We Will Statements


The participants of this Summit were organized into ten breakout groups by stakeholder categories. Each group has between five to ten members. During the breakout group discussion, the group collectively developed a commitment to implement a joint action. Below are the ten “We Will” statements.


Group 1 (Accreditation leaders)

AACSB and EFMD and GBSN will collaborate to create a system for revealing and sharing best practices in responsible research, with an immediate focus on research that tackles Covid-19.


Group 2 (Association leaders)

  • We will involve business practitioners and policy makers in our association meetings and initiatives to gain greater understanding of challenges and disseminate our research;
  • we will encourage themes, sessions, journal special issues and curriculum which address impact on society; and
  • we will develop awards recognizing bodies of scholarly work that have had impact on society.


Group 3 (Deans)

We will work to promote RRBM by reaching out to other business school Deans in our networks, by collaborating across the barriers between schools within our institutions to promote interdisciplinary dialogue and research, and by remaining in contact to follow up on our progress over the next six months.


Group 4 (Deans/associate deans)

We will:

  • Create Data Sharing sites for Covid-19 Recovery – detailed data (such as that in tracktherecovery.org) will permit deep analysis of the business and societal impacts, spur research and teaching
  • Enable Industry collaborations – by inviting companies to campus to enable research, develop ecosystems to study problems etc.
  • Study new organization designs to encourage new forms of collaboration
  • Enable virtual research partnerships through shared seminar access (like the econometrics seminar at Stanford) by enabling an RRBM virtual seminar


Group 5 (Associate deans, past deans)

We will work toward rejuvenating our Center portfolios by integrating crisis insights like resilience and serving the under-served to build back better.


Group 6 (Editors, department editors)

We recognize that the review process as currently conducted in scientific journals often requires authors to spend inordinate amounts of time and effort to satisfy reviewers and editors with little enhancement of the societal value of their work. We also recognize that it often takes longer than is optimal to get research results published. At the same time, we recognize that few (if any) channels exist to publish nascent idea pieces to help researchers identify and focus their efforts on problems and questions of societal import.  Based on these three points, we propose the following “We will” statements:

  • We will maintain our commitment to rigor.
  • We will seek to identify opportunities to increase the effectiveness of the review process both for reviewers and authors.
  • We will strive to increase the speed with which important results are made available.

We will encourage alternative forms of publication that allow a broader discussion of topics relevant to society.  Science’s Insights section provides an exemplar for benchmarking in this regard.


Group 7 (Editors, associate editors)

  • As editors, we will solicit papers for our journals that represent responsible research.
  • We will accept papers that use both traditional and non-traditional approaches to address important and relevant problems.
  • We will listen to reviewers but will not be bound by their reviews. As editors, it is our responsibility to make decisions, rather than blindly follow the recommendations of others.
  • We will take the risk of publishing research that we believe makes a difference and can create positive societal impact long into the future.
  • We will promote these values to editors of journals in and beyond our respective communities.
  • We aim to encourage wide participation in this initiative, and to identify ways of collaborating across historical boundaries to increase both the quantity and quality of responsible research positively impacting society and


Group 8 (Editor, deputy, associate)

We Will use our voices as editors to:

  • Influence others within our fields (colleagues and associations) by advocating for the importance of researching issues related to responsible business and building attention to it into association activities and journal policies;
  • Approach stakeholders (e.g., managers, policy makers, consumers, employees) to share their issues/problems with scholars to stimulate research questions that would – if researched – be useful to the stakeholders’ work (i.e., a pull not push approach to research); and
  • Influence external audiences (beyond academia) by

(i) identifying and accelerating papers that speak to ideas, strategies, and solutions important to responsible business problems and

(ii) disseminating this knowledge to others via short articles, webinars, and relevant media.


Group 9 (Senior scholars)

  • We will as senior scholars work with leaders in each of our business schools to incorporate into all faculty research assessments faculty reporting on, and committee evaluation of, the societal impact of their research.
  • We will as a global, interdisciplinary group of senior business school scholars write and publish an article proposing a “clean piece of paper” approach for assessing and valuing the societal impact of business school faculty research.


Group 10 (Senior scholars)

  •  We will make a commitment to prepare Ph.D. students to make a contribution to society,
  • We will model the kind of behavior that will lead to the impact and contributions we advocate,
  • Recognizing this is an architectural problem, we will work to normalize the rules of engagement with business and its key stakeholders during the process of designing, executing and translating the results of our research.