- Research Excellence Framework
– Decisions on assessing research impact
– The UK Research Excellence Framework (2014) placed 20% weight on societal impact in assessing universities research programs
- The UK Stern Report (2016) calls for a broadening of the definition of impact to embrace public engagement, culture and pedagogy as well as the traditional emphasis on policy and applications. It advises that impact and research environment be combined in the next REF assessment to form 35% of the weighting.
- National Science Foundation
Proposals submitted to the NSF are evaluated on two criteria: intellectual merit and broader impacts. The former refers to the extent the proposed research advances knowledge and understanding within its own field and across fields, and the extent to which the research suggests and explores creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts. The latter refers to the benefits of the proposed research to society, including its impact on learning, education, and practice. NSF provides a paper explaining the broader impacts criterion and representative activities.
- Initiatives by Scholarly Journals
Leading business and management journals encourage studying grand challenges, important societal issues, practical and relevant research.
Some journals are publishing editorials to encourage research on important society issues. For example, the Academy of Management Journal (http://amj.aom.org) calls for timely research (2014-2016). The editor Gerry George (2014-2016 term) called for new research on new topics important in the contemporary era. The topics include climate change and management (June, 2014 issue), aging populations and management (August 2014 issue), organizations with purpose (October 2014 issue), rethinking governance and management research (December 2014 issue). In December 2016 (Volume 59, Issue 6), it publishes a special issue on “grand challenges in management.” See introduction to the forum by George, Howard-Grenvillle, Joshi, and Tihanyi (2016).
The Journal of Marketing and the Academy of Management Discoveries are planning special issues on grand challenges in marketing and research to support the implementation of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, respectively. Two journals in operational management have initiatives to motivate researchers to conduct practice-oriented research and to engage practitioners.
(a) M&SOM practice-drive research competition
(b) POMS applied research challenge
- Community Engaged Scholarship
At the University of Minnesota (UM) and by Professor Andy Van de Ven, UM provides a good example of engaging the community in research. This webpage describes the public engagement of researchers in various disciplines. Public engagement is the partnership of university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to advance research, teaching and outreach. Since the publication of his book Engaged Scholarship (Van de Ven, 2007), Professor Andy Van de Ven, a faculty at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, is a strong advocate of co-production of knowledge with research subjects. See this website for his doctoral course on how to conduct research through engagement with the organizations and individuals being studied.