The Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility is an action-research centre within Cranfield School of Management. We work closely with academia, business, and other partner organisations and networks to teach, research, and publish (books, articles, reports and practical How-to guides).

To influence current and future business practice we engage with students and business through our speaker series, partnerships, and events.

As well as our core activities we undertake a limited number of consulting assignments and run bespoke course and workshops for business. We speak at and/or chair and facilitate conferences throughout the year.

The Doughty Centre was made possible by a donation from the late Nigel Doughty, a Cranfield Distinguished Alumnus and co-chair and co-founder of Doughty Hanson & Co.

Our Commitment:

  • To help others integrate corporate responsibility fully into management practice
  • To create, teach and inspire managers to engage fully with environmental and social issues in the workplace
  • To promote corporate responsibility research and development.  

The Future:

The Doughty Centre aspires to be a leading centre for research, teaching and practice in corporate responsibility and sustainability. We are particularly interested in how businesses embed  corporate responsibility and sustainability.

How We Work

At the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility we engage in three types of activities:

Teaching and sharing knowledge

The Doughty Centre aims to embed the concept of corporate responsibility throughout graduate and executive education. The concept of integration, rather than adding on corporate responsibility as a singular aspect of an organisation, is our objective and as such the Centre provides a wealth of support and expertise in this area to offer ongoing development.

We also recognise the importance of disseminating this knowledge, and work closely with partners to do this, for example through our Cranfield CR Network, and in partnership with the Pears Foundation Business School Partnership.

Knowledge creation/research

We provide in-depth research into how organisations can integrate corporate responsibility into day-to-day activities and the role of the firm in today’s society. We teach managers at all levels how to adopt a sustainable and responsible outlook and support them with the necessary tools and inspiration to incorporate sustainability into the heart of their organisation.

Knowledge application

At the Doughty Centre, we recognise the importance of influencing practice, policy-makers, and business. We offer consultancy services to managers and business leaders. As well as the existing training, research and development available, there is also the opportunity to benefit from a team of experts on hand to support and guide your management team. We also engage in dialogue to help explore topical issues.

Our Vision, Mission and Values

At the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility we are guided by a core set of values. By following this ethos we can promote the benefits of running a sustainable and responsible business to managers and business leaders alike. Our mission provides us with a clear approach and helps us to communicate our proposition to students, executives, and others interested in corporate responsibility and sustainability.


Sustainability and responsibility at the heart of management.


To equip current and future managers with the skill, confidence and inspiration to place sustainability and responsibility at the heart of successful management.


Be Collaborative – Be Cutting Edge – Be Candid – Be Passionate – Be Integrating – Be Entrepreneurial

Defining Corporate Responsibility

Corporate responsibility is "A business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing the opportunities and managing the risks associated with economic, environmental and social developments." PWC/SAM - The Sustainability Yearbook 2008

At the Doughty Centre we define a 'responsible business' as one that:

  • Is committed to minimising any negative impacts on the environment and wider community
  • Adopts ethical and transparent business practices with respect for employees, the environment and wider community
  • Is designed to deliver sustainable value for stakeholders and communities
  • Fully integrates sustainability and responsibility into day-to-day business practices 

You will see many different terms used: CSR, corporate responsibility, sustainability, accountable corporation, triple bottom line, corporate citizenship ... . In essence, we are talking about how business behaves - and ultimately, better business.

Other definitions include:

Commission of the European Union

CSR is "... the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society." Commission Communication on CSR 2011.  

World Business Council for Sustainable Development

"Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" and "CSR is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large." (WBCSD, 1999).

UN Global Compact (

"Through the power of collective action, the Global Compact seeks to advance responsible corporate citizenship so that business can be part of the solution to the challenges of globalization. In this way, the private sector - in partnership with other social actors - can help realize the Secretary-General's vision: a more sustainable and inclusive global economy."  

Junior Chamber International - CSR

"JCI believes that CSR is about what business can do - not about what business must do. It is about opportunities not about obligations or new rules." (global congress October 2005 Vienna).

Grayson and Hodges: Corporate Social Responsibility or Responsible Entrepreneurship

"Businesses seeking to minimise their negative environmental and social impacts and to maximise their positive environmental and social impacts."