Today business schools are a rich repository of resources for organisational and strategic thinking. Yet these resources are available only to those who can afford them, either by enrolling in degree programmes or hiring business school academics through private consultancy. For many in the not-for-profit and non-governmental sector this is not possible. At a time when the ethos of both business, and business schools, is being questioned as never before. The development of a pro bono professional and organizational ethos in the business school is vital to address this lack of access to resources.
Such a pro bono culture is well established in law schools and law firms. Indeed at Queen Mary, where the NGO Clinic was founded, there is well-established, and awarding-winning, pro bono legal clinic, supervised by law professors. But there is no tradition of pro bono work by professors and lecturers any UK business schools. Indeed, the widespread practice of accepting private, fee-paying consultancies by business school academics risks contributing to the impression that the resources of the UK business schools are private not public goods. The NGO Clinic is designed to free up valuable business school resources.