A brief history of RRBM

To preserve the history of this RRBM project, we provide a chronology of major activities each year, a narrative summary of activities every year, and the following brief history covering all the years.


Fall 2014 to Fall 2021

This project began in the Fall of 2014. The original idea came from the then Director of Research and Surveys for EFMD, Ulrich Hommel, who is also Professor of Finance at the EBS Business School in Germany. He invited Anne Tsui, Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame and Professor Emerita at the Arizona State University, to form a senior scholar team to identify solutions to problems in business school research. We knew it would be difficult, but we agreed that it was worth a try. We also agreed that this would be a community (not an EFMD) project with the goal to transform the research culture toward meaningful scholarship for the business and management research field. Beyond those principles, we did not have a grand plan to begin. We did not know how the future might unfold. Our journey was like “crossing the river by touching the stones”, one step at a time.

The formation of a team, in 2015, of 24 senior scholars from five business into a community for responsible research along with four institutional supporters is itself a miracle. Our early community agreed that: (1) we would represent ourselves and not our institutions; (2) we would evaluate our progress on an annual basis; (3) we would avoid committing to a failing cause, and be ready and willing to end the project if and when progress did not suggest a promising future. The team worked primarily online with a face-to-face meeting every six months to discuss our activities and define the next step. The exception was 2020 and 2021, when the whole world was engulfed in the COVID pandemic and online virtual events replaced all in-person activities.

The team wrote the RRBM position paper in 2016 and 2017, meanwhile consulting with others and seeking co-signers. The completed paper was authored by 28 co-founders and had 85 co-signers. In January 2018, the RRBM website hosting the RRBM position paper was launched. We invited visitors to read, endorse the paper and join the community. That year we also launched the Responsible Research in Management award.

In January 2019, RRBM transitioned into governance by a Working Board to generate new ideas, new energy and new initiatives.  In July 2019, we held our first Global Summit on Responsible Research. The inaugural AMA-EBSCO Annual Responsible Research in Marketing award was introduced, as well as the best paper prize by the European Finance Association.

An important milestone in 2020 was the revision of the AACSB accreditation standards to include the societal impact of a school’s research and teaching programs. Many top journals are calling for more responsible research and the Financial Times has published articles on responsible research and is reconsidering how to evaluate research contribution beyond counting the number of articles in journals listed in the FT50. RRBM became a US IRS 501c3 non-profit and adopted official organizational Bylaws. We elected new Working Board members and a new leadership team.

The major new initiatives in 2021 were oriented to doctoral students. They included webinars about how to conduct responsible research, the first globally open online doctoral course titled “Philosophical Foundations of Responsible Research”. The Dare to Care Doctoral Dissertation Scholarship was launched, offering up to eight scholarships of US$10,000 each. The scholarship aims to support doctoral research that addresses various forms of justice in organizations, including economic, racial, gender and racial. 2021 ended with a paper (to be published in the January 2022 issue of Global Focus) summarizing some small wins and important milestones over the seven years. The paper calls for bolder actions to achieve Vision2030.

December 31st, 2021