Dr Ioannis Petrakis


Governance and Accountability 

Dr Princess Bwanya      

Dr Andrew Coulson

Dr Israel Davidson        

Dr Fakhrul Hasan

Prof Kathryn Haynes

Dr Bella Liu      

Dr Mohammed Mazumder

Dr Rasha Nouraldeen   

Dr Adah-Kole Onjewu   

Dr Rana Sabbah

Prof. Aly Salama

Dr Ahmed Sarhan

Dr Mahmood Shah       

Dr Riad Shams 

Prof. Karim Sorour       

Dr Roman Stepanov

Dr Muntaka Zakari 

Dr Ekaterina Shakina


Moral Agency at Work

Prof. Ron Beadle          

Dr Nic Burton  

Dr Arrian Cornwell

Dr Lisa Ferguson

Dr Omale Garba

Dr Mark Gatto  

Dr Rebecca Prescott

Dr Angus Robson

Dr Nadia Singh 

Dr Sally Wightman

Prof. David Jones


Strategic Sustainability and Responsibility

Dr Mutalib Anifowose  

Prof. Bernardo Batiz-Lazo

Dr Gloria Botchway

Dr Catherine Casler

Prof. David Collins

Dr Anita Garvey

Dr Beverly Geesin

Dr Alex Hope   

Dr Helen Kopnina

Dr Mark Middling

Dr Alexandra Mifsud

Dr Patricia Prado

Dr Ekaterina Shakina    

Prof.  Tony Webster

Dr Ryan Wong  

Dr Steff Worst

WATCH: Paul Polman KBE, former CEO of Unilever, and Co-Founder of IMAGINE, 'Capitalism's Reinvention'

In addition to our own research we hold regular 'Responsible Business' seminars and lectures with leading practitioners and researchers who have included Paul Polman KBE, former CEO of Unilever.


Our Courses

Interested in studying at Northumbria? With 31,500 students, Northumbria is one of the largest universities in the country, offering almost 500 courses on either a full-time, part-time or distance learning basis.


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We host a number of Open Days throughout the year. Click to find out more about our Open Days and book your place.


Our Staff

Our students learn from the best – inspirational academic staff with a genuine passion for their subject. Our courses are at the forefront of current knowledge and practice and are shaped by world-leading and internationally excellent research.

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