The train is just starting to roll and it is not too late to give another push and get everyone on board. The community for Responsible Research in Business and Management (cRRBM) built an excellent case for action and a compelling vision to change the dysfunctional eco-system supporting and rewarding research that fails to live up to our potential for credible and useful research (see the Position Paper). We can do more to enhance global prosperity and create a better world.
Over the last three years, members of the community solicited input for the position paper and engaged diverse groups in discussions of RRBM (see Presentations). We have also encouraged and promoted journal special issues, journal practices, and books that support the seven principles of RRBM (see Journals & Books) and we have identified some excellent articles, books and media news to stimulate further discussion and actions supporting RRBM (see Readings). In collaboration with IACMR, we launched the first disciplinary based research awards for articles and books that support the principles of RRBM (See Awards). All of these actions are drawing support and endorsements from a broad swath of the global scholarly academic communities in all disciplines of business (see Endorsers).
It is not easy to break the inertia of complacency, self-reinforcing feedback loops and external isomorphic pressures that run counter to RRBM, but we can. Changing systemic processes that reward less credible and useful research requires many actions on many levels: journal practices; promotion standards; business school funding and resource allocations; accreditation processes; cultural norms and values about different types of research; support for co-generation of knowledge; sharing best practices; etc. As you look through https://rrbm.network, you should see glimmers of hope in each of these areas. There are shining examples of very credible and useful research having positive impacts on business and society. There are initiatives on improving: research relevance, research credibility and the accuracy of research contribution assessment.
Build momentum for change. I believe that the train is starting to roll, so it is time to take action, talk about it, and get everyone on board. I encourage you to set goals and timelines for taking action on any level that will enhance the credibility and usefulness of research in business and management. How can you make a bigger difference?
In the most recent discussions among the founding members of RRBM, our current emphases are on:
- broader engagement;
- sharing and highlighting best practices; and
- looking for opportunities to create discipline-based awards, and special issues in journals.
With the recent public launch of the website, the publication of Responsible Research by Anne Tsui in EFMD’s Global Focus, and the upcoming publication of The Moral Dilemma of Business Research in AACSB’s BizEd, we believe that this is the critical opportunity to broaden engagement. We will be launching a major effort through listservs and other broadcast media, but your personal invitation and encouragement will be much more effective with your colleagues.
Now is the time for you to personally invite your colleagues and students to visit https://rrbm.network, read the position paper, and register their personal endorsements.
Help us to showcase pioneering schools, new initiatives and great research that supports the RRBM principles. Creating heroes is essential to rewarding best practices and helping us to see new possibilities ranging from the creation of the position of “Associate Dean for Business+Impact” at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan to very substantial funding for problem-driven research projects at the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University to the Dean’s Impact Grants for Responsible Research at the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at Singapore Management University, to the adoption of a new mission “to be a force for positive change in the world” at the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University. Please send us more examples of best practices at any level.
And finally, please help us to identify opportunities to create discipline-based awards in collaboration with your professional associations and journals. Awards from professional organizations can speak volumes, particularly for junior scholars passing through critical promotion processes.
As the train begins to roll, I am reminded of an inspirational childhood book, The Little Engine That Could. The cRRBM can change institutional norms and reward structures globally. It is not easy and we do need your help to create a better world through responsible research.