The majority of OUBS’ research output is aligned with the University’s wider mission of social justice – focusing on social aspects of the economy, management and governance such as:
The influence of OU research is therefore most strongly felt in real world contexts, including policy and practice. Our External Engagement team runs ‘business perspective days’ to showcase our research to senior practitioners, and we have secured over £3 million funding in recent years to establish the following new centres for academic excellence:
Each of the new centres seeks to demonstrate effective integration of research, teaching and outreach consistent with the OU mission and values and its Academic Excellence strategy, and each is expected to have a significant impact on its ‘target’ audience.
The most recent Research Excellence Framework audit (REF 2014) placed OUBS 16th out of 101 institutions assessed. This places us significantly ahead of highly-regarded Business Schools such as Warwick and equal to Oxford and Cardiff Business Schools. OUBS impact cases were assessed as 50% 4* (world leading) and 50% 3* (internationally excellent).
We also disseminate our research findings in a wide range of free learning materials. For example, the money and finance area of OpenLearn (‘the home of free learning’) includes an interactive personal finance tool and an introduction to the voluntary sector, while the OU’s MOOC (‘massive open online courses’) platform FutureLearn features free courses on Managing my money, Managing my financial journey and Managing my investments. New free learning materials currently under development include Developing leadership in voluntary organisations: an introduction and Developing energetic collaborative leadership for voluntary organisations.