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Making a Splash! What companies say and do about water

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People's Palace

Queen Mary University of London

Mile End Road

London

E1 4NS

United Kingdom

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Meet our Professors: The Inaugural Lecture of Professor Frances Bowen


Abstract

Many areas of the world are experiencing water resource challenges, including droughts, floods, contamination and pollution. While industrial activities often contribute to water resource problems, business can also develop new technologies, stakeholder relationships and markets to address them. In this lecture, Professor Bowen will outline the business challenges and opportunities arising from water issues. She will present the results of recent research on corporate water strategies of large UK-based businesses, focusing on what companies say and do about water. She will build on theories of legitimacy and justification to show how companies can maintain apparently unstable compromises between words and actions. The lecture will uncover the gaps between the rhetoric and reality of corporate water strategies, and provide recommendations on when and how to close them.

About Professor Frances Bowen

Professor Frances Bowen is Head of the School of Business and Management, and Professor of Innovation Studies.

Professor Bowen specialises in innovation for sustainability, particularly in large companies. She joined Queen Mary as a professor of innovation studies in 2011, and has since served as Director of Research and as Deputy Head of School.

Her academic career began with a BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford, and an MA in Economics from Northeastern University, USA, where she focused on the political economy of development. She then switched her focus to the management dimensions of sustainable development, through her PhD from the University of Bath (2000) and later in academic positions at the University of Sheffield (1999-2003) and the University of Calgary, Canada (2003-2011). She has been a Visiting Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford (2009) and at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2016).

Frances held an ESRC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in 2013-14. She is often asked to provide advice on innovation for sustainability to companies and to regulatory bodies such as the Environment Agency, Defra, the National Audit Office and the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Her research has been supported by nearly £1m of grant funding over the last 10 years from the ESRC, EPSRC, SSHRC, BIS and Canadian provincial and federal governments.

Frances served as chair of the Organizations and the Natural Environment (ONE) Division of the Academy of Management (2013-14), and as president of GRONEN, the Group for Research on Organizations and the Natural Environment (2014-16). This year, she was elected onto the Council of the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS).

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People's Palace

Queen Mary University of London

Mile End Road

London

E1 4NS

United Kingdom

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