Summer 2014 to Fall 2019
This project began unexpectedly in the Fall of 2014. The original idea came from the then Director of Research and Survey of EFMD, Ulrich Hommel who is also Professor of Finance at the EBS Business School in Germany. He invited Anne Tsui 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 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. The following is a chronology of the major activities in the past four years. As is evident from the chronology, there was not a grand plan. We did not know what the future might unfold. It was like “crossing the river by touching the stones”1, one step at a time. The formation of a team of 24 senior scholars from five business disciplines into a community for responsible research along with four institutional supporters is a miracle itself. We represent ourselves and are not representatives of our institutions. The team agreed that we would evaluate our progress on an annual basis. We should be ready and willing to end the project when progress does not suggest a promising future. We should avoid committing to a failing cause. The team worked primarily online with a face-to-face meeting every six months to discuss our activities and define the next step. In Fall, 2018, we began to meet quarterly, with a combination of web-based meetings and face-to-face meetings, and 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 second annual IACMR-RRBM Responsible Research in Management award included a team of ten executives evaluating the top selections for their relevance to practice. The inaugural AMA-EBSCO Annual Responsible Research in Marketing award was also introduced. We ended the year with a special focus by the AACSB in an article published in BizEd. After five years, we continued to take action steps to achieve Vision2030. While we are still not sure what the future will hold, there are encouraging signs. We are well aware of the difficulty of changing a complex inter-twined ecosystem that sustains the current research culture and practices for more than two decades. The team is cautiously optimistic because we have received favorable responses from many quarters and are seeing many related and important changes initiated by different groups, all aiming to improve either the credibility (by journals) or the usefulness (by associations or institutes) of research. Today, the community of 28 co-founders and 85 co-signers of the position paper, to almost 1200 endorsers, over 65 institutional partners, and seven pioneer schools. We will continue touching one stone at a time in crossing the river of challenging currents toward the promising land in the horizon.
December 20th, 2019