Mari Sako

Professor of Management Studies

Mari Sako is Professor of Management Studies at Saïd Business School and a Professorial Fellow of New College, Oxford. With 20 years of research on global strategy, she has applied comparative institutional analysis to investigate specific issues such as supplier relations, labour-management relations, education and training, and entrepreneurial start-ups in Japan and elsewhere.

At the School, Mari teaches on executive programmes for professional services firms, including the Clifford Chance Advanced Management Programme. She also teaches Global Strategy on the MBA Programme, and Globalisation to students on the MSc in Major Programme Management and on the Diploma in Strategy and Innovation. She is Academic Director for the School’s new Diploma in Global Business.

Mari’s research has resulted in the publication of five books and numerous articles in management and economics journals. Her books include Prices, Quality and Trust (1992), Are Skills the Answer? (1999) (with Colin Crouch and David Finegold), and Shifting Boundaries of the Firm (2006). During the period 1993–2006, she was the principal researcher of the MIT International Motor Vehicle Programme, working on supplier relations, modularisation, outsourcing and supplier parks in the global automotive industry.  As a Senior Fellow of the Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM), Mari investigated productivity and performance in business services, the impact of outsourcing on professions, and origins of the creation of shared and outsourced services. As a member of the Novak Druce Centre for Professional Service Firms at Said, she carries out research on the globalisation of law firms and the impact of legal process outsourcing on the legal profession.

Sako’s academic career began at Oxford where she read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE).  She then studied for an MSc in Economics at the London School of Economics and an MA in Economics at Johns Hopkins University, before completing her PhD at London University in 1990.From 1987 to 1997, she was Lecturer then Reader in Industrial Relations at the London School of Economics. She also held visiting positions at Kyoto University, Tokyo University, Ecole Polytechnique, RIETI (Research Institute of the Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry in Tokyo) and at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.  During 2011-12, she was President of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE).

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