Below is a summary of the group’s yearly activities:
Year 1 – Fall 2014 to Summer 2015
This project had its seed in summer 2014 but formally began in fall 2014. The idea was to form a team of leading scholars in business schools to address the two major challenges of business school research: questionable research practices that reduce the quality and credibility of research findings and the gap between research and practice that renders unclear returns to research investments regarding actionable knowledge. The focus was on solutions and not on the further dwelling of the problems. Twelve months later, 18 senior scholars in four major disciplines in the business school joined the project. The team held their first meeting in Vancouver, Canada on August 10, 2015.
Year 2 – Fall 2015 to Summer 2016
In fall, 2015 the team decided to use the Delphi method to better understand the nature of the problems and to solicit ideas on solutions. We invited 35 scholars who have published papers on problems of business school research to participate in the Delphi study. Between November 2015 and April 2016, we conducted two rounds of Delphi with 27 authors participating in both rounds. Using the input from this Delphi, the team began writing a position paper outlining a vision for responsible research in business schools. The team discussed a draft of the paper at the fourth team meeting on August 8 in Anaheim, California. At this time, we decided to change the term “position paper” to “white paper”, so as not to imply a position but rather to present ideas for discussion and debate. By summer 2016, the team had 24 scholars representing all five major business disciplines (accounting, finance, management, marketing, operations) along with four institutional supporters (AACSB, EFMD, PRME, and Aspen-BSP). These 28 became the founding members of the community for responsible research in business and management (abbreviated as RRBM).
Year 3 – Fall 2016 to Summer 2017
We began creating the RRBM website to host the white paper, and as a platform to invite comments on the white papers from leading scholars and other stakeholders, and to express their support by co-signing the paper. Each member of the team identified and invited several senior scholars and relevant stakeholders to read and comment on the paper. A total of 88 responded out of 231 invitations with 80 agreeing to co-sign the paper. These 80 came from 70 universities in 21 countries, with 30 holding senior leadership positions at either the school or the university level. At the same time, the team began to organize panels at various business school association conferences and disciplinary professional association meetings for open discussion and debate of the ideas in the white paper. By the end of summer 2017, the white paper has been presented and discussed in more than 15 such settings. The team proposed and received approval to organize a special issue in the journal Academy of Management Discoveries on the topic “Sustainable Development for a Better World: Contributions of Leadership, Management and Organizations”. The team also approved a proposal on creating an Award for Responsible Research in Management from the International Association for Chinese Management Research.
Year 4 – Fall 2017 to …
The consultation of the white paper ended September 30, 2017 and the team is in the process of finalizing the white paper. We plan to develop a brief executive version for public reading while the long version is for the scholarly community that would appreciate a fuller discussion of the rationale for the vision of responsible research and how to implement the ideas. We are now redesigning the website as a platform for open discussions of the white paper, for pledging support or expressing disagreement, offering suggestions on effective approaches to bring about the transformation, and sharing initiatives and best practices to advance responsible research.