Mari Sako is Professor of Management Studies at Saïd Business School and Professorial Fellow at New College, University of Oxford. Her main areas of expertise include global business strategy and comparative political economy of business. At Oxford, she teaches on a number of programmes, and directs the Executive Diploma in Global Business.

Her most recent research is on professional services, in particular the role of digital technology on new business models, the profession, and the entrepreneurial ecosystems. In the last five years, she has conducted a study of alternative legal service providers with the Thomson Reuters Institute. During 2011-12, she was President of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE). She is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Mari 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). This 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.