Professor Alex Nicholls MBA is the first tenured professor in social entrepreneurship appointed at the University of Oxford and was the first staff member of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in 2004. His research interests range across several key areas within social entrepreneurship and social innovation, including: the nexus of relationships between accounting, accountability, and governance; public and social policy contexts; social investment; and Fair Trade.
To date Nicholls has published more than eighty papers, working papers, book chapters and articles and six books. Most appear in a wide range of peer reviewed journals and books, including five papers in Financial Times Top 30 journals (with two others under review and resubmit). His 2009 paper on social investment won the Best Paper Award (Entrepreneurship) at the British Academy of Management. In 2010, Nicholls edited a Special Edition of Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice on social entrepreneurship – the first time a top tier management journal had recognized the topic in this way. He is the General Editor of the Skoll Working Papers series and the Editor of the Journal of Social Entrepreneurship.
Nicholls is also the co-author of a major research book on Fair Trade (with Charlotte Opal, Sage, 2005) and the editor of a collection of key papers on social entrepreneurship (Oxford University Press, 2006, 2008). Both represent the best selling and most cited academic books on their subjects in the world. In 2011, Nicholls published a co-edited volume on social innovation – the first scholarly book on the subject. In 2016, he published the first academic book on social finance and a second collection on social innovation. In 2018 he will publish a new book - Creating Economic Space For Social Innovation.