Executive Summary


On the evening of June 30 and July 1, 2019, at the Rotterdam School of Management, The Netherlands, internal stakeholders came together to chart a new path toward RRBM Vision 2030 when business and management research are a true inspiration for business practices that will contribute to economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable societies.


This report is a documentation of the RRS2019 Summit.  It serves as the event proceedings and compiles information from the group discussions in an unbiased manner with the intent that it can be used as a resource or reference for special purpose actions.[1] We hope this report will inspire and support others to begin their own internal dialogue about responsible research within their individual communities.


Over the course of the Summit, ten groups tackled Responsible Research from every perspective. This included both the aspirational and high-level issues, and the granular, thornier issues. Two sessions focused on challenges and aspirations with specific ideas to address them (see Tables 1 and 2). Two other sessions focused on solutions, concentrated on actionable ideas, that can be considered by stakeholder groups: deans, senior scholars, journal editors, association and accreditation leaders (See Tables 3 and 4).


  • Table 1 (from Discussion Session 1) delineates ‘Contributing to a Better World Through Research’. A few concrete ideas to address current challenges include:
    • Updating the promotion system to reward individuals for work on impactful problems;
    • Aligning journal criteria to match societal needs;
    • Creating grants and awards;
    • Working with press, editors, social media, and blogs;
    • Encouraging AACSB to adopt a different definition of what it means to be an ‘active faculty member’;
    • Creating dedicated editors and reviewer pools who support impact criteria;
    • Educating and mentoring young scholars to conduct responsible research; and
    • How to collaborate among multiple stakeholders in the research ecosystem.


  • Table 2 (from Discussion Session 2) outlines ‘Visioning Business Research in 2030’ – some common visions on the nature and impact of responsible research by 2030 include:
    • Increase visibility of research to different stakeholders;
    • Provide new paths to recognize by society in some way, e.g., such as the demonstrated impact on society/business outcomes;
    • Employ more diverse quantitative and qualitative measures of research impact;
    • Qualify research that has been used in policies or practice;
    • Involve stakeholders in setting criteria for research success;
    • Reward professors for trying new avenues and for their entire portfolio;
    • Develop an evaluation system that measures the entire professor’s portfolio, e.g., blogs, podcasts, working with journalists, working with business and nonprofits; and
    • Devise new, more inclusive, metrics to measure research impact that are more inclusive.


  • Table 3 (from Discussion Session 3) focuses on ‘Measuring Progress in Responsible Research’ – major common suggestions include:
    • Determining the readership of the research (policymaker, educator, nonprofit, consultant, politician);
    • Employing alternative metrics beyond the typical count metrics, such as:
      • Using the RRBM 7 Principles as a tool to measure responsible research;
      • Social media metrics;
      • SSRN downloads by top 10 financial institutions;
      • Inclusion in doctoral syllabi;
      • Case writing and case adoption; and
      • Awards.
    • Incorporating Artificial Intelligence to capture new measures of impact;
    • Using a badge as a stamp of approval of an article showing responsible research; and
    • Involving review boards in societal/practical ratings.


  • Table 4 (from Discussion Session 4) outlines ‘Navigating the Transition Toward Responsible Research’ – a few frequently mentioned recommendations include:
    • Joining forces internally and externally;
    • Spreading the word through conferences/meetings;
    • Creating responsible research impact awards;
    • Collaborating with journals to create issues on responsible research;
    • Implementing pilot programs;
    • Creating a badge to rate an article on responsible research;
    • Using the RRBM 7 Principles as a tool to measure responsible research;
    • Spreading the word through conferences/meetings to involve practitioners and executives; and
    • Teaching Ph.D. students what impactful research is.


The Summit ended with an empowering ‘I Will’ session as evidenced by the following comments:

  • “The ‘I Will’ session was extraordinary—never seen anything like this. 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 ‘I Will’ statements contain specific, concrete actions that members are committed to achieve within their own individual spheres of influence.  These actions fall largely into the following categories:

  • Introducing journal policies and special issues emphasizing societal impact of research;
  • Adding societal impact assessment in 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 2019 Summit ended with many actionable ideas, and participants left with their personal commitments, but it was not an end in itself. We will share our progress and continue to broaden our outreach to external stakeholders in the 2020 Summit at Imperial College Business School, London.


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

and the 2019 Responsible Research Summit Organizing Committee

[1] Full agenda of the day