Nottingham University Business School
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Dr Niamh O‘Sullivan

BA (Univeristy College Cork), MA (University College Cork), PhD (Unviersity of Amsterdam Business School)
Assistant Professor in CSR/Sustainable Business/Business Ethics

Division: Strategy and International Business
Centre/Institute: International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility
E-mail: Niamh.O'
Tel: +44 (0) 115 8467414
Location: B07 (North Building, Jubilee Campus)

Niamh acts as an Assistant Professor in Sustainable Business/Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), in the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ICCSR). She joins ICCSR with over 15 years' experience in the inter-governmental, academic and practice spheres related to sustainable development, CSR, sustainability reporting, sustainable finance and responsible investment.

Niamh most recently worked for two years (2014-2016) as an Associate Analyst with Sustainalytics, a responsible investment research firm, headquartered in Amsterdam; where she managed Sustainalytics Academic Programme, led a seminal research project on responsible investment engagement processes, and co-authored Sustainalytics' sector reports. Niamh completed a PhD (cum laude) and post-doctorate in The University of Amsterdam Business School, where she (inter alia) taught an MSc course on "Sustainability, Accountability and Ethics", as well as a specialised MBA elective course on sustainable finance.

Her PhD and post doctorate research won a series of academic and practice awards, including the 2010 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award in the Interdisciplinary Accounting Research Category; and the French Social Investment Forum (SIF) Best Published Article Award 2010.

Her research has been published in Accounting, Organizations and Society, and Accounting, Accountability and Auditing Journal. Before her PhD, Niamh also spent four and a half years (2001-2005) with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) in Geneva, Switzerland. Here, she acted as project manager for the UNEP FI African Task Force, and the UNEP FI- GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) Financial Services Sector Supplement Working Group.

Administrative Roles
TUNIC Link Tutor
I am module convenor of the following modules:


Sustainable Decisions and Organisations (N14M94)
Sustainable Decisions and Organisations (N14E60)

Details of all modules can be found on MyNottingham

Current Research Activities
Niamh's current research interests span the broad intersection between social and environmental accountability, sustainable finance - in particular responsible investment engagement processes - institutional theory and transnational governance. She adopts a qualitative approach to her research.

Publications from 2005 to the present day

Journal Articles

O'Sullivan, N. and O'Dwyer, B. (2015), "The structuration of issue-based fields: Social accountability, social movements and the Equator Principles issue-based field", Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol.43, 33-55.

O'Sullivan, N; O'Dwyer, B. (2009), "Stakeholder perspectives on a financial sector legitimation process: The case of NGOs and the Equator Principles", Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol.22 (4), pp. 553-587.

Reports for external body

Gond, J.P.; O'Sullivan, N.; Slager, R.; Viehs, M.; Homanen, M.; & Mosony, S. 2018, "How ESG engagement creates value for investors and companies", in UN-Backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

O'Sullivan, N. and Gond, J-P. 2016, "Engagement: Unlocking the black box of value creation", in Sustainalytics, Sustainalytics.

Chapters in Books

O'Sullivan, N. (2015), "The Global Reporting Initiative guidelines and external assurance of investment bank sustainability reports: Effective tools for financial sector social accountability", in Responsible Investment Banking - Risk Management Frameworks and Soft Law Standards, Springer International.

Coulson, A. and O'Sullivan, N. (2014), "Environmental and social assessment in finance", in Sustainability Accounting and Accountability, Routledge.


O'Sullivan, N. 2018, "Private Shareholder Engagement as Practice: Unpacking the Un/Intended Effects of Environmental, Social and Governance Engagement at Institutional Investment Firms", in European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium. Tallinn, Estonia.

O'Sullivan, N, 2017, "Engagement work for responsible investment: A behind-the-scenes view of responsible investment engagement processes.", in The UN-Backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Annual \'PRI-in-Person\' Conference, Berlin, Germany..

O'Sullivan, N. 2017, "Governing Responsible Business Conduct through Financial Markets? The Case of French Socially Responsible Investing", in European Group for Organizational Studie (EGOS) Colloquium, Copenhagen, Denmark..

O'Sullivan, N. 2014, "The Structuration of issue-based fields: Social accountability, social movements and the Equator Principles issue-based field", in European Group of Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium, Rotterdam, Netherlands..

O'Sullivan, N. 2013, "Workshop on Sustainable Development in the Pacific.", in St Andrews University, St Andrews, Scotland..

O'Sullivan, N. 2013, "The Equator Principles institution: The work of bridging macro and micro levels", in European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium, Montreal, Canada.

O'Sullivan, N. 2013, "Institutional entrepreneurship in an issue-based field: The effects of social movements on the struturation of the Equator Principles field.", in Alternative Accounts Conference, Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, Canada..

O'Sullivan, N. 2012, "Social Accountability and the Finance Sector: The Equator Principles Institutionalisation Process", in Bordeaux Management School (BEM) Seminar Series, Bordeaux, France.

O'Sullivan, N. 2009, "Social Accountability and the Finance Sector: The Institutioanlisation of the Equator Principles?", in KPMG Netherlands PhD Seminar, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

O'Sullivan, N. 2008, "Social Accountability and the Finance Sector: The Institutionalisation of the Equator Principles?".

O'Sullivan, N. 2008, "Social Accountability and the Finance Sector: the Institutionalisation of the Equator Principals", in The Amsterdam Global Conference on Sustainability and Transparency, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Amsterdam, Netherlands.

O'Sullivan, N; O'Dwyer, B. 2007, "Stakeholder perspectives on a financial sector legitimation process: NGOs and the Equator Principles", in Aisa Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting (APRIA) Conference, Auckland, New Zealand..

Book Reviews

O'Sullivan, N. 2011, "Good Cop Bad Cop: Environmental NGOs and their Strategies towards Business, by Thomas, E. and Lyon, P.", in Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, 105.



Nottingham University Business School

Jubilee Campus

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 6602
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 6667