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Thought Leadership

Learn from the insights of a trusted source

Our faculty across the university are informed opinion leaders and often the go-to people in their field of expertise.

Here, they share their many insights and opinions gleaned from years of research and/or experience in their respective fields in order to further debate, inspire new ideas and help turn these into reality with a view to finding a way forward in meeting the many and diverse challenges of an increasingly uncertain and changing geopolitical and socioeconomic landscape.


Planning for extreme weather disruption

Headlines can paint a picture of the UK economy struggling with extreme weather conditions – businesses forced to close, employees not paid because they can’t get to work, and road and rail networks grinding to a halt. But we’ve found, from our three-year project investigating how businesses and people react during disruptions, that this isn’t the case.

14th March 2016

Has HR lost the strategic ground?

In this short video, Professor David Wilson, Professor in Organisation Studies at The Open University Business School, discusses the changes that have impacted on HR's standing in organisations over the past 10 years and what he sees as the challenges ahead.

1st March 2016

Why leaders need to be systems thinkers

Systems thinking is a highly effective approach to managing organisations.To get the complete picture, leaders need an in-depth knowledge of the entire organisation, its various moving parts, and how each component impacts upon the rest. But there’s more to systems thinking than that.

11th January 2016

HR needs to listen well and talk louder

Has the HR function changed? The HR professionals I talk to, and perhaps most importantly, the students working towards a career in HR, still seem to struggle with a ‘caught in the middle’ positioning between employees and employers. 

28th October 2015

Financial Education for employees? The business benefits of good citizenship

Research undertaken by Secondsight (1) found that 67% of the working population receive no financial education from their employers. Only 20% of employees had a coherent financial plan. Clearly there is a financial education gap that needs filling – but why should this be the responsibility of employers and their HR functions?

28th October 2015

The machine that is still changing the world

The automotive sector is not only continuing to adapt and improve itself, but through the adaptation and spread of its techniques to manage operations more effectively in other sectors, it is also continuing to change the world. Dr Paul Walley, Lecturer in Operations Management at The Open University Business School, explains.

28th October 2015

The Four Ages of Online Executive Education

We have come a long way from the late 1990s and the first inklings of what the emerging internet might mean for executive education. A model of the efficient transfer of knowledge held sway as delegates were ranged before banks of cathode ray tubes and plugged into programmes of learning. With computers in charge, what could possibly go wrong?

19th August 2015

The Private Security State

Following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, a raft of legislation was introduced in the UK and in Europe mandating data sharing between the private sector and government. Post Snowden, the appetite for such surveillance waned. However, after the attacks in Paris and Copenhagen earlier in 2015, this appetite seems to have been renewed.

18th August 2015

Business sectors must share management ideas

Imagine you could compare the performance of private, public and non-profit providers in fields where they are all competing together – such as hospitals, nursery provision, schools, and residential care for the elderly. What would the results show?  Who is best at running human service organisations? The answer is… none of the above!

10th August 2015

What you need to be an effective leader

Leadership is widely regarded as important and, if you want to develop a career in any organisation, you will certainly be expected to develop and demonstrate leadership skills. Unfortunately, there is much less unanimity about what constitutes good leadership, although many have tried to answer this important question. 

9th August 2015

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