Christopher Cowton


  • Huddersfield Business School University of Huddersfield Queensgate Huddersfield HD1 3DH United Kingdom

    United Kingdom

  • 1172 Citations
  • 16 h-Index
1980 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Chris Cowton became Emeritus Professor in 2019, having served the University as Professor of Accounting (1996-2016), Dean of the Business School (2008-2016) and Professor of Financial Ethics (2016-2019). He previously lectured at the University of Oxford (1986-1996), Cardiff (1982-1986) and Aberystwyth (1980-1982). Chris now has a part-time role as Associate Director (Research) at the Institute of Business Ethics, a registered charity that promotes high standards of business behaviour based on ethical values. He is currently also a Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds' Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied (IDEA) Centre and the University of the Basque Country, Bilbao (Spain).

Chris has published extensively and is frequently invited to speak to academic and practitioner communities on business ethics, governance and research methods. His scholarly output includes conceptual argumentation, quantitative and qualitative empirical research, mathematical analysis, historical work - and even the poetic. He is internationally recognised for his contributions to business ethics, especially his pioneering work on financial ethics.  In 2013 he was awarded the University of Huddersfield’s first DLitt (Doctor of Letters, a higher doctorate) in recognition of his original and significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge in business and financial ethics.

From 1998 to 2001 he was Chair of EBEN-UK, the UK Association of the European Business Ethics Network, and he chaired the 13th Annual Conference of the European Business Ethics Network in Cambridge in 2000. He was selected to give the P.D. Leake Lecture at Chartered Accountants' Hall, London in May 2007, and for a decade he was Editor of the quarterly international journal Business Ethics: A European Review. He served as a member of the Ethics Standards Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for a decade and has been a trustee of the Institute of Business Ethics and a member of the advisory of one of the first socially responsible investment products in the UK.

During his career Chris has added several qualifications (on a part-time basis) to his first degree. He holds an MScEcon from the University of Wales, an MA (by Special Resolution) from the University of Oxford, a PhD from the University of Sheffield, a DLitt from the University of Huddersfield, a Graduate Diploma in Philosophy from the University of York, and a Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring. He is a qualified Chartered Governance Professional/Chartered Secretary (ACIS), a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Socially responsible/ethical investment
  • Ethical banking/banking ethics
  • Accounting ethics and professionalism
  • Ethics of trade credit

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Accounting
  • Management Accounting
  • Corporate Governance
  • Business Ethics

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Research Output

Forensic accounting services in English local government and the counter-fraud agenda

Sahdan, M. H., Cowton, C. & Drake, J., 3 Jul 2020, In : Public Money and Management. 40, 5, p. 380-389 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Settling debts in the supply chain: do prompt payment codes make a difference? A UK study

    Cowton, C. & San-Jose, L., 20 Jan 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Business Ethics After the Global Financial Crisis: Lessons from The Crash

    Cowton, C. (ed.), Dempsey, J. (ed.) & Sorell, T. (ed.), 12 Feb 2019, 1st ed. New York: Routledge. 190 p. (Routledge Studies in Business Ethics)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • Financial Institutions and Codes of Ethics

    Cowton, C., 19 Dec 2019, Handbook on Ethics in Finance. San-Jose, L., Retolaza, J. L. & van Liedekerke, L. (eds.). Springer, Cham, 13 p. (International Handbooks in Business Ethics; vol. 3).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Activities

    • 2 Invited talk

    What do UK Employees Think about Ethics at Work?

    Christopher Cowton (Speaker)
    11 Oct 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    What Do UK Employees Think About at Work?

    Christopher Cowton (Speaker)
    11 Oct 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Press / Media

    Universities highlight sustainability challenges

    Christopher Cowton


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Big data meets big brother

    Christopher Cowton


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    A Question of Standards

    Christopher Cowton


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment