Working for a responsible future

At Birmingham Business School, our vision is to inspire curiosity within our students and drive positive change within all fields of business, both locally and globally.

Across our education and research frameworks, we are embedding a culture of responsible business and inclusive values, and stepping up to be key contributors to the responsible business agenda. We are committed to producing forward-thinking leaders and to developing research that impacts the lives of real people and businesses.

Developing the next generation of leaders

Students walking in the Business School gardens
We are developing a curriculum that holds responsible and ethical practice at its core. Throughout our programmes, we are working to develop a new generation of responsible leaders and entrepreneurs with the skills needed to change and challenge business on a daily basis in their future.

With students from across the world, our courses offer the opportunity to learn from different perspectives and gain a global outlook on business so that they can make positive and sustainable industry changes.

Examples of where we are embedding a culture of responsible business within our modules are:

MBA modules

A number of modules on our MBA programme cover aspects of responsible business. On the full-time programme, ‘Principles of Responsible Business’ and on the Executive and Distance Learning Programmes, ‘Business and Society’. These modules consider the overarching question of what sort of ‘social contract’ is required between business and its multiple stakeholders, including customers, employees, shareholders, government, citizens and society as a whole.

From 2020 all MBA students will study a new Responsible Business module.

MSc Principles of Responsible Business Module

This module covers ‘responsible capitalism’ and also looks at the implications that business ethics, corporate governance and sustainability have on a business’s responsibility to its customers, employees (i.e. pay, pensions, training, working conditions and rights), stakeholders, and greater society. It considers the overarching question of a ‘social contract’ between businesses and the government, with the general public’s best interest at the forefront.

This course is part of our Management MSc.

MSc Responsible Marketing and Society Module

This module addresses the broad issues of ethics, social responsibility, and sustainability in marketing. The module seeks to encourage students to develop their own, well-informed understanding of responsible marketing. Topics covered include ethical marketing and decision-making, social and sustainability marketing, ethical consumption, consumer resistance and activism.

This course is part of our Marketing MSc.

Undergraduate Global Business Ethics Module

Business ethics looks at what is considered to be morally right and wrong in terms of how a business conducts itself. One of the key questions raised in this module is whether businesses should be held accountable for ethical responsibilities beyond maximisation of profit.

This course is part of our Business Management BSc.

Undergraduate Responsible Business Module

This module allows students to understand the challenges associated with responsible business transformation, and to develop a conceptual and pragmatic set of responsible business competences to assist in this transformation.

This course is part of our Business Management BSc.


Responsible research that makes a difference

From helping local communities to influencing global debate, our research contributes valuable insight into worldwide issues, helping our work to have a real impact. Our research is split into centres and clusters, which focus on providing research with relevance, reliability, and rigour in a diverse range of subjects.

We implement responsible business into the core of our work, and our research centres are informing business transformation. This work can be seen across many of our centres, including:

Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business

The creation of Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business in July 2017 was the result of a unique partnership of Birmingham Business School academics, the University of Birmingham Business Engagement team and Lloyds Banking Group. This partnership shared a desire for positive change, the need for collective, creative thinking, sharing insights and debating the complex issues associated with responsible business.

The Centre carries out extensive work to explore how businesses can be ‘rewired responsibly’ so that they can contribute to the responsible business revolution.

City Region Economic and Development Institute (City REDI)

City REDI was established to support regional economic growth which is inclusive of all. A strong focus of the Institute’s work is to ensure that the growth of our cities is sustainable and beneficial for all.

The Institute, as part of the Inclusive Growth Unit led by the West Midlands Combined Authority, is helping more deprived areas of society by ensuring that new policies and decision-making processes tackle issues such as poverty and unemployment.

Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM)

Our Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM) is dedicated to helping people make sensible and well-informed decisions throughout their lives, whether this is in relation to pensions, housing, or savings, by carrying out rigorous research into all aspects of personal financial wellbeing.

The Centre is dedicated to ensuring that everyone in society, especially the most vulnerable, has the financial means and capability to manage ongoing economic change. As part of their research, the Centre have recently published the 2018 Financial Inclusion Report.

Centre for Women’s Enterprise, Leadership, Economy & Diversity (WE LEAD)

Launched in September 2018, WE LEAD has a strong commitment to developing the future of diverse and inclusive leadership, giving everyone, no matter what their background is, the chance to achieve.

The Centre engages with policy makers, businesses and key stakeholders to research and answer important questions that surround female enterprise. Their innovative work focuses on the role of leadership, family, business, and diversity by blending research with real business issues.

The Centre’s academics have played a leading role in researching diverse leadership and diversity for the West Midlands Combined Authority, which will have a great impact on entrepreneurs now and in the future.

Work Inclusivity Research Cluster (WIRC)

WIRC is a dynamic community of researchers who are carrying out imperative work to understand equality, diversity and inclusion in employment, and overcome the barriers preventing these. The research from the cluster is made to be implementable in real-life businesses, and an example of this is the policy work completed in relation to shared parental leave.

Work from the cluster focuses on diversity and inclusivity by examining lived experience of organisations, inclusive labour governance and employee voice, and leadership and diversity.

Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing

The Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing undertakes research that influences a genuine change within our community. The Centre’s diverse group of over 40 researchers from various schools across the University address some of the major challenges that face the criminal justice sector with a view to helping real-life people.

Through its research, the Centre provides context to the regional, national, and cyber crime that is currently impacting negatively on the way that society functions.