University of Bath - School of Management - Centre for Business, Organisations and Society - Home

Centre for Business, Organisations & Society

University of Bath School of Management

Connect with CBOS

Follow the blog: research and analysis on the role of business in society

Find us on Twitter: current news and comment on sustainability and business

Contact us: for any queries about our research and activities

Director of Centre

Professor Andrew Crane

Deputy Directors

Dr Sarah Glozer
Dr Johanne Grosvold (on sabbatical)

Welcome to the Centre for Business, Organisations and Society (CBOS). We conduct interdisciplinary, high quality and high impact research on sustainability and business.

Our mission

  • rethink the role and responsibilities of business in creating a sustainable society; and
  • provide a theoretically and empirically robust evidence base to help get us there

We work with business, government and the third sector to encourage collaborative research and develop best practice.

CBOS has an active programme of doctoral research. The School of Management offers an MSc in Sustainability and Management.


We seek to produce world leading research that influences thinking, teaching and practice. There are four themes to our current research:

Talk & Action

CSR communication and reputation - new thinking and evidence on building trust and legitimacy

Behaviour change for sustainability - finding new ways of influencing managers, employees and consumers to act sustainably

Organisation & Operations

Responsible workplaces - analysing how companies can ensure equality, engagement and decent work in the labour market

Sustainable supply chains - helping companies manage for social and environmental responsibility in global production networks

Society & Impact

Governing for a sustainable economy - designing and evaluating effective regulation and standards for responsible business (and investment)

Philanthropy and business - using business thinking to make giving more effective for individuals, organisations and governments

Innovation & Transformation

Responsible innovation and enterprise - exploring the social and economic impacts of new products, processes and business models

Digital Futures - considering the role of business in society in a digital world

Corporate partnerships

Corporate engagement is central to our research agenda. We have long term, research intensive relationships with major corporate partners including Waitrose and Nationwide.

Waitrose: Community Matters

This collaborative project investigates what the Waitrose 'Community Matters' scheme tells us about consumer preferences for local charities. Through the scheme, each Waitrose store makes a monthly donation to three local charities in proportion to in-store customer votes. Community Matters is a leading example of a scheme that combines corporate philanthropy with local democracy. Customers can direct the distribution of philanthropic funds to what they see as the most worthy causes. Customers can also respond to local circumstances, and favour charities that address important local issues. Customer voting can therefore help corporate philanthropy to be responsive to local needs.

The research has considered more than 70,000 donations across more than 300 locations. The analysis provides insights into which characteristics of charities are favoured by Waitrose customers and describe how voting patterns vary across locations. It also reveals tendencies for customer voting, and the resulting corporate donations, to reflect local circumstances in the environs of each Waitrose store. This ensures that corporate philanthropy is targeted at the most prevalent and acute local needs.

Contact: Prof Stephen Pavelin