Research at the Open University Business School (OUBS) is highly distinctive due to our engagement with large numbers of managers at the point of practice, our wide exposure to international perspectives of business and management and our enduring emphasis on issues of social importance and responsible management.
The OU’s unique multi-media platforms allow us to develop world-leading approaches to designing, executing and disseminating research. Areas of international research reputation include: social marketing, international management practice, power and control, decision making and management in the public and third sector.
Research by the Institute for Social Marketing (ISM-Open) has informed national policy on alcohol marketing to young people. It established the link between drinks marketing and young people’s attitudes to alcohol; provided material for the BMA Board of Science seminal report Under the Influence; guided discussion in the House of Commons Health Select Committee; and underpinned a Private Members Bill on the regulation of alcohol marketing to children.
OUBS research is helping counteract poor financial decision-making which was a key contributor to the 2008 financial crisis. Our research on links between emotions and decision-making by financial traders, has underpinned training tools to improve client decision-making and trading at leading European bank (Saxo Bank), which are publicly available. It also drove the development of the BBC Lab UK Big Money Test featured in the BBC television series Watchdog.
OUBS research shaped the new model of leadership adopted by the NHS’s National Leadership Academy, which provides the basis for all the leadership programmes for managers and clinicians throughout NHS England. It has also supported individual healthcare trusts to adopt new models of clinical leadership which devolve decision and governance processes to clinicians and hence better reflect patient needs.