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Responsible Business

The challenge of sustainability and a slew of corporate scandals provide almost daily illustration of the need for responsibility in business.

As a signatory of the United Nations’ sponsored Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRiME)  the Faculty of Business and  Law  is committed to promoting responsibility in our  teaching, consulting and research. 

As the seventh most productive business school in the UK for publications in business ethics we have a long-standing commitment to such research and the Risk, Responsibility, Ethics and Governance research cluster brings together over seventy scholars and research students  who aim to develop insightful, novel, and useful research. Colleagues working in this cluster undertake work in a wide variety of contexts and use a wide variety of methodologies. In addition to our own research we hold regular Responsible Business Seminars with leading practitioners and researchers (details below). Responsible Business is built on nine areas of research but additional work is undertaken beyond these:


Research Staff


PhD and DBA Students


Recent Publications

Gadelshina, G., Cornwell, A. and Spoors, D. (2019) Understanding corruption through freehand drawings: a case study of undergraduate business students' visual learning in the classroom. Journal of Visual Literacy, DOI:10.1080/1051144X.2018.1564608

Khojastehpour, M., Shams, R. (2019) “Addressing the complexity of stakeholder management in international ecological setting: A CSR approach” Journal of Business Research

Current Projects

Title: Embedding Sustainability in Organizations

Details here: This Collaborative PhD Studentship investigates how partnerships between private sector organizations in the water industry and NGO stakeholders can contribute to addressing material sustainability issues and explores how Northumbria Water Group can identify potential NGO partners

Funding: Northumbrian Water Group  

Collaborators: Lara el Mouallem (PhD Student); Sarah Pinkerton (Northumbrian Water Group); Dr Jenny Davidson and Professor Ron Beadle (PhD Supervisory Team)


Title: Responsible Business North East

Details here: Mapping and development of responsible business agenda. The project has developed out of the worked co-ordinated by Dr Jenny Davidson and consists of two key strands. The first is a mapping of responsible business practices in the North East based around literature scan and survey of regional businesses. This will provide a platform and support strategy development for future research and partnership activities, and will contribute to the focus and further development of the partner network. The second is a series of semi-structured interviews with key figures from private, public and third sectors/speakers from NE Responsible Business events 2014-2016. These interviews will contribute to a book on Responsible Leadership in the NE, the proceeds of which will be donated to St Oswald’s Hospice.

Collaborators: Peter Walls, HRH The Prince of Wales Ambassador for Responsible Business in the North East; The Cranfield Trust, Gentoo, North East LEP, Skillsbridge, St Oswald's Hospice, Business in the Community, and Newcastle University Business School together with a growing network of public, private and third sector organisations.


Title: Blacklisting Claims: Loss of Earnings

Details here: This is an ongoing piece of Expert research which is for the Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation. The objective of the work is to calculation the loss earnings of blacklisted construction workers from the 1960s to date.

Funding: Claimant Solicitors Steering Group

Collaborators: Dr Ian Fitzgerald; Thompsons Solicitors; Cardiff University; University of Westminster.

Past Projects

Title: SME Access to Finance

Details here: This project, funded by North East Access to Finance  in 2011 looked into credit access issues faced by SMEs in the North East Region

Funded by: North East Access to Finance

Collaborators: Dr Jackie Harvey, Dr Satish Sharma and Dr Steffi Macht

Title: Study on the protection of workers’ rights in subcontracting processes in the European Union

Details here: This was an Expert piece of research which was co-ordinated by Ghent University for the European Commission (EC) with regard to the Posting of Workers Directive (PWD). It involved all EU member states and was one of four projects actioned by the EC to support policy changes to the PWD. The three member UK research team was led by Dr Ian Fitzgerald.

Funding: European Commission Project No. VC/2011/0015

Collaborators: Dr Ian Fitzgerald; Lucinda Hudson; University of Westminster; Ghent University.


Title: The impact of migrant workers on the functioning of labour markets and industrial relations

Details here: This was an ESRC funded seminar series in which Dr Ian Fitzgerald was a co-applicant. It was multi-disciplinary in approach and involved a number of external collaborators.

Funding: ESRC Award number RES-451-26-0779

Collaborators: Dr Ian Fitzgerald; Professor Sonia McKay; Dr Steve French; TUC; Irwin Mitchell Solicitors; Jan Cremers MEP.


Title: Improving best practices on the working and living conditions of posted workers

Details here: This was an Expert piece of research for the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW). Eleven EU countries were involved and they provided evidence to the EFBWW for their submission to the European Commission on proposed policy changes to the PWD.

Funding: European Commission Project No. VS/2009/0475

Collaborators: Dr Ian Fitzgerald; EFBWW; Jan Cremers.


Title: Dispute Resolution: Alternative Methods to Improve Industrial Relations

Details here: This was a European project that involved employers and trade unions in alternative dispute resolution.

Funding: European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Project No. VS/2010/001

Collaborators: Dr Ian Fitzgerald; Ruskin (Oxford); General Federation of Trade Unions; Joint Industry Board Electrical Contracting industry.

WATCH: Paul Polman KBE, former CEO of Unilever, and Co-Founder of IMAGINE, 'Capitalism's Reinvention'

In addition to our own research we hold regular 'Responsible Business' seminars and lectures with leading practitioners and researchers who have included Paul Polman KBE, former CEO of Unilever.


Our Courses

Interested in studying at Northumbria? With 31,500 students, Northumbria is one of the largest universities in the country, offering almost 500 courses on either a full-time, part-time or distance learning basis.


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Our Staff

Our students learn from the best – inspirational academic staff with a genuine passion for their subject. Our courses are at the forefront of current knowledge and practice and are shaped by world-leading and internationally excellent research.

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