Cranfield School of Management | Ethics in business-to-business organisations

Cranfield School of Management

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Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility

Doctoral opportunities

Ethics in business-to-business organisations

Supervisor: IainĀ DaviesĀ 

Ethics in business-to-business organisations

Much of the current research in and around Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability focuses on consumer or near consumer markets. Since more than half of all transactions are done business-to-business why is no-one looking at or helping organisations in this area. We find in our research that "ethics" - for want of a better word - are increasingly important in sales interactions, but they still do not define how purchases are made in B2B industries. In this PhD/DBA topic we wish to explore what is happening in B2B markets. How important is Ethics or Sales Person Ethics in purchasing decisions. We have seen a growth in supplier code of conducts in B2C markets but are these migrating into B2B - frankly no-one knows. We welcome research proposals on:

  • B2B Ethics - what are they and what responsibilities should B2B businesses have?
  • How to embed ethics/CSR in the B2B environment?
  • What happens behind closed doors? When the media is not interested can change happen in organisations?
  • What governs successful CSR/Sustainability implementation in B2B environments?

We welcome candidates with experience working in B2B environments, or those with a particular interest in CSR, Sustainability or Business Ethics.

Please forward research proposals to Iain Davies (

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