Mari Sako’s main areas of expertise include global strategy, comparative institutional analysis, outsourcing and offshoring, and professional services.
Her most recent work has focused on business and professional services and on outsourcing. Mari’s work on business services in the UK has attracted the interest of UK policy makers.
Her research on the globalisation of legal services and its impact on the professions has led to her becoming member of the UK Legal Services Board Research Strategy Group, and member of the advisory board of Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute. During 2011-12, she was President of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE). Mari also earlier made a significant contribution to the understanding of the Japanese economy and Japanese firms. In the 1990s and 2000s, she was a researcher for the MIT International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP), which gave her a valuable opportunity to be out in the field, observing and interviewing managers and workers at automakers and their suppliers in Japan, Europe and the USA. Insights from the fieldwork to understand lean production and quality control are also informing her more recent work on what professionals such as lawyers do. Her research has been published in the form of five books and numerous journal articles.
Before joining the School in 1997, Mari was Lecturer, then Reader, at the London School of Economics. She read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Oxford, and holds a PhD in Economics from the University of London. 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 MIT Sloan School of Management.
Alongside her role at Saïd Business School, Mari is a Professorial Fellow of New College, University of Oxford.