Associate Professor
Chris Mason


Universities & Institutions

  • Swinburne University

Areas of Interest

  • Social enterprise
  • Social innovation
  • Social impact
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Business ethics

Associate Professor Chris Mason is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact and Course Director for the PhD by Practice-based Research, at Swinburne University of Technology.

Chris is Australia’s research field leader in ethics, and recognised as a global leader in social enterprise research. He studies the complex relationships between entrepreneurs, organisations and policy-makers to understand how they foster and constrain social innovation. Chris’s research is deeply industry relevant and has major real-world impacts. He has contributed new thinking, ideas, practices and tools in several areas:

Pioneered innovative ways to understand social enterprise boards and governance.
Mapped government policy making for housing outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in Australia.
Investigated how social impact investment can unlock greater investment in social and affordable housing.
Developed a ground-breaking social innovation for social enterprise business operations.
Evaluated government financial programs to support social enterprise development.
Systematically reviewed social innovations in health equities.
Mapped the social enterprise sector across Australia.

Chris is a highly-respected scholar in his field. He has been Chief Investigator on research projects funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), and by Commonwealth and State governments in Australia, securing over $3 million in research funding.

He publishes high-impact scholarly work across the entrepreneurship, policy and organisation studies disciplines, in elite and top-tier scholarly journals, including the Journal of Business Venturing, Policy & Politics, the Journal of Business Ethics and the Journal of Small Business Management. He is an Associate Editor of both the Social Enterprise Journal and Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, and an External Affiliate of the Centre for Social Policy and Social Entrepreneurship (CSPSE) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

In his role as Course Director for the PhD by Practice-based Research, Chris leads the only transdisciplinary practice-focused PhD program in Australia. This ground-breaking program attracts senior leaders from across business, government and civil society, using an innovative model to support high-impact and practice-focused research.

See all work by this Author