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The Open University Business School and Law School have launched a showcase for their COVID-19 research and reflections

Person walking down a london tube escalator wearing mask

The current pandemic has brought both threats and opportunities, overturning economic and social norms but also pointing towards new ways of doing things.

In the OU’s Business and Law Schools, our response has been: what can we learn?

This series highlights how management and legal insights from research and scholarship can help us consider and interpret the current context. How can business and the institutions that support it respond to the challenges, adapt and hopefully look forward to a post-pandemic world?

The answers that our research throws up will all be captured in this one space, which we intend to be informative, constructive and, we trust, inspirational.

Business and Law in the time of COVID-19 will reflect the distinctive approach of our two schools, which is informed by the mission and values of The Open University.

We have a broad agenda which encompasses important societal issues such as the future of work, the value of community and easy access to legal justice, as well as perhaps more conventional organisational and leadership topics.

Our academic body is unusually diverse, in backgrounds and in interests, sparking innovation and creativity in our research investigations, and helping us see issues from a range of perspectives.

Our aim is to present insights that will be useful, as Professor Siv Vangen, Associate Dean for Research, Enterprise and Scholarship in the OU’s Faculty of Business and Law (FBL), explains.

This pandemic is damaging our economy but it does bring an opportunity to reflect, renew and rethink some of our habits of thought and our working practices.

Many of the issues thrown up by COVID-19 mesh with our existing research areas – the future of work, flexible working, public leadership, women’s rights, technology and work, sustainable economies.

We believe these insights from our research and scholarship will help the reader – whether it is a current student, one of our alumni, other valued stakeholders such as a corporate partner or funding body, or the general public – interpret the current situation, and make more informed choices about the future.

Professor Siv Vangen, Associate Dean for Research, Enterprise and Scholarship

Here’s a quick sample of some topics we have lined up:

  • Dr Fidele Mutwarasibo in our Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (CVSL) examines how moving facilitation online has opened up opportunities to have partners much further afield.
  • Professor Mark Fenton-O’Creevy explains the need for constructive ambivalence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Professor Jo Brewis outlines why the shift to online working does not absolve responsible employers from offering menopause support.
  • The Open Justice Centre gives the benefit of its expertise in online teaching to the wider legal education sector from all over the world, with other fascinating contributions from the Law School such as online protests and violence against women during lockdown.

Check out all the articles at Business and Law in the time of COVID-19

Find out more about our Business and Law research