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Future of the Corporation

A major research programme examining the purpose of business and its role in society, led by Professor Colin Mayer FBA, Professor of Management at the Saїd Business School.


Future of the Corporation Research Summaries

2018 The British Academy

A summary of research papers that have been commissioned by the Future of the Corporation programme to conduct research into the ten themes identified as critical to the future relationship between business and society

The Voice of Business

2017 The British Academy

A collection of views from senior business leaders on the purpose of business, its role in society, and the challenges they face from disruptive change.

The future of the corporation: Towards humane business

The British Academy

Findings from the first phase of the British Academy’s ‘Future of the Corporation’ research programme, edited by Colin Mayer, posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 6, supplementary issue 1, in 2018

More about the programme

The Future of the Corporation is a major research and public engagement programme aiming to contribute to a paradigm shift that redefines business for the 21st century and builds trust between business and society. 

In 2018, the programme published research findings from 32 academics based around the world in the Journal of the British Academy.  Their findings were synthesised in the most recent report, “Reforming Business for the 21st Century”.  The conclusions demonstrate a coherent view of how business should adapt and respond to the challenges and opportunities it faces and suggest a need to develop a new framework for the corporation around three interconnected principles: well-defined purposes, a commitment to trustworthiness and an enabling culture.

In 2019, we are developing specific recommendations, backed by a process of evidence-gathering and review, that will form the basis for applying these principles in business practice, public policy and business education.

The programme engages with a range of business, government, policy, civil society and academic stakeholders to examine these issues and questions in full.  If you would like to know more about the programme or become involved in events, roundtables or research, please get in touch with Henry Richards (Project Manager) on, or register your interest in our newsletter

More information about the programme, its leadership, upcoming events and our partners and advisers can be found below:




Programme Leadership

Steering Group

Corporate Advisory Group

Contact:  Henry Richards, Project Manager - or Professor Colin Mayer, Academic Lead -