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Research activity

Research Centres

Research activity in the School focuses on four research centres. They attract top-level research-active academic staff and leading international partners, providing a distinctive offering to funders:

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The True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (True Potential PUFin)

Aims to empower the UK public to better manage their finances by providing free tools to help them make sound financial decisions.

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Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (CVSL)

Provides voluntary sector organisations with access to free leadership development modules and research-led insight.

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Centre for Policing Research and Learning (CPRL)

Aims to improve policing through a wide range of courses and qualifications, and problem-solving research.

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Centre for Knowledge in Organisations and Professions (CKOP)

Investigates how knowledge is produced, shared and used within organisations and professions.

Research Clusters

We also have a number of research clusters that capture key interests and common themes with the School.

We foster innovation and development in research by encouraging the formation of research clusters, with the intention that some of these will develop sufficient critical mass to become research centres.

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Practice-oriented research

Brings together a number of colleagues from various departments within the Business School who have a common interest on organisational practice research.

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Re-approaching Ethics in Practice

Seeks to re-invigorate debates on contemporary approaches to ethics in management and business studies through both theoretical and empirical intervention.

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Leadership Development for the Health Sector

Aims to contribute to the evidence-base as to what kind of leadership development can produce which kinds of benefits for the Health Sector.

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Research into Employment, Empowerment and Futures (REEF)

Seeks to explore and shape the future direction of empowerment, work and society from the Department for People and Organisations, in partnership with The People Space.

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Social and Sustainable Enterprise (SSE)

The social and sustainable enterprise (SSE) research cluster addresses the connections between entrepreneurial activity, innovation and the transition towards more environmentally and socially sustainable ways of doing business.

University-wide research

The Open University has named four priority research areas aimed at addressing 21st century global challenges and promoting social justice. OUBS is involved in two of them: 

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Citizenship and Governance

Focuses on the challenges of governance and leadership pertaining to global issues like migration, climate change, security and on how people’s intimate lives are increasingly scrutinized and open to public policy and corporate intervention.

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International Development

Involving poor and marginalised people in ‘inclusive innovation’, helping them develop their own solutions and working with them to bring about a fairer and sustainable world.

We are also networked to other faculties through participation in the collaborative Centre for Innovation, Knowledge and Development (IKD), which undertakes research on the contributions of innovation to inclusive and sustainable development around the world.