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Prof. Roger Spear
Prof Roger Spear
Post:Professor of Social Entrepreneurship
Department:Engineering And Innovation
E-Mail:roger.spear @
Tel:+44(0)1908 653054
Fax:01908 652140


Roger is Chair of the Co-operatives Research Unit and Professor of Social Entrepreneurship in the Faculty of Maths, Computing and Technology at the Open University. . Recently he has carried out studies of social enterprises in the UK and Europe. He is currently working on various projects on social innovation and entrepreneurship.


Roger Spear is Professor of Social Entrepreneurship and Chair of the Co-operatives Research Unit, Member of the Ciriec Scientific Committee, founder member and vice-president of the EMES research network on social enterprise, and teaches organisational systems and research methods in the Department of Communication and Systems at the Open University.  He is widely known for research on innovation and development in the third sector, particularly social enterprises.  Studies have included: a study of labour market work integration in several European countries;  a comparative study of social enterprises in Europe (EMES project Frameworks 4&5: see )). He was one of the coordinators of a major CIRIEC project on employment and the third system (funded by European Commission).  Recent projects include: part of a team evaluating the UK government’s social enterprise strategy (with GHK); and two UNDP funded projects on social enterprise in Eastern Europe, and former CIS countries; a much quoted research project on Governance and Social Enterprise. He was recently an international expert on two EC Peer Reviews: The social economy from the perspective of active inclusion, and on the French social economy.  He has been an expert consultant on several OECD projects on the social economy in Korea, Slovenia, and Serbia.  Other important policy work include: UNDP project on social enterprise in Slovakia; a World Bank project in Egypt on social entrepreneurship (after the Arab Spring).  He is also currently guest professor at Roskilde University, Copenhagen, Denmark, where he helped coordinate a GEM study of social entrepreneurship; and contribute to a pioneering International Masters in Social Entrepreneurship. His most recent project was contributing to an EC project mapping social enterprise and their ecosystems in all countries of Europe.


Since joining the OU in 1974, he has worked on a range of courses in the Organisation Studies and Management Science area. He chaired a package of courses to assist in the development of workers co-operatives (Co-op Working 1, 2 & 3). He has helped produce a course pack on 'Better Meetings' for co-operatives and other organisations in the social economy. He has also been involved with a series of courses heading to Diploma and MBA qualifications in voluntary sector management, and an EC funded course for ICOM - 'Strategic Management in the Social Economy'. 


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