The First Global Responsible Research Summit (RRS2019) Successfully Completed!


While a majority of scholars, academics and deans agree that it’s critical to create a new academic research ecosystem—one that places credible, applicable research at its center—solutions have been thin on the ground. That’s changing. On July 1, 2019, 62 senior scholars, deans, journal editors, university and association leaders across five business disciplines, 13 countries and four continents moved the discussion from the theoretical to the actual at the RRS19 Summit in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The delegates’ mission was to identify the components necessary to create an ecosystem of business and management research that inspires business and society to be better and do better, through business research practices and co-creation of knowledge that will yield economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable societies.


In 12-hour sessions at Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management, ten working groups tackled Responsible Research from every perspective. The groups addressed the creation of a new metrics to replace the outdated, increasingly irrelevant and innovation stifling citation system and identified specific, concrete actions members will use to achieve wins in their own individual spheres of influence. These actions include:

  • Introducing journal policies and special issues emphasizing societal impact of research;
  • Adding societal impact assessment in annual review, tenure and promotion decisions;
  • Allocating substantial resources to support responsible research;
  • Training doctoral students in responsible research;
  • Revisiting accreditation standards; and
  • Developing Responsible Research awards.


The Summit ended with an empowering ‘I Will’ session as evidenced with the following participant’s reactions:

  • The “I Will” session was extraordinary — never seen anything like it. The whole event exceeded my expectations.
  • The Summit was inspirational and we walked away with I WILL statements that provided evidence of a highly committed group.
  • RRS2019 exceeded my expectations; the pacing and interaction and design was excellent; I felt every session added value and built meaningfully toward a coherent understanding of challenges and opportunities;


The 2019 Summit met its objectives and participants left with their personal commitments but it was not an end in itself. It is an encouraging first step but much more will be necessary to change the research ecosystem. We will share our progress and continue to broaden our outreach to external stakeholders in the next Summit to be held in June 2020 at Imperial College, London.


We are deeply grateful to the Rotterdam School of Management for hosting this Summit and to the 62 leaders in business disciplines and schools worldwide traveling thousands of miles to participate in this first Global Responsible Research Summit to take this major step in designing a responsible and sustainable research ecosystem in business and management. For further information, please visit the RRS2019 page on the RRBM website to see the agenda, the PPT files, the list of participants, a blog on the Summit, a photo gallery of the Summit and the “I will” commitments, which we hope will inspire you to write your own “I will” statements on the space provided.


Our work in action has just begun.  Join us on this historical journey to create a new social order!


Anne Tsui, Wilfred Mijnhardt, and Pursey Heugens, co-chairs

and the 2019 Responsible Research Summit Organizing Committee