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Business Ethics, Accountability and Governance research cluster

Questions regarding the proper role of business and governance have never been more important.

From the high-profile scandals splashed across the front pages, to the tragedies occurring in far-flung supply chains, the actions of organisations can have a profound impact on countries, communities and individuals.

In a global climate of political uncertainty, it is of vital importance that we understand the potential of businesses to do harm and identify the many ways in which the power of private actors can be leveraged to do good

Who we are and what we do

The Business Ethics, Accountability and Governance Research Cluster is a collaborative, cross-disciplinary group which works on issues relating to the impact of business and organisations on society. Our members come from a range of academic backgrounds including management, accounting, law and politics, and our diversity allows us to approach our research with creativity and an open mind.

To this end, we work on collaborative, innovative research projects and host events designed to facilitate open discussions with a breadth of stakeholders on important, current issues. The skills and expertise within the cluster inform the cutting-edge teaching practices of Middlesex University.

Our cluster works with the Institute of Business Ethics, of which Middlesex University is an institutional supporter.

Institute of Business Ethics


If you are interested in the work of the Business Ethics, Accountability and Governance Research Cluster or attending one of our regular meetings, please find us on Twitter @BEAGMdx or contact:

We encourage input from stakeholders beyond academia, and welcome PhD proposals that fit with our cluster’s areas of expertise.

  • Our featured research

    • Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Violence against Women services by Migrant Workers in Malaysia

      Project details: Available via MDX Minds
      Staff involved: Tim Freeman and Lilian Miles (external member)

      Funded by UN Women, this £12,000 project involves working with UNWOMEN, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to deliver a Strategy Paper on women migrant workers’ SRH and VAWMW needs which will inform the drafting of Malaysia’s 12th National Development Plan (2021-2025).

      The adoption of recommendations in our Strategy Paper will also influence Malaysia’s progression toward meeting its obligations under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #5: ‘Gender Equality’.

      The team have also been awarded £150,000 by the Newton Fund Impact Scheme (British Council). Focused on women migrant workers, the project draws together researchers from Westminster University (Lilian Miles), Middlesex University (Tim Freeman) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (Noraida Endut) together with health care providers, NGOs and employers to design, pilot and evaluate three sexual and reproductive health (SRH) interventions in two factories in Malaysia. The research applies theory-based evaluation techniques to identify the programme-logic of interventions and extent to which they yield expected benefits. This project builds on work submitted as a REF 2021 Impact Case Study reported here.

    • Rethinking Fashion Design Entrepreneurship: Fostering Sustainable Practices

      Staff involved: Patrick Elf, Fergus Lyon, Ian Vickers, Andrea Werner

      This cross-university research collaboration between the London College of Fashion, Middlesex University and the Open University, funded by a £450K research grant from the  Arts & Humanities Research Council, has investigated the role of creative entrepreneurship and design in micro and small fashion enterprises (MSEs) as a potential driver for a more sustainable fashion industry. The research has analysed business models and practices in the fashion sector that foster a balance between environmental, social, cultural and economic considerations. Findings and outputs of the project can be found on this website. The research team has also produced a policy briefing, as well as a journal article outlining sustainable fashion businesses’ contribution to the circular economy.

    • Transparency and Disclosure in Supply Chains: Modern Slavery and Worker Voice

      Staff Involved: Sepideh Parsa, Ian Roper (external cluster member), Chandima Hettiarachchi

      This project aims to establish an overview of how the largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange report in compliance with the Modern Slavery Act (2015, section 54: the Transparency in supply chains) (MSA).

      In an attempt to raise corporate accountability, the MSA identifies labour and human rights issues and outlines non-mandatory reporting options with a view to elevate companies’ understanding of the complexities in their supply chains. Initially, this project identifies and sets out some of the key challenges and complexities that are faced by reporting companies and highlights the extent and nature of what companies have/have-not reported in accordance with the mandatory/non-mandatory aspects of the Act.

      It is envisaged that the project will contribute to the Government’s ongoing work on the MSA, in particular to the calls for a template for reporting companies and for an online central government-run reporting service that will clearly outline minimum statutory reporting requirements.

    • Adoption of the Living Wage by employers

      Staff involved: Andrea Werner, Richard Croucher

      Building on long-standing research within Middlesex University Business School on the national minimum wage and on ethical and social responsibility of business, this research stream investigates employers’ adoption of the voluntary or real Living Wage. A key research focus has been the engagement of small and medium-sized enterprises with the real Living Wage, whose impact has been outlined in a REF2021 case study. A current focus is the adoption of the real Living Wage in the social care sector.

    • Just Transitions and the SLO of Renewable Energy

      Staff involved: Siân Stephens, Lisa Schulte

      This project builds on expertise in the more traditional extractive industry to identify opportunities and challenges facing the renewable energy industry and their host communities. Completed work includes research on the social license to operate in onshore wind farm communities in Scotland and South Africa, and participation in British Academy funded project on the just transition in Denmark, England, Germany and South Africa. Our current research is considering less high-profile source of alternative energy, including energy-from-waste, and the impact of this on urban communities.

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