Duration: 3 hours

Program for Virtual Summit



Due to the 2020 pandemic, we postponed the 2020 Responsible Research Summit (RRS2020) to June 27 – 28, 2021 and we committed to organize a Responsible Research Virtual Summit (RRVS) in June 2020 to maintain momentum for RRBM. The goal of the RRVS is to discuss how we may widen and deepen responsible research in business and management to strengthen the readiness and resilience of organizations of all types to meet challenges of societies in both normal and extraordinary times. How can business and management research contribute to alleviating the human sufferings caused by the health crisis and associated economic fallout?


The need for responsible research from business and management scholars has never been greater than the current context of the global pandemic. We are seeing epic challenges and opportunities in leadership, health, economics, supply chains, finance, poverty, social responsibility, and all areas of business. In this context, the Virtual Summit will focus on the first of four action-oriented objectives previously defined for RRS2020.



To review, expand, and accelerate current initiatives by internal stakeholders (i.e., journal editors, deans, senior scholars, accreditation groups) to bridge the research-practice gap and to identify new initiatives by these groups to deepen and broaden the transformation of research priorities and practices in business schools through responsible research that focuses on societal problems and enables business to be a force for good.


This by-invitation Virtual Summit includes the participants of RRS2019 and a few additional participants representing these internal stakeholder groups:  Deans; Senior scholars (PhD and P&T committee members); Professional association leaders; University leaders; Journal editors; Leaders of accreditation bodies.


Set in the context of the global pandemic, this Virtual Summit uses Zoom to conduct plenary presentations, panel sessions, breakout group discussions, chat, and group reporting. A starting point is the updates from participants of their “I Will” statements from RRS2019 highlighting stories of progress for RRBM, challenges encountered, plans for the future, and calls to action.


The RRVS Organizing Committee

Responsible Research Virtual Summit



(First Hour)

MC Opening comments – Emphasis on the timeliness and urgency of generating more responsible research to create credible and useful knowledge for business and society. Overview and rules of the Virtual Summit.


Panel Session:  Progress and Challenges to Advance Responsible Research: Revisiting RRS2019 “I Will” Progress


  1. Stephanie Bryant, EVP & Chief Accreditation Officer, AACSB International – “A Shifting Paradigm: How the new AACSB Accreditation Standards Support and Drive Responsible Research in Business
  2. Yubo Chen, Senior Associate Dean, Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management, China – “Transforming Research to Serve Society among Leading Chinese Business Schools: The Progress at Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management
  3. Maurizio Zollo, Head of Management & Entrepreneurship Department and Scientific Director of the Leonardo Centre, Imperial College Business School – “Experimental Program Connecting Corporations with Business School Researchers

Moderator: Jerry Davis, University of Michigan


(Second Hour)

Keynote Dialogue: Conversation with Paul Polman on Responsible Research

Mr. Paul Polman, Chair, IMAGINE, Vice-Chair of the U.N. Global Compact, and former CEO of Unilever and Luk van Wassenhove, Professor of Technology & Operations Management, INSEAD


Small group discussion

  1. Small groups formed based on stakeholder categories (deans, editors, senior scholars, association, and university leaders).
  2. Each group discusses what they (as deans, editors) can do to transform business research toward a better world and develops a “We will” statement for the group by considering the following question:

“The COVID pandemic has been an unprecedented disaster for societies around the world. Yet as Paul Polman points out, this could be an opportunity to build back better: to create a business system that better serves human needs. From your experience in the last four months, what are the 1-2 most critical things business research could do to help build back better? And what could you, in your role [editor, dean, etc.], do to help make this happen?”



(Third Hour)

Plenary sharing – Sharing “We Will” statements.

Moderator: Ruth Bolton, Arizona State University


Closing Keynote: Rebecca Henderson, Professor of General Management and Strategy, Harvard University – “Reflections on Responsible Research

Moderator: Mike Toffel, Harvard Business School


Closing remarks

  1. Call to action
  2. Commitment
  3. Connection to RRS2021


The master slide deck is available here