Professor Laura Spence

Personal profile

Laura J. Spence is a Professor of Business Ethics in the Department of Human Resource Management and Organisational Studies, Royal Holloway, University of London.  She has previously held the posts of Associate Dean (Research) supporting the School of Business and Management and the School of Law and Social Sciences, Director for the Centre for Research into Sustainability and School Director of Impact.

Professor Spence is a REF2021 Sub-Panel Member for Business and Management Studies.  

Research interests

Laura's research interests relate to a wide range of management studies issues, in particular, critical corporate social responsibility, small business social responsibility, supply chain sustainability and a critique of Creating Shared Value.  She uses moral and social theory in her research, favouring qualitative and conceptual studies. Laura has a particular interest in the place of gender and feminist perspectives in business ethics and corporate social responsibility research and practice.

She has published in highly respected journals including Human Relations, Organisation Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Accounting Organisations and Society, California Management Review and Business Ethics Quarterly. Laura is Consulting Editor of the Journal of Business Ethics.

PhD student applications are welcome including (but not only) in relation to small business social responsibility and critical corporate social responsibility.

Research interests (continued)

Research Impact

Professor Spence is an Advisory Council member of the Institute of Business Ethics, previously being a Trustee.

She is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Corporate Responsibility and has presented her research on small business social responsibility to the Group.

She was Chair of the Academic/Practitioner Horizon Group for the UK Construction Industry through her work with the Supply Chain Sustainability School from 2017-2020.

Learn more about Professor Spence's work with the construction industry here: 



Professor Spence has taught at undergraduate and postgraduate level in the School of Management on a range of topics related to Business Ethics including Corporate Social Responsibility, Responsible Entrepreneurship and Business and Society. She also contributes to the PhD student course on Qualitative Research, particularly in relation to Research Ethics.

Teaching related books include:

Crane, C., Matten, D., Glozer, S. and Spence, LJ (2019) 5th edn, Business Ethics, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Crane, A. Matten, D. and Spence, L.J. (eds) (2013), 2nd edn, Corporate Social Responsibility: Readings and Cases in a Global Context, Routledge, London.


In the Talking Teaching series, Professor Laura Spence talks about how cutting edge research in business ethics and sustainability underpins teaching at Royal Holloway, University of London, creating an inspiring learning community.


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