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Professor Frances Bowen

Head of School

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 2703
Location: Room 4.22A, Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus


Frances  Bowen

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

Professor Bowen specialises in corporate strategy and environmental governance. 

Originally from Wales, she returned to the UK in 2011 after eight years at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary (Canada). There she had served as Associate Dean (Research) and as Director of the International Resource Industries and Sustainability Centre (IRIS). She previously served as Deputy Head of School and Director of Research at SBM.

Frances's 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, where she focused on the political economy of development. She then made the move to focus on the management dimensions of sustainable development, through her PhD from the University of Bath and later as a lecturer at the University of Sheffield.

She has been a Visiting Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford (2009), and held an ESRC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship at Defra in 2013-14.

Professor Bowen is often asked to provide advice on regulating for a sustainable economy to companies and to regulatory bodies such as the Environment Agency, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the National Audit Office and the 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.

Outside work she enjoys running marathons, choral singing and mountains, though not usually at the same time.

Personal website:



Research interests:

Professor Bowen’s research focuses on innovation for sustainability, particularly in large companies. 

Her recent research has addressed core themes within innovation studies such as responses to disruptive business model innovations, and relationships between innovation, business performance and growth. Recent and current research projects focus on how firms with good environmental reputations can recover from regulatory failures, corporate water strategies, greenwashing and information-based regulation of environmental behaviours.

She has published widely on environmental and social strategy in journals such as the Journal of Management Studies, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, British Journal of Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Business Research and Production and Operations Management

Frances was the 2014 Chair of the Organizations and the Natural Environment (ONE) Division of the Academy of Management, and is currently President of GRONEN, the Group for Research on Organizations and the Natural Environment. 

Further, she serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Management Studies, Business & Society, Organization & Environment, and Business Strategy and the Environment.

  • Information-based governance, January 2015 – April 2015
    Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, UK. £9,750
  • Regulation for a Sustainable Economy, May 2013 – March 2014
    Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Knowledge Exchange Fellowship. £124,000.
  • Regulation, Innovation and Sustainability: Corporate approaches to managing the abstraction, use and disposal of water resources, November 2012-June 2013
    Awarded in the Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Warwick Joint Institutional Pump-Priming Awards competition. £16,600.
  • Understanding barriers to low-carbon technology investments in the oil and gas industry: A managerial cognition perspective, April 2011- June 2014
    Awarded by Carbon Management Canada, Canadian Tri-council National Centre of Excellence. $150,000. Co-investigators: Drs. Tima Bansal, University of Western Ontario and Natalie Slawinski (PI), Memorial University Newfoundland.
  • Developing a culture of environmental regulatory compliance: Lessons from the Suncor Firebag Case, April 2009 – September 2011
    Awarded by The Government of Alberta under a creative sentencing order. $315,000. Principal Investigator. Co-Investigators: Drs. Harrie Vredenburg, Stephanie Bertels (SFU)
  • The Changing Climate of the Energy Industry, April 2008 – March 2011
    Awarded under the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC) Knowledge Impact in Society Programme, $299,030 (total with matched funding: $514,030). Principal Investigator. Grant was for knowledge translation, dissemination and co-creation activities with project partners (Energy Council of Canada, Calgary Chamber of Commerce, the Pembina Institute) on the energy industry and climate change. Co-Investigators: Drs. Bob Page, Harrie Vredenburg and Alain Verbeke.
  • Accounting for Carbon. April 2009 – March 2010.
    Awarded by the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford. £6,300. Co-investigator with Drs Chuks Okereke and Bettina Wittneben, University of Oxford.
  • IRIS-ISEEE Research Initiative on Business Risks and Opportunities in Commercial CCS Investments, April 2009 – December 2010
    Awarded by Natural Resources Canada (Canadian federal government). $184,660. Principal Investigator. Co-Investigators: Team from IRIS / Haskayne School of Business
  • Public consultation on Global Warming in Alberta, April 2009 – March 2010.
    Awarded by SSHRC under the Canadian Environmental Issues special call. $120,000. Collaborator. Principal Investigator: Mishka Lysack, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary.


Publications since 2010:


  • Bowen, F. E. (2014) After Greenwashing: Symbolic Corporate Environmentalism and Society, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK

Journal Articles and Other Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Bertels, S. and Bowen, F. E. (forthcoming) "Taking Stock, Looking Ahead: Editors¹ Introduction to the Inaugural Organization & Environment Review Issue², Organization & Environment
  • Bowen, F. E. and Aragon-Correa, J. A. (2014) “Greenwashing in corporate environmentalism research and practice: The importance of what we say and do”, Organization & Environment, 27(2): 107-112
  • Okereke, C., Wittneben, B. & Bowen F. E. (2012) “Climate change: Challenging business, transforming politics”, Business & Society, 52(1): 7-30
  • Bowen, F. E. and Wittneben, B. (2011) “Carbon accounting: Negotiating accuracy, consistency and certainty across organizational fields”, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 24(8): 1022-1036
  • Bowen, F. E. (2011) “Carbon capture and storage as a corporate technology strategy challenge”, Energy Policy, 39(5): 2256-2264
  • Dewald, J. and Bowen, F. E. (2010), “Cognitive resilience: Storm clouds and silver linings”,
 Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 34(1): 197-218
  • Bowen, F. E., Rostami, M. and Steel, P., (2010), “Timing is everything: A meta-analysis of
organizational performance and innovation”, Journal of Business Research, 63: 1179-1185
  • Bowen, F. E., Newenham-Kahindi, A. and Herremans, I. (2010), “When suits meet roots: The
antecedents and consequences of community engagement”, Journal of Business Ethics, 95(2): 297-318

Teaching Cases

  • Bertels, S., Van der Byl, C. and Bowen, F. E. (2013) Developing a Culture of Compliance: Environmental Challenges at Suncor’s Firebag Facility, plus teaching note and video, published by Ivey Publishing, London, Ontario. case no. 9B13M032
  • Bowen, F. E. and McDaniels, D. (2011) Total’s Carbon Capture and Storage Project at Lacq. Part A: Risk and Opportunity in Public Engagement; Part B: Gaining Public Acceptance of New Technology, plus teaching note, published by Ivey Publishing, London, Ontario case no. 9B10M105


  • Bowen, F. E. (2010) “Barriers to Carbon Capture and Storage may not be obvious”, Nature, 464: 160. doi:10.1038/464160c

PhD Supervision

 Current Doctoral Students:

  • Dr Mehmet Evran, 2014
    ‘Exploring the Role of M&A in Dynamic Capability Context in the Emerging
     Markets; The Case of Turkey’ now Teaching Fellow at UCL

Public engagement

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